Janet Mountford-Smith

Written 16 posts

“A’ The Airts”, Sanquhar

19th August 2019

On a sunny, breezy August afternoon I take the A703 south to Sanquhar, in Dumfries and Galloway. It’s Community Land Week, and “A’ the Airts”, a community hub based in a historic building in this attractive town, is screening a film, and putting on a spread. The film focuses on the role of the arts…

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Morebattle

5th August 2019

Morebattle lies at the foot of the Cheviots, seven miles south of Kelso, so deep in the Borders that only one or two hamlets and a few hills are left before you reach Northumberland. We’re in the middle of a short but very intense heatwave: 30C is forecast. Sheep huddle into the shade of trees,…

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Bonnymuir Green, Aberdeen

29th July 2019

It’s high summer and from the exuberance of spring, the Scottish countryside is now settling into a more subdued palette of greens. Fields of barley are not yet cut but are beginning to dapple yellow. The cerise of rosebay willowherb is taking over from the foxgloves, whose thimbles have opened, one by one, until they…

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MACH 1 – Machrihanish Airbase Community Company

16th July 2019

Communities use their land and buildings for many activities but Mach 1 is definitely one of the more unusual ones. The former MoD airbase at Machrihanish, Argyll, now owned by the Machrihanish Airbase Community Company, is the venue for one of the big tarmac rally events on Dunfermline Car’s Club’s racing calendar. The play on…

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Killin – More than a Post Office

5th June 2019

Killin nestles under the Lawers range at the west end of Loch Tay. I’ve got an invite to the opening of the community’s new premises for their postoffice/newsagent. It’s wet wet wet, and has been for days, the weather resuming something like normal summer service after last year’s heatwave. The verges are frothing with cow…

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Fort Augustus – opening the new Cill Chumein Medical Centre

11th April 2019

At sunrise on a frosty April morning, I am on my way to work to meet Kyle, who has recently joined our team as a Modern Apprentice. We’re driving up to Fort Augustus for the opening of their new Medical Centre. It has been funded partly by the Scottish Land Fund, and partly by Scottish…

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Celebrating the100th Scottish Land Fund Award: The Pyramid at Anderston

8th March 2019

On a chilly, foggy February morning I catch an early train to Glasgow, where our Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham is visiting the Pyramid at Anderston. The community is taking ownership of this brutalist classic from the Church of Scotland. The church has been a centre for the community since the day it was built, but…

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Strontian – learnings

26th February 2019

  Back in December I was invited to join HIE and National Lottery Community Fund colleagues for a Scottish Land Fund “learning event”. Hmm, I thought, Strontian in February – over Rannoch Moor, the Corran ferry then single track roads – probably a snow tyres job at best, maybe even find a fellow learning eventer with…

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Community Land Week 8: Mull of Galloway – to the Lighthouse!

30th October 2018

  It’s a long way to the Mull of Galloway from Crianlarich, and there’s a delay on the A82 near Tarbert. A woman riding pillion on a motorbike has been thrown off, her leg is broken and the road is closed for a while. Even walking on it, the road surface feels greasy from recent…

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Community Land Week 7: Fernaig – A path, a present, a future

26th October 2018

Friday morning and there’s enough blue in the sky to patch a sailor’s jacket, as my mum would say. On the way from Tighnabruaich to Fernaig (near Plockton/Skye of Lochalsh) I pass by the Appin agricultural show and can’t resist popping in. Here are some of the stars: Massed battalions of camper vans are on…

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