Nick had been asked to take part in an article for Essex uni’s Alumni magazine, however going all the way to Essex for photographs was not practical so I was asked to take some similar photographs to what was taken of the other person in the article. Nick arrived on his bike and even played me a tune on his clarinet!
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.
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..
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.
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.
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.