FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

2002 Ivor Randles, Oldham - FSC Malham Tarn

I was working at the time with adults with learning disabilities and the FSC had determined to ensure that its facilities were accessible to all.

The Field Studies Council is a pragmatic oganisation with a clear set of interests and eager to welcome all who share those interests, regardless of any individual's background. Of course, it's easy to assume a lack of exclusivity but the organisation - notably through Steve Tilling - was willing to test that.

I was working with a woman who happened to have learning disabilities but who spent her weekends rambling, dry stone walling, birdwatching and much else with her sister, so she, the sister and I joined the 'Fungal Fun' course at Malham Tarn.

If you've attended this course you'll know that the title is exactly right, a fantastic balance of learning, experimentation and eating: i.e. learning where to find edible fungi, the Latin names, several sortees through the Yorkshire countryside to identify and collect the fungi and then back to base to cook and eat them, with appropriate accompaniment and wine.
The novelty of one of the attendees having learning disabilites lasted at least two hours, after that it was what the FSC is all about - getting together to understand and love our natural surroundings through the medium of warm company and dirty fingernails.