Weather watchers showered with awards



In Scotland, it feels like we spend most of our lives looking out of windows at grey skies and rain, yet very few of us win awards for our weather watching efforts, except our volunteer rainfall observers.

Volunteer rainfall observers go that extra mile, and not only watch the weather but venture out in every element, to measure every last drop of rain, that so frequently pours down.

Observers take daily measurements of rainfall accumulations using a rain gauge and submit this data to SEPA on a monthly basis for processing and entry into the Met Office rainfall archive. There are 383 rainfall monitoring sites in Scotland and 146 of these sites are run by voluntary members of the public, also known as ‘rainfall observers’.

Fourteen of the longest serving observers in Scotland were rewarded for their dedication at an awards ceremony in Glasgow in October. The award winning weather watchers have clocked up an impressive 509 years service between them, and some observers have been recording rainfall for nearly half a century.

The event was also used to highlight the importance of rainfall recording ahead of a national drive to recruit new observers, which is due to begin over the coming months. James Curran SEPA chief executive said: “The voluntary rainfall observers provide an invaluable service and it is important we recognise their outstanding commitment and dedication.

The information they collect is crucial to a number of nationwide services and the awards are a way of showing our appreciation to the longest serving observers.

By raising awareness of this service, we are encouraging members of the public to step forward and help us increase our pool of rainfall observers.”

The service our long serving rainfall observers provide is priceless, but we need more people to get involved to help maintain, and expand our network of rainfall observers across the country and continue to collect these vital figures.

If you think you have what it takes to be an award winning weather watcher, contact Grant Kennedy, Senior Specialist Scientist at SEPA, or visit the rainfall observer page on our website.

To see what went on at the awards, take a look at our video produced by our Young Scot Modern Apprentice, Ciaran McGimpsey.

A full list of the award winners is available below:

Name Gauge / Location Length of Service
Peter Kennedy Doonholm Gauge, Alloway, Ayr 37 years (in family for 114 years)
Jim & Susan MacColl Dunlop Gauge, Dunlop, Ayrshire 15 years (in family for 60 years)
Mr Mark Turnbull* Kingsbarn Gauge, St Andrews, Fife 14 years (in family for 54 years)
Rodney Thomson Samuelston Gauge, Haddington, East Lothian 49 years
Mr Robert Archibald Greenshields* Eliock House Gauge, Sanquhar, Dumfriesshire 49 years
Norman Pedgrift StrathallanSchool Gauge, Bridge of Earn, Perthshire 45 years
Ian & Evelyn Crombie* Westhall Gauge, Cupar, Fife 44 years
Alastair Work* Auchinner Gauge, Comrie, Perthshire 43 years
George  Gall Gateside No.2 Gauge, Gateside, Fife 41 years
Bishop Louden Quinloch Farm Gauge, Blanefield, South Ayrshire 39 years
Fay & Robin Halliday Port William Gauge, Port William, Dumfriesshire 37 years
Ian Weir Dungrainach Gauge, Appin, Argyll 35 years
Ian Rose* Cortachy Gauge, Cortachy, Angus 35 years
Mrs Margaret Findlay* Prestonpans Gauge, Prestonpans, East Lothian 26 years


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