Colin from Strathaven Airfield is sharing how he airfield has developed since the first lockdown:
“My family bought Strathaven Airfield about 15 years ago, and moved the operations into a not-for-profit company five years ago.
Sustainability was the key. How do we ensure a future for an airfield we had put so much time and effort into, now our children had flown the nest?
Customer service was also an issue. Who knows better than your customers? So we wanted them to get more involved.
And we wanted to embed the airfield in the community - we want people to see it as a community resource, rather than a business focussed on profits.
Listening is a great way of learning. During the first Covid lockdown, one of our members who was told to shield, said he would go crazy if he stayed in his house for months. "I'm nervous about going to the park and there is so much space at the airfield. Can I come up and walk there?" he asked.
So we launched out "Road to Nowhere", our half-build perimeter track, and put a bench and picnic table at the end of it. It has amazed us just how many people now use it!
We now realise even more that the airfield is not just for flying - it's an amazing space which can be used by so many more people than just pilots.
A recent Facebook post asking for ideas has come up with a few - a community orchard, an intimate open-air music amphitheatre, wheelchair-accessible picnic tables, hangar homes, more wildflowers, a cafe.
There's a limit to what we as individuals can achieve. By broadening a sense of belonging, we hope that the airfield can be a catalyst for people's ideas. Or for people who just want to help.
We can provide the space, provide opportunities, perhaps even help provide finance.
For people with ideas, at Strathaven Airfield, the sky's the limit.”