Andrew Raven Trust

I don’t often post about what I have been doing, however on this occasion I will make an exception. I was invited to speak at a residential weekend held at Ardtornish House on the Morven Peninsula. This is a part of Scotland I had never seen before and it is incredibly beautiful. It is by no means an easy journey to reach the spot requiring a ferry journey and careful driving on single track roads, never the less it is well worth the effort.

Corran Ferry

Corran Ferry

The Ardtornish Estate  scores highly in sustainability with a well developed hydro power scheme and a strong conservation ethos running through its operation. It is also the home of the Andrew Raven Trust which has held these annual get-togethers for a nearly a decade. This particular weekend had the theme of “Water – a resource for flourishing communities”. It was graced by a heady mixture of artists, musicians, scientists, poets and journalists and it was a privilege to be involved.

Katrina Porteous read some of her poetry concerning the history, traditions and language of the Northumbrian fishing community where she lives and works. Patricia and Angus Macdonald showed us some breathtaking aerial photographs of Scotland mainly on the theme of water in the landscape. You can see some of these here.

There was also a fascinating look at the underwater flora and fauna of the waters around the site including cold water corals, sea anemones, sea feathers, large stinging jelly fish, sea turtles and basking sharks.

On a boat rip out into the Sound of Mull we were lucky to see otters, seals and a gorgeous sea eagle.

Sea eagle

But it was not all fun and games. James Ferguson, author and journalist, presented a fascinating and frightening insight into the water resource challenges in the 21st century in particular how water resources lie at the heart of much of the conflict in the Middle East.

All in all this was an intriguing, thoughtful and uplifting few days, and this old cynic feels much the better for it.

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My work background is in operational meteorology and in my career I have been involved in forecasting for everything from bananas to jumbo jets.I joined the Met Office 1974 as an observer at Glasgow Airport. After training as a forecaster, I worked as an Operational aviation forecaster at various defence sites and airports. In 1982, I moved to Glasgow Weather Centre as a forecaster and STV broadcaster till 1988. He then took up a post as Senior Forecaster London Weather Centre, then Senior Forecaster ITV where I qualified as a trainer in presentation techniques for the ITV Association. After being diagnosed with MS, he moved into management and became Head of London Weather Centre in 1997 followed by a period of front-line management for Southern England and Europe covering London and Cardiff Weather Centres and the Met Offices on defence stations from Akrotiri in Cyprus to St Mawgan in Cornwall. He took up the post of Met Office Chief Advisor for Scotland & Northern Ireland in March 2008 and moved to Edinburgh. I retired in September 2014. My one claim to fame is once performed a comedy sketch on TV with Manuel (Andrew Sachs) from Fawlty Towers in support of Comic Relief.

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Posted in Andrew Raven Trust, Comment, Ecology, Photographs, Poetry, Scotland, Sharing, Water

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