It was certainly my early years which influenced my lifetime love for nature and rivers, living in the countryside of North Fife, Scotland. It was not difficult to fall in love with nature it came right up to our doorstep. I walked to and from school every day “a mile each way”.
What fun I had watching Bull Finches, Skylarks, Water Voles, Broon Troot and all manner of Beastie in the burn! This great pleasure usually resulted in me being late for school and getting into trouble with my primary school teacher (Mrs Skrodzka). (At that time, I felt nature always had so much more to offer me throughout the seasons, than poor Mrs Skrodzka ever had, which I now know never was the case!!).
I have always been passionate about conservation since those early days and at the age of seven, I questioned Mrs Skrodzka as to why the old oak tree by the Windygates burn was being cut down and the Burn being straightened and piped in, I was told it was to accommodate the new house build for the village, (The area now has a tendency to flood most winters, will we never learn)!
Since those times, I have never stopped asking why we allow our planet’s ecosystem to be destroyed in the name of progress. At prize giving that year I received a copy of Wayside & Woodland Trees by Herbert Edin, which I still use as a reference book.
My observations then, has laid down the foundations for my lifetime career in land / riparian landscape management, farming, consultancy, forestry and conservation within the commercial, government and charity sectors.