countryside

Anne Gray from The Heather Trust - Head Shot Business Profile

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Hi Anne, can you tell us about yourself and what inspired you to live and work in the Scottish Borders?

I am the Director of The Heather Trust which is a small charity operating across Great Britain that promotes good practice in moorland management.  I’m lucky to be able to work from home.  Apart from a spell of about 9 years in Edinburgh in my late teens and 20s, I’ve always lived in the Borders and can’t imagine being anywhere else.

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Which part of your job do you feel most passionate about?

Promoting land management practices that allow people to make a living and that are also good for nature, carbon storage and water management is really important to me.  The challenge to do better for the environment is vitally important and something everyone needs to embrace.  I hope I’m doing something to help.

What tips would you give to someone starting out in your industry ? 

You need a solid grounding in environmental science and policy, but you also need to spend time with farmers, gamekeepers and everyone else that makes a living from the land.  Their experience and perspective is worth listening to..

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Who do you admire most in the world and why?

I admire people who keep going for their goals no matter what gets thrown in their way.  Some people just seem to be made of very strong stuff.  Most recently the young motor racing driver Billy Monger who lost his legs in a horrific crash and is making a comeback to pursue his dream of becoming a F1 champion seems to personify that.  His whole attitude to recovery has blown me away.

Do you have a favourite quote that you turn to for inspiration?

Theodore Roosevelt said “A nation that destroys its soils, destroys itself” and there is nothing surer I’m afraid. Soil, water, climate are our life support system and we really will hit the buffers if we don’t get a better handle on keeping them in good health.

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What is the biggest challenge you face in running a charity?

Maintaining funding to let us do what we do is a constant challenge. 

What does a typical workday look like for you?

I’m not sure any day is typical.  Some days I’m in my office at home all day catching up on paperwork, reading the latest science or policy document or producing a Heather Trust response to a latest government position.  Some days I am out at meetings and others I spend the whole day outside with a moor owner or manager.  The variety is great.

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How will you used your headshots and how do you feel they have/will benefit/ed your business?

They will be used on our website, in our annual report and to illustrate articles I write for other magazines and publications. People seem to remember images better than words, so if you want people to take notice of what you write, a good accompanying images seems to be the thing that will make your words memorable.  I hope so anyway.

What are your future plans?

For now, to keep doing what I am doing and ensure The Heather Trust goes from strength to strength.

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Kathy Tiernan - Headshots, Author Interview

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Hi Kathy, Can you tell us about yourself and what inspired you to live and work in Northumberland?
I’ve always been fascinated by history. I grew up in Northumberland with the past on my doorstep – a fourteenth century pele tower next to our house!  My favourite book as a kid was ‘Sword of Northumbria’ by Philip Woodruff. It’s long out of print, but his stories of medieval Northumbria fired my imagination.  Now, so many years later, I’ve moved back to Northumberland and am writing my own stories about its history. Although I’ve spent a lot of my working life in the south I feel I’ve come back home.

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Which part of your job do you enjoy most?
When I’m in the zone and completely absorbed in what I’m writing about.

What tips would you give to someone starting out as a writer?
It’s important to learn your trade, but even more to write about things that really engage you.

What is the best feedback you have ever had?
When I was twelve my English teacher gave me top marks for a story called ‘The Storm’.
Underneath it she wrote, ‘I wonder if you will become a writer one day?’

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Who do you admire most in the world and why?
I love Thomas Hardy. For me, he is the great writer about the English countryside and about the rural communities of his time.

Do you have a favourite quote that you turn to for inspiration?
‘Show don’t tell.’ It gets drummed into your head on creative writing courses till you’re sick of it, but it is the single piece of advice I return to most often.

What is the biggest challenge you face as an author?
There are two challenges for an author. One is to have the stamina to complete a novel, with all the revisions and re-writings involved. The second is to convince a publisher that you have produced a masterpiece that the world is waiting for.

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How will you use your headshots and how do you feel they will benefit your business?
One of the headshots will be used on the dust-cover of my forthcoming novel, ‘Cuthbert; The
Making of a Saint’, to be published by Sacristy Press. I’m also planning to use the photos to create my author website.

What does a typical workday look like for you?
I write in the mornings, with a break for coffee. Depending on what else I have on, I sometimes work for another hour or two in the early evening. I try not to think about writing later in the day or the mind is still plotting at 2a/m!

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Thank you Kathy, I'm really looking forward to your book coming out.   I must say we had an eventful shoot, from the thick 'pea soup' fog on the wild and windy causeway of Lindisfarne to the sun beating down on us inland while we walked uphill to St Cuthbert's Cave, then on the way down you saved me from stepping on an adder snake!  Such a fun and memorable! day, good luck with the book launch, Sarah :)

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