Summer Celebration for Winter
Grandmother inspires Countryside Management graduate
When West Lothian student Bronwen Winter was considering a career change, she looked to her grandmother for inspiration.
Having spent many a happy day in her grandmother Maureen Cheeseman’s garden, she decided to study Countryside Management at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC). It was a good choice – she has just completed an HND at the Oatridge campus and is continuing on to do a Masters degree.
“When I left high school, I studied Graphic Design for two years and realised that I didn’t want to spend my student and working life indoors,” said Bronwen, 25, from Bo’ness.
“I’ve always had a love for the natural world and pretty much grew up in my grandmother’s garden. I learned a lot from her, and it gave me an appreciation for life and living things, and so choosing to study the course was the career change that I both wanted and needed.”
As part of her course, Bronwen spent two years as a volunteer ranger at Beecraigs, Polkemmet, and Almondell and Calderwood Country Parks, learning practical skills such as path work, habitat management and badger surveying.
“Being able to volunteer each week really helped to strengthen what I was learning in class as I was carrying out different practical tasks each week, giving me valuable field experience,” she said.
She was also able to take advantage of Grampus Heritage and Erasmus+ placements abroad, studying in Slovenia for a month in her first year, learning about sustainable farming practices and traditional skills, and in Romania in her second year on an archaeology and traditional skills placement.