A BETTER, greener Scotland, free of any discrimination towards the disabled, and a country capable of inspiring pride in every native heart.

That is part of an intriguing wish-list of hopes for Scotland 20 years from now, glimpsed in letters written by a handful of first-time voters to their future selves. The exercise will feed into an innovative Scottish Youth Theatre production, Now's The Hour, which will be staged at the Edinburgh Fringe next month.

The teenagers have also voiced their fears for two decades from now. Some admit to being worried about key issues such as the economy and the currency, and about Scotland's longer-term relationship with the rest of the UK.

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The show's director, Fraser MacLeod, said the letters express the teenagers' greatest hopes and worst fears, for themselves and for their country. He said: "Out of the journey that follows, they examine what it means to be Scottish."

The Sunday Herald caught up with some of the teenagers after a rehearsal in Glasgow recently.

Alana Crawford, 18, from Irvine, said: "My hope for Scotland is that, whatever the outcome of the referendum, it becomes a better place … I hope it will be a bit greener and more forward-thinking, and can continue to be a positive place for young people to grow up in."

However, she is also worried about the continuing democratic deficit, which has seen "Scotland being governed by parties we haven't voted for".

Zack Norwood, 17, from Clydebank, joined SYT 14 years ago. He has Asperger's Syndrome, a condition that has seen him suffer discrimination in the past.

He said: "One of my hopes is that Scotland will finally accept people with disabilities. Another hope is that we will have a fairer society, one in which anyone can make it to the top - in government as much as anything else."

He added: "I'm looking forward to voting in September. I think it will be a great day."

Alice P Donnelly, 17, from Glasgow said: "I'm worried about what our relationship with the rest of the UK will end up becoming - whether it will become strained or not, or how it affects us." But she added: "When I talk to friends who live in other parts of the UK, I think the relationship will just stay the same, because we will still be friendly countries. So that is reassuring."

Alice said she would also like to see Scots, irrespective of September's outcome, take more pride in coming from Scotland. She says: "We still have an attitude that we're dour, that it is s***e to be Scottish. It isn't. We're a great nation."

Robert Carr, 18, from Bridge of Weir, said: "If Scotland does vote for independence, I hope we continue to have a close relationship with the rest of the UK.

"My fear is, if we stay together, Westminster may pass more laws that Scotland does not want."

The drama group's chief executive and artistic director, Mary McCluskey, said: "The show is a must-see for anyone who wants to hear the voices of the young people who will have to live the longest with the consequences of September's big decision."

In his letter to his future self in 20 years' time, Dan Webb, 18, from Edinburgh, wrote: "I won't ask you whether or not your planet has world peace or has cured all illness, but I wonder whether an independent Scotland would help this cause, or whether we would be a hindrance on the progress of humanity."

l Now's The Hour: Stand 3, York Place, Edinburgh from August 3-24