FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

1964 Susan Robertson (nee Martyr), West Lothian – FSC Flatford Mill and Secretary at FSC Orielton 1967 -68

My first course was at Flatford Mill ‘March Fen and Drainage’. In 1965 I went to Malham for ‘Gelology and Scenery’. There the Pennine Way had just taken place. In 1966 I walked the Pennine way with two Australian nurses whom I found by advertising in the Youth Hostel Magazine.

I worked at Orielton as Centre Secretary from January 1967 to September 1968, when I went to University to study Botany, having decided that the people I met at Orielton who had biology or geography degrees did not seem so much more clever than I was, so maybe if I worked hard someone would let me study botany.  Someone did!  Cardiff had a Preliminary course for those who did not have the science A Levels they needed (I did not have Chemistry). We had to take three subjects, supposedly equally in the preliminary year, and in Part-1 year; I struggled with chemistry but did enough and was invited to do an Honours degree in Botany. It is the only subject I would have worked so hard at.

But I needed to earn my living, so I went back to office work afterwards. (I did try the Scientific Civil Service but structures were rather rigid then, and my age and qualifications did not match). But my degree informs my hobby which is enjoying plants, and growing them for myself and for sale at plant sales for garden-related bodies.

In recent years I have been a ‘Friend of Kindrogan, and have been found twice a year tidying up and replanting the herbaceous borders round the house.