Last week, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Met office honoured some unsung heroes, as Scotland’s longest serving rainfall observers were presented with awards at a ceremony in Glasgow.
The event hosted at the city’s Royal Concert Hall saw 14 volunteers, from across the country, recognised for their long term contributions to data collection for the national rainfall archive.
The volunteers measure rainfall on a daily basis and send the accumulated figures to SEPA to be included in its database and the Met Office rainfall archive.
The observers have clocked up an impressive 509 years service between them!
Among those honoured included Peter Kennedy who has recorded rainfall at the Doonholm gauge in Alloway, Ayrshire, for 37 years, carrying on a family tradition which began back in 1898 – over 114 years ago. Also picking up awards were Jim and Susan MacColl, of Dunlop in Ayrshire, who have recorded rainfall in memory of Mrs MacColl’s late brother, Alasdair, a trained meteorologist and dedicated rainfall observer.
James Curran, SEPA Chief Executive, said: “The information the observers collect is crucial to a number of nationwide services and the awards are a way of showing our appreciation to the longest serving observers. Some have carried out their duties for nearly half a century and we hope they continue to show the same enthusiasm in the service they provide.”
Christine Duffy, Rainfall Data Manager of the Met Office, said: “The Met Office and SEPA work closely together throughout the year to help minimise the risk that weather and flooding can bring. The rainfall observers provide an invaluable service to both ourselves and SEPA and this is a fantastic event to recognise their commitment and dedication.”
For more information on becoming a rainfall observer, please visit the SEPA website.