Praise pours on rain couple

Fay and Robin Halliday with their award.
Fay and Robin Halliday with their award.

A Port William couple who having been keeping an eye on the rainfall in the village for 37 years were honoured by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Met Office this week.

As two of Scotland‘s longest serving rainfall observers, Robin and Fay Halliday were presented with an award at a ceremony in the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow.

The observers supply data to SEPA on a monthly basis for processing and entry into its database and the national archive.

Fay said: “It started in 1975 when there was a piece in The Galloway Gazette asking for volunteers to record rainfall. As a geography teacher, I was very interested in weather and climate so I volunteered. The gauge was put in and we have recorded the rainfall statistics for SEPA and the Met Office ever since. I have had great enjoyment in doing this and it is interesting to note the average rainfall in Port William has declined over the years!”

James Curran, SEPA chief executive, said: “The voluntary rainfall observers provide an invaluable service and it is important we recognise their outstanding commitment.

“The information is crucial to a number of nationwide services and the awards are a way of showing our appreciation to the longest serving observers.

“By raising awareness of this service, we are encouraging members of the public to step forward and help us increase our pool of rainfall observers.”

Christine Duffy, rainfall data manager of the Met Office, said: “The Met Office and SEPA work closely together throughout the year to help minimise the risk that weather and flooding can bring. The rainfall observers provide an invaluable service to ourselves and SEPA and this is a fantastic event to recognise their dedication.”

For more information on becoming a rainfall observer, contact Grant Kennedy, senior specialist scientist at SEPA, on 01355 574368 or visit the rainfall observer page on our website.