Rosie, Alex and some of the wonderful people involved in bringing you Wild Rose Escapes
A love of nature, art, craft, fresh air, clean water, beautiful landscapes, people, different cultures and great food have all shaped Rosie’s life. Setting up Wild Rose Escapes and living in Crochail woods has been driven by all of these.
Rosie studied archaeology at the University of Liverpool. Her interest in archaeology, anthropology, people and travel lead to her working as a tour leader, taking groups to beautiful places in Africa and Asia. Her and Alex’s shared interest and knowledge of traditional and prehistoric life has gone beyond just studying the past for its own sake and has come to shape where they live and what they do.
Food has always been a big part of Rosie’s life, be it wild food foraging or rustic home cookery for friends, family and, later on in life, commercially. It was a cooking job which first brought her up to the Highlands. She took a job at Cape Adventure, a remote outdoor activity centre in Sutherland, where Rosie developed a love of the Highlands, especially its amazing landscapes and the many interesting people who inhabit them.
Rosie inherited a flair for artistic creativity from her mum and has always practised a wide range arts and crafts. When she moved up to the Highlands, wool became an obvious medium due to the long traditions of its use in a range of applications and its plentiful availability! A love of plants and nature then lead her to learn more about natural plant dyes.
Rosie studied Therapeutic massage at the Glasgow school of holistic medicine in 2004. She had previously spent several years as a support worker, with people experiencing mental health problems, homelessness and young people with behavioural issues, and wanted to develop a more hands on way of working with people.
A combination of everything Rosie knows and loves, people, cookery, nature, traditional crafts and wild spaces, has been used to create Wild Rose Escapes.
Alex's CV suggests that he might have a low boredom threshold! He read archaeology at Southampton & has worked on projects in southern England, Denmark & the Outer Hebridees. He has trained in traditional building techniques and has reconstructed an iron age roundhouse and restored a 400 year old chalk cob cottage. He has worked on all sorts of farms, in the UK & Australia, including ones producing fruit, organic chicken eggs, game birds, sheep and beef. He has also designed, created and maintained gardens. Alex has worked as a cook everywhere from a vegan restaurant to a roadside grillhouse and from Highland Lodges to music festivals. He has sailed on old wooden boats since childhood; serving as mate on the Joile Brise during Tall Ships races and as bosun on the Mariquitta when it was relaunched (as the largest single masted traditionally rigged vessel afloat) and then raced to overall victory on the Meditteranean classic regatta circuit.
Alex is at his happiest when he's got mud under his nails and saw dust in his hair, subsequently he now spends most of his time somewhere in Crochail Wood, making it a nicer place to live if you're a red squirrel or a native plant or tree. He helps with many different elements of our holidays, but is mostly in charge of looking after baby Thora!
A smiley little lady who enjoys being outside, staring at trees, eating porridge and blowing raspberries. She only really seems to dislike going to bed and getting dressed.
Thora spends much of her day watching Otto the dog & his endlessly waggy tail. Otto spends much of his day watching Thora, waiting for her to drop food on the floor.
Joany is a wonderful yoga teacher and a good friend. She has a great sense of humour, making her classes relaxing and enjoyable! Joany has practised various forms of yoga for 17 years and completed a teacher training programme in Hatha Yoga with the Anahata School in Glasgow 5 years ago.
Joany lives with her daughter, Alex, in Scoraig, one of the few villages on the British mainland that can only be reached by boat or on foot and which the national grid has never brought electricity to!
Julie has worked for the RSPB for many years. She used to build and monitor nesting rafts for Black-throated Divers on a number of remote lochs all over the north-west highlands. She now works on their Capercallie conservation project, providing practical advice for landowners on how to improve habitats to aid their survival.
As well as her bird expertise, she also has an enviable knowledge of wild flowers and other aspects of Highland flora and fauna. She runs wildlife walks for us and is also a great source of advice for making ecological improvements to Crochail Wood.
Lorraine is a fantastic mountain guide. With her gentle encouragement and infectious enthusiasm, she can make walks fun regardless of the weather!
Long distance walking is her greatest passion and, a few years ago, she became one of only a handful of people to climb all the Munros in one continuous journey. She walked between those on the mainland and kayaked out to Skye for the Cullins. It took over 5 months and afterwards she still wanted to carry on!
Andy is a local storyteller, one of the few remaining who tell traditional Highland folk tales. Andy has spent a lifetime collecting stories and has hundreds up his sleeve, which is perfect for a night around the fire.