In something of a first for us, we were invited by The Fife Coast & Countryside Trust to demonstrate some of the techniques that we commonly use in creating our range of products for retailers*.

We have been so busy recently that this is the first occasion on which we’ve had chance to write a post about not only the workshop (which was held at The Harbourmaster’s House on 27 November) but also about the valuable work that the Trust undertakes.

Preserving our natural heritage is an intensive labour of love for the people of Scotland.  The current state of the economy may be placing unusual pressures on how we might use our landscape commercially but the wildlife we have here affords us many more opportunities than simply building more eyesores.

The Fife Coast & Countryside Trust is tasked with managing more than 70 sites across Fife on behalf of the council and you can see part of their work in the management of the Fife Coastal Path.  Compare what we have here with the midden across the Forth that is Edinburgh’s sea front.  The Trust is proof that if you take responsibility for land management, you enhance the opportunities for the people living and working in the landscape and not just for the benefit of the wildlife but this costs money.

Oi! Panda may be a business but we’re part of a community and so we were more than happy to play the role of guinea pigs and lead the first workshop. We chose to demonstrate a number of folding and cutting techniques which would give attendees the confidence and ability to make Christmas cards, decorations and baubles from paper.  The emphasis was on re-using and upcycling papers such as old music scores, wrapping paper and so on.  We’ll be blogging these demonstrations later.

Feedback from participants was fantastic and, more important, very positive.  We learned a lot ourselves and would be happy to give tips to anyone doing something similar (though in essence it comes down to good planning, practice and rehearsal).  More important, we had so much fun doing this that we decided we definitely want to do this again!

There are plans to create a regular program of events in the coming year at The Harbourmaster’s House which give everyone in the community here in Fife an opportunity to support a worthy cause while also learning something of the craft and history of the region? so why not visit The Harbourmaster’s House or get in touch with the Trust to ask about these events.

If you think you’ve got the skill to lead a workshop or to give a talk on an aspect of Fife’s history, why not get in touch with the Trust directly by emailing

One event we’ve heard discussed as a possibility for the events program is a history of brewing in Fife.  Related to that, I wonder if anyone could give a talk on the history of the glassworks that used to be here in Kinghorn, source of the sea glass we find on the beach.

* If you’re interested in getting your hands on a journal made from an old map of Fife, then you’ll find on sale in the cafe at The Harbourmaster’s House.  Sales of journals – and tea, coffee and cake – help support the work of the Trust.


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