SCOTLAND'S only professional hot air balloon pilot hopes to float the idea of independence over England.

Graeme Houston wants to raise enough money for a Yes-branded hot air balloon to take his political convictions to a wider audience.

If he can raise the £31,000 needed for a blue-and-white balloon, he plans to fly it across Scotland - and London.

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He said: "I believe flying a Yes balloon over key Scottish towns, cities and landmarks will produce fantastic exposure and photos that can be used in Yes marketing.

"Social Media would light up with people taking photos and sharing. I am the only Scottish professional balloon pilot and I want to use that to help the campaign. Even over London - why not?"

Houston, from West Linton, normally works overseas, but is so passionate about independence he has remained in Scotland this year.

His idea for a Yes balloon became popular on social media so he decided to pursue it.

The 48-year-old wants to fly his balloon over as many landmarks as possible, from Edinburgh and Stirling castles to Glasgow city centre and the Wallace Monument.

Houston said: "I mocked up some pictures of a Yes balloon and stuck them up on Facebook. The next thing I knew people were saying I should crowdfund to try and get the idea off the ground.

"People began to donate almost straight away, which is wonderful, but we need more support. With more backing I can do this. I need £31,000 for the balloon in the picture but even £20,000 would do."

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