Fisherford Community Association

Meet our management committee:

Chairperson - Claire Wallace

I moved to Fisherford in May 2005 to take up a post as Professor of Sociology at Aberdeen University, for which I had been head-hunted. One of the lures to get me here was that I could keep horses on my own property (the Head of School knew of my interest in riding). I was sent information about "equestrian" properties including Whitefarm Cottage. And I fell for it.

My Austrian husband, Christian Haerpfer, found a post in Political Science also at Aberdeen University. I had previously been working for ten years in Vienna and for five years before that in Prague. I had never lived in Scotland (although my family were originally from Scotland – see name) so everything was new for me, including the education system.

Also new for me was managing a piece of land. Prior to moving here I thought that grass just grew on its own. How naïve! Now I know that it needs to be drained, fertilised, cut, seeded, de-weeded (especially of horse-poisoning herbs which I can now spot), de-pooed, rolled, harrowed and de- mossed. This year I found a new need : 'sub-soiling' to help the water drain away. In fact, grass needs constant cosseting with a year-round programme.

Of course fencing is a continual problem with holes produced by wind, rotting wood, fallen trees and determined animals. We can keep a fire alight for much of the year in our house fuelled just by old or broken fences.

I have been really grateful for advice from local farmers for help with all of these problems. There is nothing like local knowledge to put you straight. Still, it is a constant struggle to stop my fields reverting to primeval bog. I have certainly learned a lot in the last ten years.

I could not actually manage to do all this alongside a full-time job and frequent trips to meetings and conferences in London or abroad if it were not for the help of Teri (Tereza) my lodger since five years. Teri (from the Czech Republic) came to visit first of all during her vacations from University but now lives here full time with her two Welsh ponies. Teri is now an established part of our household and a familiar face at the Fjord Inn, where she works as waitress and general helper.

I am delighted that the Fisherford Community Association has been revived and I have really enjoyed meeting some of the interesting residents of the village. Fisherford is a wonderful place to live and it is becoming even better. I am looking forward to doing my bit to help it along.