John D Hastings


Eston Hills Fires Paul Doherty with Friends of Eston Hills 300

Help us put out the fire – arson attacks on natural landscapes

Fundraiser song release for Rescue community project, North-east England, please support the project! I was shocked and saddened by the number of fires last year on Eston Hills, many deliberately caused by arson. Since the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, the number of fires and devastation have increased dramatically.

I heard about Cleveland Archaeology Trust (CAT), formed by Spence Carter an archaeologist leading a rescue excavation called “Ice and Fire” on Eston Hills, in association with Archaeological Society and Friends of Eston Hills. The site is significant: findings such as flint tools dating back to the Ice Age. It’s a “rescue project” because of the damage caused by fires and quad bikers churning up the earth and even personal intimidation of site volunteers.

Frankie and I got in touch with Spence, deciding to fundraise for CAT whose own funding streams have now been put on hold due to the pandemic. Donations of net proceeds from digital sales and streams of “When It’s Gone” [link to song on The Songs page] from music platforms and this website will go to the “Ice and Fire” Eston Hills project and community work.

Despite huge efforts by police, firefighters and locals, the arsonists still get away. I was inspired initially to write about the hopeless situation It turned into something much bigger. Similar arson attacks across the world and bush fires in Australia peaking earlier this year highlighted a minority of society were destroying the natural habitat of wildlife, animals and damaging biodiversity possibly beyond repair.

Part of the hills, Eston Nab, was bought in 2014 by a community group, Friends of Eston Hills to save the then private land being sold for property development. Public donations raised enough money to buy and return the land to public ownership for future generations to enjoy.

Friday 5th June 2020 is World Environment Day, a movement created by the UN, with this year’s theme being “Time #ForNature” and issues of biodiversity.

Never in history have we needed to care for our natural landscapes and promote CAT’s mission of “connecting People With Place by promoting well-being, belonging and cultural value through sustainable Heritage and Archaeology.”

This current world pandemic has helped us rediscover our open spaces, relearning the simple joy of sharing them with family and friends. The joint issue of biodiversity and climate change will still continue, let’s hope it’s further up the world political agendas. As the song’s bridge says, “Together we must change it: You and I”

This is how we give back. Especially when you, the fans support us, we will pass on that goodwill to our community and charity partners.

My wife Frankie and I grew up in places where people looked out for each other and connected through social activities. We have always been active in our community. It’s important that we share our success and talents to help build a fair and happy environment in which to live, work and play.

Music is truly universal. It brings joy, helps us express our emotions. Most of all, music brings people together.

What people say about “When It’s Gone”:

“Truly a powerful and meaningful song. If you haven’t heard it I highly recommend you listen” Daniel

“A very moving song with a powerful message” Barry

World Environment Day, Friday 5 June 2020 Theme: Time #ForNature

“When It’s Gone” fundraiser song out now!

Support and donate here.