Lowther Hills Ski Club was born and is based in Scotland's highest villages. Our winters in Leadhills and Wanlockhead are cold and often snowy. Village live usually comes to a halt at this time of the year. Lethargy. Hibernation. Until we came along.
Winter provides an opportunity for us, our families, and our friends from all over the south of Scotland to enjoy snowsports on our doorstep. When the highest villages get the white stuff, our fantastic volunteers work even harder and try to make sure everybody makes the most of it.
At 395m (1,295ft), Leadhills Primary is Scotland's highest school. In winter, you can often see parents waiting for their children with skis and snowboards at the school gate, ready to take the wee ones to the nursery slope for some after-school fun. Snowsports are part of village life here in Scotland's highest villages.
Leadhills has a population of over 300 inhabitants and Wanlockhead has around 150. The school has a bit over 30 pupils. Despite the villages' ageing population, 80 members of the local community joined the Ski Club in the 2014/15 season. The majority of them are families with young children. To put things into perspective, this means that approximately 4 out of 5 local children under 16 years old are members of the Ski Club.
In national terms, that possibly gives Lowther Hills the highest ratio of participation in snowsports in any community across Scotland. We practically got all the children of two villages into snowsports, and the youngest generations are now pretty much born with skis on their feet. We are proud to be a example of good practice for Scottish snowsports.
First turns at the nursery slope, Leadhills
"The community side of this is really important, because when you see kids that never skied before... and within a few weeks... they are great on skis! And then you think 'Wow, this is something special, to have this facility here in the south of Scotland. It's just amazing'.”Cath Hoult, Lowther Hills Ski Club
"Last winter, when you saw all the local children that you know, having so much fun on the slopes... That's when you say 'All this work was worth it'."Anjo Abelaira, Lowther Hills Ski Club
Listen to "The Community Importance of Lowther Hills Ski Club". BBC Radio Scotland, October 2015