Being able to explain the environment is at the core of everything Botanæco does. Even a technical report is expected to be clear & engaging, and Botanæco is making progress here too, with a streamlined map-based format in development with Scottish Woodlands & Forestry Commission Scotland.
Botanæco's own skills development is a constant reminder of the beginner's experience - trying to remember terms, or that feeling of being lost. Botanæco's educational approach therefore embraces people in a relaxed, engaging environment where making mistakes is more than tolerated, it is encouraged to learn from.
Working at the cutting edge of ecological practise and being in regular contact with the regulators, clients, other consultancies, land managers, and more, puts Botanæco in an ideal position to deliver professional training that is up-to-date and tailored to your sector & operations. Training can be undertaken in or out-of-doors and a combination of both is usually most effective.
Professional clients include the Cairngorms National Park Authority, foresters, Forestry Commission Scotland, NE of Scotland Biological Records Centre, outdoor activity providers, Scottish Countryside Rangers Association, Scottish Environment Protection Agency & wind farmers on topics including environmental history, habitat & GWDTE survey & assessment; mosses & liverworts; and peatlands & their restoration.
Botanaeco's engaging manner and enthusiasm for plants & habitats has made it a popular provider of public walks & talks. These tend to focus on less technical aspects of the environment to cover subjects as diverse as the failure of the Norse in Greenland, pond life, or how to make a water pistol from a common roadside plant. As a result, talks can be relaxed & walks can be as energetic & hands-on as required.
Some examples of recent interpretation include:
• Autism Initiatives Scotland: guided walk to look at the uses of plants and pond-dipping.
• Botanical Society of the British Isles: 'The Ecological History of Laird's Moss' field trip.
• Scottish Wildlife Trust: illustrated talk on ‘Sex and Violence in a Bog Pool’.
• Portlethen Moss Conservation Group: ‘Ecological History of Portlethen Moss’ field course.
• Abernethy Trust: ‘History, Habitats and Plants of the Cairngorms', talk and field trip.
• Nethy Bridge Tourist Association: interpretative panels on the red squirrels, plants and birds of Nethy Bridge.
• Aberdeen University Alumni Society: evening talk and excursion on the ‘Habitats of Deeside’.
Training & experience of university lecturing & interpretation is the foundation for Botanæco's current practise. This includes teaching on the University of Aberdeen's Plant & Soil Science BSc & MSc field trips to Bettyhill; and an appointment to Lecturer in Palaecology in the Geography Department. Training in interpretation at the now legendary Losehill Hall has developed Botanæco's approach further, by fostering a less academic and more client-focused approach.