Patrick Laurie

The McNeillie Lecture: Writing Galloway’s Landscape

Online Event
Event now over
Catch up available

The annual McNeillie Lecture celebrates the work of Ian Niall, who wrote under the pen name John McNeillie, and whose novel Wigtown Ploughman is a classic of rural realism. In this year’s lecture, author, farmer and conservationist Patrick Laurie looks at how life on the land has changed since McNeillie’s days. How have perceptions of the natural world evolved? And how does Ian Niall’s hard-edged vision haunt the speaker’s own depiction of agricultural life in Galloway? 

Patrick Laurie is a wonderful writer. He has written a hymn of love to his native land” – James Rebanks

About the speaker: Patrick Laurie is a freelance journalist. His blog ‘Working for Grouse’ is visited by over 30,000 visitors each year. As well as writing and farming, he works for Soil Association Scotland on a programme which supports conservation projects on farmland. His first book, The Black Grouse, was the first natural history book on this rare and declining species. His recent book, Native, has been shortlisted for the 2020 Wainwright Prize.

In conversation with Polly Puller

In association with the charity StageTEXT, this event will include live surtitles for people with hearing loss. To find out more go to

Supported by The Castansa Trust.