Madison Moher grew up in Ontario, Canada, near the city of Kawartha Lakes which is well known for its waterways and woodlands. A childhood spent exploring these rich surroundings inspired her to work in outdoor and environmental education. She’s now studying for her Masters degree in Outdoor Education at Edinburgh University.
We caught up with Madison after she completed her placement with FCCT.
Why did you choose to study in Scotland?
I was impressed that Scotland has a Learning for Sustainability curriculum, which is not the case in Canada. I saw opportunities to connect with the outdoors in more meaningful ways that explored beyond technical skills courses.
And Fife Coast and Countryside Trust?
I could see there was a breadth of valuable information out there in general, associated with planning and implementing outdoor education. However, there was not as much insight on how resources are secured to make them happen. So, I wanted to know more about what happens behind the scenes and thought FCCT would be a good place to go.
From my first day it was evident the team is made up of a community of individuals with diverse knowledge and expertise. And who have come together with a common goal: to care for the environment and find balance between people and the natural world.
What did you do at FCCT?
I observed and helped various teams and saw what daily roles and routines look like from different angles. I helped the Education Team with the Branching Out programme, helping to support wellbeing for people in the community.
I helped the Fife Tree Warden scheme with tree planting initiatives. With the Conservation Team I took part in environmental education programs doing wetland management with young people, bird surveying and seagrass planting. And I joined beach and trail patrols with the Access and Recreation Team.
What did you learn?
One of the big things I learned is the value in relationships. The entire FCCT team are a community who lean on each other for support, resources and knowledge. I can see that the Trust prioritises working with the communities to implement projects that help to create a healthier environment. By addressing local needs, the Trust is successful in forming positive relationships, for example with land stakeholders, that foster meaningful and impactful change.
What does the future hold for you?
I hope to find ways to make outdoor and environmental education more accessible to diverse people, so they have equal access to natural spaces on a global scale. With this in mind, I want to continue to learn about all of the innovative work that Scotland has done to integrate outdoor education into school systems.
Madison is pictured (above left) with Rebecca Logsdon, Fife Community Tree Planting Officer