A miscellany of anecdotes and experiences are drawn from 27 years of living in the Hebrides Many people dream of living a simpler life in beautiful, natural surroundings. Our dream became reality when we moved to the tiny Hebridean island of Colonsay in 1991. My wife became head teacher of the island school and I, in addition to being part-time teacher and occasional bus driver, embarked on botanical research. Seven years later, we moved to the larger Isle of Islay and for 20 years our garden included a rocky shore frequented by otters. Our experiences on the two contrasting islands form the basis for this well-illustrated talk but it is enhanced by accounts of our extensive travels throughout the islands of Scotland’s west coast. One of these, Tiree, inspired Mavis to write The Hagstone Chronicles, a trilogy of magical adventures which was published by Cinnamon Press. Living on islands necessitates involvement in the community. Our biggest contribution was our role as the original botanists of The Botanist Gin which is distilled on Islay. Referred to briefly here, this global success story is covered fully in another presentation.Views: 745 | Enquiries: 2
I am a Shropshire-based botanist, ecologist and wildlife enthusiast. I have a PhD in seed science and have been an Open University Ecology Tutor, teacher of natural history classes and courses, Education Officer for the North York Moors National Park and a Primary School Teacher. I am a a member of the Garden Media Guild - the professional organisation for communicating on gardening and horticultural topics. My wife and I are joint authors of the Aidgap guides - Orchids, Woodland Flowers and Grassland Flowers 1. We spent 27 years in the Hebrides engaged in wildlife surveys and teaching. In 2007 we were involved in the development of The Botanist Islay Dry Gin and, until we retired in 2017, we collected and prepared all the local botanicals for every distillation. This provides the focus of our most popular illustrated talk. Many of my talks are interactive, all are illustrated and are enlivened by anecdotes and experiences gained throughout my varied career.
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