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14 Jul 2022

All roads lead to ... Scotland

Written by Edoardo Bedin
A selfie-style photo of a young man wearing a baseball cap standing in front of a grand stately home. Two other young adults stand just behind him, smiling.
Edoardo and friends at Haddo House in Aberdeenshire
After walking 500 miles around Scotland to raise much-needed funds for the Trust during the height of the pandemic, Edoardo moved to England. But he has returned! Here, he tells his story of why he is so inspired to work for the National Trust for Scotland.

During July and August 2020, whilst I was on furlough, I decided to walk 500 miles across Scotland and back, as part of the Save our Scotland appeal. I had many days and nights to think about why I was doing all of this, and I realised that a huge part was the people. People are everything. I met amazing people on my adventure and even more amazing colleagues and friends supported me. I wish I could name everyone, but even a book would not be enough!

My walk finished at Haddo House, where I used to be Visitor Services Supervisor. Libby, David, Alison and Iona in the Haddo staff team; Haddo volunteers Ray (who sadly passed away this year), Darija and Charlotte; local Rotarians Gary and Eleanor; and the lovely Lady Aberdeen all went to great lengths to support and encourage me. I’d also like to give a special mention to Rotarian Mike (who has also since passed away) – he rescued me from the torrential rain after I left House of the Binns!

Shortly after my walk finished, I accepted a new role in England. However, I have recently taken the opportunity to re-join the National Trust for Scotland at a new property and in a new role: Visitor Services Supervisor (Wedding & Functions) at Pollok House.

Why did I decide to move to Glasgow? It was very hard to leave Aberdeenshire, but I love to explore new places and so I try to pick jobs where I have never lived before. I am also keen to broaden my work experience so I can become a greater asset to our conservation charity. And whilst in Essex, I honestly missed going to work knowing that what I do will preserve our heritage for present and future generations. There is nothing more rewarding than that feeling at the end of the day, when you leave your property, having been part of something much bigger than us – working for things that really matter, and for the Love of Scotland (I do love our strapline!).

The parterre garden at Pollok House, seen from the high bank behind it. The patterns created by the box hedging can be clearly seen. Small, brightly coloured bedding plants grow in between the hedges. There is a tall stone garden wall to the right.
Pollok House in Glasgow

Recently, I was speaking with our gardeners, Martin and Sean, about an upcoming marquee wedding. They were delighted that I was taking a genuine interest in how to mitigate the negative impact of marquees on grass as well as the issue of suppliers parking on the side lawn. They shared how, in previous jobs, their concerns had been side-lined because gardens did not bring any direct income. I gladly shared my personal view that ‘appearance is essence’. A beautiful, well-maintained garden and a lush green lawn are extremely useful tools to promote a wedding at Pollok House.

“At the Trust, built heritage, natural heritage and intangible heritage are all limbs, mind and soul of the same body. They all need to be looked after in order for everything to flourish.”
Edoardo Bedin
A smiling young man wearing a navy peaked cap takes a selfie! In the background are three construction workers wearing high-vis clothing, standing by a large hole and a digger. They all smile and wave at the camera.

So, together the gardeners and I explored ways to protect the lawn. By working collaboratively and being open-minded, we agreed upon a solution that will save hours of work and precious funds, which can then be channelled into our beautiful parterre garden. I can assure you (without bias!) that once it’s in full bloom, it’s well worth a visit. It’s also an amazing selling point for my wedding couples.

My story is just one example of the fact that there are many routes into Scottish heritage. Its beauty is there for all to enjoy, and I’m delighted to support one of the Trust’s main objectives in promoting the difference it can make to people’s lives.

Find out more about the Trust’s new ten-year strategy: Nature, Beauty & Heritage for Everyone.

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