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Lorna McCartney, HNC Countryside and Environmental Management

Lorna McCartney joined the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) Glasgow Conservation Volunteers in 2004, and did her first Thistle Camp (conservation working holiday) the following year.

“I became a conservation volunteer because I get a lot out of the countryside through sea kayaking expeditions, cycling and walking. I was delighted to have the opportunity to give something back.”

Lorna was enjoying her volunteering so much that she decided to do a distance learning HNC in Countryside and Environmental Management at SRUC while still working full time in her day job in Information Technology. The HNC gives students an introduction to Scotland’s rural and urban landscape and how it’s used and managed. The range of subjects covered is greater than in any other comparable course and includes conservation, pollution, ecology and land use.

“I loved the course, and found the range of subjects very relevant. The case studies were particularly enjoyable, using my volunteer experience. I’ve gone from working in an office with no windows, to an office with no walls – the great outdoors. Taking this course through distance learning has allowed me to step from one job to the other, without an employment gap. It means I didn’t have to take any risks- you can work full time and study, which is great.”

Lorna encourages anyone interested in conservation volunteering to check the NTS website. Activities range from a day in the weekend, to a camp, and you will join an enthusiastic group of people and learn great skills.

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