Scottish Rural Network update: adventures in Stirlingshire

Norette Ferns, Scottish Rural Network Support Unit

In this blog, Scottish Rural Network (SRN) Support Unit website and social media officer Norette Ferns shares some of her work highlights from October 2019.

Last month saw Hannah, Lorraine and I film some great interviews for short videos about various rural projects.

Lorraine and I went to Forvie National Nature Reserve to catch up with David Pickett from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) about the impact of LEADER funding at another National Nature Reserve -- Flanders Moss. He talked about how LEADER funding had really opened up the site to the local community and visitors.

Later in the month Hannah and I had a busy day out and about in Stirlingshire. First up we met up with Amee Hood from SNH who we interviewed at Flanders Moss National Nature Reserve. Flanders Moss is one of the largest remaining intact raised bogs in Britain. It was great to find out more about the reserve and the flora and fauna in the area.

Anne-Michelle Ketteridge, Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER Programme Manager met us at Flanders Moss and took us to two of the venues involved in the successful Forth Valley Food Festival, which was being held that week. First up was Gartur Stitch Farm where we met some very lovely dogs, sheep, goats, pigs and cows and interviewed Ashley Robinson, local food and drink coordinator, and Kat Goldin of one of the farmers. 

Forth Valley Food Festival | Ashley & Kat | Gartur Stitch Farm from ScottishRuralNetwork on Vimeo.

Then it was off to Arnprior Farm where pumpkin picking was in full swing. The place was packed with families navigating the mud to pick pumpkins of all sizes. It was fantastic to see so many people enjoying the farm. 

The unquestionable highlight of the day was meeting Douglas -- our content and communications officer Hannah's dog and unofficial SRN mascot. Following the busy day filming projects in Stirlingshire, there was time for a quick cuppa at Hannah's house and a cuddle with Douglas (possibly the greatest dog in the world!) before the train home. As you can see from the photo below I was very happy to finally meet him!

Norette and Douglas

Lorraine and I also spent a lot of time this month doing video editing -- and as we're not seasoned professionals this can take time! This week we launched a video all about the renovated jetty in Ullapool that's helping more people access the water from the village. You can watch it below. 

Ullapool Harbour Trust - Jetty Renovation from ScottishRuralNetwork on Vimeo.

As well as learning how to edit videos, this month has also seen the start of my Gaelic language learning! Every Thursday Lorraine (who is in the intermediate class) and I (total beginner) head up to Great Glen House in Inverness for Gaelic classes.

This month also saw Alan attend the second Rural Transport Convention in Carnoustie, Hannah going along to the NordMAB event in Plockton and some team members attending the LEADER Staff Group Meeting.

Jospeh Ritchie has also joined our team for a few months to undertake an evaluation of the SRN. 

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