Its always been about the outdoors. As a teacher, I was forever taking my class outside to learn. This led to being involved in food and farming education, taking teachers and pupils out to learn about our great Scottish food, and our farmers and crofters. Working as part of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) meant I got involved with fabulous people from all over the farming world.
From there I moved to promoting, encouraging and embedding outdoor learning via my role with Grounds for Learning/Learning through Landscapes. I jumped ship when I realised I was spending more time encouraging others to get out from behind the desk rather than getting out there myself. I became a STGA Blue badge (accredited tourist guide in Scotland) and am having a complete blast doing that. Taking people out and about in Scotland doesn’t feel like a job, and I wonder why I didn’t do it sooner.
My favourite thing is hillwalking, with over 70 munros under my belt, but I also sea kayak in fair seas, and I am a sometime MTB trails cyclist, and a gardener. I love being in forests, on rivers and coasts. The health and wellbeing aspect of being outdoors is also my bag. For me, it’s not always about the big hills and the long paths, but more about the smaller routes, the history and interesting stuff to look at along the way. I’m also keenly interested in the land use debates ongoing in Scotland just now – its present iteration and its historical roots.
Places to play
Islands, particularly the West Coast of Scotland. I’ve been lucky enough to have nomadic friends and family who have lived on approximately 10 islands in Scotland, providing me with ample opportunity to explore from within the communities. There’s something about a ferry crossing that just makes my heart sing. I know I’m off for my island fix.
I live in the Trossachs, and their scenery in spring and particularly Autumn make it a delight to explore here.
Not a lot of People know this
I once climbed Ben Nevis between milkings, which would have been ok except the farm was in South Lanarkshire! 4am milking, drive to the Ben, up and down, and back for the evening milking which was a little late.