The great outdoors is something that all Tilhill Forestry staff appreciate in a variety of guises. For the majority of our staff it is their place of work and, thanks to technology, their office, and a source of social interaction. For others, it is a place to relax, enjoy family time, pursue hobbies and interact with nature.
Being able to combine your love of the outdoors with a career in forestry and a passion to help the younger generation is exactly what our Forestry Director, Tim Liddon, chose to do many years ago when his family became involved in The Scottish Tetrathlon and Scottish Target Shooting supporting children to be outdoors and/or active whilst enjoying the thrills of competition.
Ironically, it was a significant hiccup in our country’s environmental history that provided the enabler for Tim and his family to discover and then embed themselves in the Tetrathlon and later the pistol shooting element in particular.
The Foot and Mouth outbreak in 2001 caused a crisis for anyone involved in British agriculture and tourism. In an attempt to control the spread of the disease, animal movements and access to the countryside were restricted. At the time, Tim’s two young daughters were passionate about their activities within their local Pony Club. Not being able to travel or meet up as a Club meant an alternative way of being active was required and so the Tetrathlon was born into the family. The sport involves the disciplines of running, riding, shooting and swimming and is open to Pony Club children.
The sport was so embraced by all the family that it wasn’t long before Tim became Chairman of the Scottish Tetrathlon and his daughters had developed an aptitude for the pistol target shooting element.
In Scotland, around 250 children take part in the Tetrathlon and the competition element can take participants to all parts of the world. Friends have been made in the likes of Russia, USA and Australia.
As a family, it is the organisational and coaching elements of the sport that draws upon family time with weekends and evenings throughout the year dedicated to enabling children across Scotland to enjoy the pleasures that Tim’s family enjoyed while the children were growing up and in which they are still active participants.
Today, Tim is Chairman of the Pistol AMG. He himself dabbles in pistol shooting in due deference to his wife and daughters. His eldest daughter runs the Scottish Tetrathlon training camps and his younger daughter is in the Pistol High Performance squad. She very proudly represented Scotland in April 2018 at the Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Tim has always been involved in competitive sport, from his University days competing for Aberdeen University, whilst studying for his forestry degree and, whilst there, he also participated in Canoe White Water River Racing then ‘graduated’ into orienteering, marathons and mountain marathons, winning the 1991 KIMM long score class in the Arrochar Alps.
His day job in forestry gives him all sorts of transferable generic skill sets, from people skills to being completely aware of the importance of good health and safe practice. All of which results in the realisation of a family’s ambition to get more people into sport and to realise their potential.