Confessions of a Clyde and Avon Valley Addict
I admit it! I’m in love. It’s a bit of a long distance affair – living in Glasgow and working in New Lanark – but distance is no object when you’re in this kind of relationship.
Her blue skies in summer, her long black woodland branches in winter, the way she flashes her autumn colours… what’s not to love? Having just passed my one year work anniversary with the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP), I’ve experienced the beautiful valleys through the four seasons, with their own distinct stage sets and costume changes.
As Communications Officer, most of my time is spent behind my desk, co-ordinating content for the website, monthly enews, quarterly newsletter and social media platforms with project partners and volunteers.
However, I have found time to explore this incredibly special 140 square km of the world. And I do love finding new ways of encouraging others to do the same and to share the patchwork of knowledge that conveys the distinct stories which are tucked away in these valleys.
I’ve explored deep, woodland cloaked gorges teeming with native wildlife, seen a replanted orchard at Kirkfieldbank bear its first blossoms and harvest, visited restored historic pathways at New Lanark and viewpoints visited by esteemed artists and poets, and local communities alike throughout time at Corra Linn, Falls of Clyde.
I’ve seen Clearburn win two awards for its outstanding community focussed natural play facilities at New Lanark, discovered forgotten houses and castles throughout the valleys, taken part in a historic General Major William Roy mapping re-enactment at Cleghorn Temporary Roman Camp, and enjoyed Fruit Day at Overton Farm – a fantastic local celebration of the unique market gardening heritage of the area now in its sixth year.
I’ve done all of these things with volunteers, rangers, wardens, project officers, directors, councillors from various organisations and groups, and I think we all have one thing in common – a passion not only for the area, but for telling people how great it is and encouraging them to explore, volunteer or get involved in this wonderful landscape somehow.
The CAVLP team are great to work with - with Karen’s extensive knowledge on wildlife (bat handling has come in particularly useful in our new office), Kirsten’s understanding of green issues and expertise of partnership working, Donna’s perpetual cool head and aptitude for problem solving, and Lorna’s immutable pertinence for organisation as well as fantastic cake-baking skills. With an extra part time staff member due to start in the coming month, we’ll be operating on full throttle and steaming toward 2018 and the delivery of the 70 projects that CAVLP was created to deliver.
Funded until 2018, this break up is going to be a painful one! Find out more about volunteering opportunities and explore the Clyde and Avon valleys and projects by clicking on the ‘Our People, Our Land and Our History’ navigation tabs at the top of the page.
- Sarah O’Sullivan, CAVLP Communications Officer