A Langholm Initiative Project
Beginning of the Road
Settling into Langholm and my role as the Project Assistant for Wild Eskdale has involved a dizzying number of names and a good excuse for a walkabout. I’m not taking for granted the fact that I can get out for a wander as part of the job – not many people can say that, after all – and my treks have led me across rivers, through forests, and over moors as I follow the recommended walks set out in the Langholm Walks booklet (a superb collection!)
As I sit down to write this with a cup of tea, feet still damp from a hike around Target Burn and Whita Hill (walk number eight), I’m struck again by the fact that I get to write this blog as part of my job. How fortunate! It’s good to land into a role that is so exactly what you want to do in life, and I’m even luckier still to be surrounded by a fab team of staff and volunteers who have welcomed me with open arms and great banter.
But now onto Langholm itself. The landscape is strangely familiar to me; the colours of the moor and blocks of conifer plantations remind me of home, Caithness, though the contrast is in the hilly landscape which I’ve tackled with vigour today. At times I closed my eyes and, with the call of buzzards in the background, almost thought I was still there. The mild air reminded me otherwise!
Despite my love of the home county, I’ve always enjoyed getting to know a new place. I find it energising and inspiring; most of all, it’s reassuring how much is the same. My love for Caithness is grounded in open landscapes breaking into mountains, of the culture surrounding the peat and rural life, and of the wilderness found when you look at more than just the heather. Most of all I love the sky – it’s so vast and it’s so surreal in its beauty. I’m just starting to realise how much of these traits Langholm shares, but I’m sure by the time I move on – hopefully many, many months down the line – it’ll feel like home too.