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Women in Wellies

Women in Wellies is an event aimed at encouraging young women to consider pursuing careers in the rural sector in the Cairngorms National Park. Read more about the event and watch the talks presented by women who are making their living working in forestry, farming, gamekeeping, recreation, conservation and academia.

Official statistics for Scotland indicate that the rural workforce is predominantly male, around 74 per cent and across Scotland there is a deficit of young people entering land based careers.

Anna Fleming, (formerly CNPA Education and Inclusion Officer) introduced the event to over 100 young women from Grantown Grammar and Kingussie, Aboyne, Alford and Speyside High schools as well as students from nearby colleges and universities.

“Whether its farming and crofting, gamekeeping, forestry, conservation or recreation – and everything in between – we are keen to see more young women consider a rural career. The land based sector is very important to the economy of the Cairngorms National Park and with fewer young people pursuing jobs in this industry we think that by inspiring women we might be able to reverse that trend. We really hope that the ‘Women in Wellies’ event may give some young women the confidence and encouragement to think about a rural ca

The Speakers and their Talks

Women from across Scotland shared their personal journey from school to a career in the outdoors, scroll down to view the talks from Jo O’Hara, Megan Rowland, Lynn Cassells, Joyce Campbell, Heather Morning and Frances Thin.

Jo O’Hara, Head of Forestry Commission Scotland

“As soon as a woman shows up in a room full of men, who are used to being in a room full of men, just by being a woman in the room you’ve broken the norm and you get innovation happening, just physically by being a female in a room full of men.”

Megan Rowland, Assistant Land Manager and Deer Stalker for Gordonbush Estate

“I started looking at deer stalking and land management and thought, well I wonder if I could see the process through myself – and it was a curiosity thing as much as anything else. My colleague took me for a day deer stalking, shot my first deer and thought that was actually a completely different experience to what I’d perceived previously.”

Lynn Cassells, Crofter at Lynbreck Croft

“It was our knowledge we developed as Rangers that helped us to put into practice working alongside animals to improve our environment…we’ve literally built a new farm business infrastructure from nothing, most of which we have done ourselves…becoming a ranger can quite literally give you the tools you want in life. But what it does more than most, is it embeds everything that you do in the health of our environment.”

 Joyce Campbell, Hill Farmer and Owner of Armadale Farm

“I try to promote a fair bit on social media and I try to promote the story of scotch lamb that’s in your supermarkets and on your plates and the part that I play in that, and the social impact that people like me and people like you living and working in rural communities have.”

Frances Thin, (formerly Landscape Advisor for the Cairngorms National Park Authority)

“I was at university doing a 2 year masters in landscape design that I really discovered the niche that was to be mine for the next few decades – if any of you, like me, have a strong creative bent and you enjoy the outdoors, you enjoy conservation, you like working with plants and soil – then landscape architecture could be the thing for you.”

Be part of the conversation

Share your own #WomeninWellies story or use the hashtag to ask a question about future career opportunities or for advice on how to get into the world of rural.