Why won’t the chicken have to cross the road in East Lothian?

Howden egg farm chicken Gifford

The chicken underpass will run under the B6368 at Howden Farm.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

An 18 metre tunnel to allow chickens to cross a rural road has been given the go ahead after farmers told councillors they needed extra room to be able to call their eggs free range.

The underpass will allow thousands of birds from an egg farm at Howden, near Gifford, access to fields on either side of the 60mph road to roam.

A meeting of East Lothian Council’s planning committee heard concerns had been raised by the local community about whether the chickens would use the tunnel and around 1,000 extra vehicles being diverted through a small village while the work is carried out.

However councillors heard from representatives of East Lothian Eggs Limited, which is based at Howden Farm the additional roaming land was required by Scottish Government guidelines to allow them to call their eggs free range.

The farm was given planning permission last year to expand its hen sheds to allow it to double its flock from 32,000 chickens to 64,000.

Local ward councillor Donna Collins, herself a farmer, called the application before the committee after local concerns were raised with her, however she said hearing the details of the plans from the farm operators had “alleviated a lot of concerns”.

She told the meeting some residents had been concerned by the size of the underpass, which they seemed to think was much bigger than planned and vehicles ‘whizzing around’ through it.

However she was reassured the tunnels would not be big enough for people to use and were solely for the chickens who the applicants said were ‘pretty self regulating’.

The committee unanimously approved the plans for the tunnel.

Councillor Liz Allan told the meeting: “Finally I know how the chickens cross the road.”

A Different Kind of Coaching – a 21-year Love Affair

Kate Flory Kapow Coaching Midlothian View

Kate Flory has been a coach for 21 years.

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

In 2002 people seemed to think working as a coach had something to do with working on the buses or joining an athletics team. Not a surprise as in 2002 the Life and Leadership Coaching that we know today was still in its infancy. 

In 2007, records from the International Coaching Federation (ICF) published its first Global Coaching Study and found approximately 30,000 registered coaches, compared with their 2023 Study citing 109,200 coaches worldwide.

Back when Kate Flory, founder of Kapow Coaching started coaching in 2002, you had to be either a Life Coach or an Executive Coach with very different agendas and client base. Of course, there was no real social media back then, so promotion was by website, word of mouth and good old internal and external directories.

Kate Flory commented, “back then, as there was so much confusion around what coaching was and wasn’t, I soon found that the best way to explain was to offer a sample coaching session or run live free events, often in local libraries.”

Clients paid for the sessions themselves, as having a Life Coach was almost a secret activity that very few people admitted to having. Compare that with today where six out of ten businesses offer coaching formally, not taking into account informal work-place coaching.

Coaching has come full circle in many was as back in 2002 the majority of coaching was on the phone, often weekly or bi-weekly. Coaches didn’t even know what their clients looked like and hardly ever met them. Then the trend evolved into more face-to-face coaching, that is until Covid came along, with the result that once again, meeting at a distance has become the norm, with or without the use of video.

Kate Flory, reflecting on her 21 years as a professional certified coach shares, “What I love most about coaching is that it looks and feels different every time, both for me and the client. And whether I’m coaching in relative silence, using metaphors, a variety of props, as well as reflective cards, on a bike or in the comfort of your own home.”

Kate points out that from her perspective over the decades the boundaries between coach and therapist have also moved on.  Very few clients talked about their wellbeing, their desire to be more resilient, their levels of stress or anxiety or even their confidence – topics that frequently are brought to my coaching table in 2023.

The ICF only formed in 1995 and were amongst a handful of global coaching associations. By 1999 they had a membership base of around 2,100 but by last year, they had 56,000 members worldwide.

ICF Global Coaching Surveys from the years 2007 and 2023 found some interesting evolution.

In 2007 it was believed there were 30,000 to 50,000 coaches worldwide. Of those, 68.7% were female, with the majority being between the age of 46 and 55.  In the latest ICF study, in 2023, there were 109,200 coaches worldwide, an increase of 54% since the 2019 pandemic.  With one in two coaches (48%) being from Generation X and with female coaches still dominant at 72%.

In 2007 the Global Coaching Study confirmed that “female clients” were focusing more on “non business areas such as Health and Fitness, therapeutic and Alternative Services” compared with their male counterparts who focused more on ”business focus such as Executive of Business / Organisation” coaching.

By 2023 “Leadership was the main area of coaching most frequently mentioned in the survey (34%), followed by executive coaching (17%) and business/organisations (13%).” However, 58% of coaching clients are still female

You can find out more about Kapow Coaching at www.kapowcoaching.com

Midlothian Space entrepreneur to produce documentary on sector’s future

Daniel Smith at World Satellite Business Week 1

Daniel Smith at World Satellite Business Week.

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

A leading space industry specialist has been named as an Associate Producer on the much-anticipated documentary Fortitude, which explores space as an emerging trillion-dollar industry.

Former Penicuik High School pupil Daniel Smith, who has played a founding role in five space companies to date including the world’s largest space-focused strategic communications firm AstroAgency, will support the upcoming movie ‘Fortitude: Forging The Trillion Dollar Space Economy’, providing connections, promotional support and expert insight into the fast-growing market.

The film comes from award-winning documentarian, Torsten Hoffmann, who experienced critical success with his previous film ‘CRYPTOPIA: Bitcoin, Blockchains and the Future of the Internet’ at international film festivals, on Netflix Europe, Amazon Prime and dozens of global broadcasters.

The pair made the announcement during Euroconsult’s World Satellite Business Week in Paris, where an exclusive preview of the documentary was shown to conference delegates. The Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA), Dr. Josef Aschbacher, was amongst the VIP attendees on the night during a preview reception that was sponsored by Viasat, Northrop Grumman’s SpaceLogistics and Exolaunch.

Fortitude is a new documentary about the people, perils and promises behind the emerging space industry. It will uncover the myriad of ways that the global commercial space sector is supporting the way millions of us live our lives back on Earth, with interviews with some of the industry’s leading names.

Torsten Interviews renowned Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson along with astronauts, leading venture capitalists, the UK and European Space Agencies and established technology companies such as Voyager Space, Planet Labs, Viasat and Glasgow-based Spire Global, highlighting how a new space age has dawned, and how it can play a key role in the challenges facing our planet.

When asked about his role as a Producer, Smith explained “When setting up AstroAgency our aim was to promote the benefits of the space sector to new audiences and end-users.

“We now work with more than 50 space organisations, as well as multiple national Space Agencies around the world to deliver those messages. What attracted me to this documentary was how well aligned it is with our mission, together with its commitment to transcending the stereotypes that so often surround space activities.

“By highlighting key challenges for the sector to overcome in order to continue its support of the economy, environment and our everyday lives, in particular the importance of space sustainability – reducing the environmental impact that spaceflight has on Earth’s environments and significantly mitigating debris in orbit – I felt the project was something I wanted to get behind in a personal capacity. Meanwhile AstroAgency will be partnering with sponsors and event hosts to bring this inspiring story to as many people as possible.”

Before the preview event, Smith met with ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher to sign ESA’s Statement for a Responsible Space Sector, which intends to increase the contribution of projects led by the space sector to the sustainable development of society and work towards the socially and environmentally responsible management of all activities within the space sector.

AstroAgency was also one of the first signatories to the UK’s Earth and Space Sustainability Initiative, part of the ‘Astra Carta’ plans announced by HRH King Charles III and UK Science Minister George Freeman.

The European Space Agency (ESA) estimates there are currently around 36,500 pieces of space debris greater than 10cm orbiting our planet, and up to 130 million items up to 1cm in diameter. This issue is exacerbated by the prospect of these items travelling up to 15,000mph – or four miles per second – meaning the smallest fragment can cause significant damage to satellites that support the economy, environment and wider society, as well as current and future space stations that house astronauts in orbit.

Filmmaker Hoffmann explained, “This is one of the key chapters of the documentary and we feature several companies that are already working on solutions to address this problem.

Fortitude is currently in post-production and set for release in 2024. “Until then we are excited to preview parts of the film at further space and science events in the coming months before premiering the full feature in theatres and on streaming platforms” added Hoffmann.