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JUNE 2012



The Voice of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre & St Fillans

Special Sundays

at Balquhidder Church!

Some of our younger residents enjoy the first of a new ‘Messy Church’ in Balquhidder. See page 8!

Photo of the Month Friends in the sun by Richard Harris


I make no apology this month for including the three articles which all deal with the subject of “wild camping” and the state of the loch sides when these campers eventually leave. I congratulate Wullie on the way he has drawn lots of people’s attention to the issues and his determination to follow up and make sure all promises of action are eventually fulfilled. Alistair’s article shows what can be done, albeit in a slightly different context, and therefore offers hope for the future. The Rangers article highlights some of the practical issues to be faced but with the same underlying theme that progress is possible. We all recognize the areas need for tourists and other articles show how people do come and do appreciate the beauty and the friendly nature of the “locals”. Hopefully next month will be full of articles about the continuing heatwave forecast to last till October and how we all enjoyed the extra holiday in June. JJ



The following readings were taken at ‘Bramblings’, Auchtubh, Balquhidder for the month of April. Average max. temp. Actual max. temp. Average min. temp. Actual min. temp.

10.95 ºC 14.6 1.42 -3.0

51.7 ºF 58.3 34.5 26.6

Rainfall: 10.2 cms 4 ins Strongest wind gust 29 mph on 21 & 26 April


Lochearnhead in Bloom! By the beginning of June, large troughs of flowering plants will have been positioned outside the Lochearnhead Village Hall. In anticipation of a long, hot and dry summer (!?) a plant watering rota is now being compiled. If anyone would like to get involved, please call Liz and/or leave a message on 01567 830458; although no previous experience is necessary, owners of, or those with access to, a watering can are very welcome!

Letters to the Editor....................................................................... Dear Editor,

As one of the runners who took part in this year’s Stuc a’ Chroin I’d like to thank the organisers and all those who helped out as stewards. Clambering to the top of a Munro and standing there for the day – just so other people can enjoy a good race – is a very generous thing to do. In the last couple of years I have taken part in races all over the UK and recognise how much time and effort goes into making sure everything runs smoothly on the day, and into clearing up afterwards. And for competitors it makes all the difference when the stewards are friendly and offer some cheerful encouragement, especially when every muscle in your legs feels like it’s on fire. What was particularly enjoyable for me in the Stuc a’ Chroin was reaching the top of one harsh and rocky section to be cheered on by my neighbours Dick Revie and Wullie Dalziel. So thanks again to all those who made it possible for the runners to enjoy themselves – and to the Inn for welcoming them before and afterwards. Yours faithfully, Matthew Shelley Balvaig Cottage Strathyre

Dear Editor,

I would like to introduce myself as one of the new Councillors for the Trossachs and Teith ward. Should you wish to raise an issue or problem relating to Stirling Council and the services it provides you can contact me as 01786 443497 07881 310922 Yours sincerely Martin Earl

Dear Editor

I noticed a really funny story recently which set me thinking and I wondered if it might amuse other villagers!! Has anyone else noticed a story in the newspapers about the Hayward Gallery in London putting on an exhibition of ‘Invisible Art’? The concept behind it is the encourage people to use their imagination and highlights the fact that art does not need to be about objects. My first thought was that this was a late April Fool, but I have since seen numerous stories about it and decided to look it up online. And lo and behold, it is true. There will be 50 exhibits ranging from invisible sculptures, blank canvas, a blank piece of paper and a blank space. Now, I like art as much as the next person and I am the first to admit I don’t really understand abstract works and very seldom ‘see’ what others can see from a block of colour (I prefer an art to show me something like a view, flowers or a person,) but it seems to me that if people actually pay to go and see ‘nothing’, then the sky is the limit for similar projects all over the country. I could charge for people to come and see the largest sunflower ever grown, invisible of course, or enter the horticultural show with the biggest marrow ever seen!! I wonder what other people think of this. Just to show that I can, actually, use my imagination, I have sketched a picture of the loch on a really sunny day below in invisible ink. Yours sincerely, Mary McDiarmid (Mrs)

Mary’s ‘sketch’

The Village Store St Fillans

Newsagent • Off-licence • Top-ups Tobacco • Groceries • Gifts Hot Pies to take away Hardware • Oil • Fishing Tackle & Permits Café • Dunfillan Coffee Soup • Toasties • Baking • Packed Lunches OPENING HOURS:

7.30am - 5.30pm Mon-Sat Sunday 8.00am till 4.00pm

01764 685309

The St Fillans Bit I write this with a sore head – no not an alcohol induced one but one derived from an excess of sun. After eight months of Winter we experienced yesterday the rare sight of a cloudless blue sky and a big bright yellow sun over St Fillans, Summer is here (it was May 23rd if you missed it). Meanwhile our most recent village arrival, Drummond Beau is lapping up the sunshine with her mother Chakia. Beau was born on 10 days ago and is, thankfully in fine fettle (nice pun?) which is a relief for Rebecca after the sad demise of her previous foal a couple of years back. Rebecca is now back working full time at The Drummond and she tells me that the roof to the sunroom at the front of the hotel is now fully replaced (I came here 21 years ago and said roof was leaking then and has continued to do so) and that the area will reopen as a take away – which seems a good idea since it is getting harder and harder to get folk to sit down for, in particular, lunches. Tourists simply do not ‘do lunch’ nowadays, they just want a quick bite and they want it cheap, so grabbing a fish supper and eating it on the lochside might well be the way to go, and the facility for villagers to collect a quick supper to save cooking has its attractions. Still at The Drummond, Bert and June Morrison have the hotels approval to site a bench overlooking the loch on the Drummond foreshore in memory of son Dave who passed on last year and is sadly missed. My mention last month of the £75 compensation payment available from SSE for the 48 hour power cut last winter seems to have inspired collective action by villagers who have been refused the payment. As reported, I received my £75 after a couple of emails and, it seems, a few others have received their compensation after putting a bit of pressure on SSE. But many other villagers have had their claims rejected under some complex clause. I gather that a fairly pointed missive has been sent by Johnston to SSE making it clear that we are all on the same power supply so if a few of us qualify for compensation then the rest obviously must. Hard to see how SSE can counter that. The AGM and regular meeting of St Fillans Community Council were held on 9th May and the presence of 21

Drummond Beau and Chakia

villagers in total would be the envy of many CCs. The ongoing work of various village groups in maintaining and enhancing our environment was noted and there were few serious problems to address. The final tidying up of the Genesis development now that Phase 3 is on hold was noted and the CC agreed to contact Marcus to resolve this. All landowners/tenants have agreed to the continuing knotweed eradication process now being carried out by the National Park. There have been 2 thefts of heating oil in the village recently and the seemingly obvious solution of locking your tank might not be the answer, the police advise, since all out tanks nowadays are plastic and easily penetrated by the professional thief. Vigilance and, maybe, the fitting of a simple alarm to the tank (available from the police) are recommended. Approval of the planned Village Play Park has been given by Lady Jane of Drummond Estates and the working party is now preparing detailed costing with a view to obtaining funding. As previously reported, the 3 Day Festive Weekend has now been cancelled, which I’m not alone in being saddened by – an event like this takes hard work and years to establish as part of village life and, in my opinion, should not just be abandoned. If the organization is becoming difficult surely there are younger folk ready to take over? The event is now to become a one day village BBQ on Saturday August 11th with the old favourites of daft games, bouncy toys etc. (Continued overleaf) The marquee will be erected in case of rain. 3

(Continued from previous page) Delighted to report that

on the following weekend (Sunday 19th August) Nigel Ogden of BBC fame – The Organist Entertains – will be performing again in Dundurn Church. His previous visit was a really enjoyable evening – I was not that keen to go along but turned out to support the event and had a great time. Nigel plays a wide variety of popular show tunes, light classics etc. and a camera focused on the organ keyboard transmits through a large screen and it is really astonishing to watch his hands creating such rousing music. Tickets cost £12 a head and include wine and light refreshments during the interval – get them from Linda Bennett on 01764 685369 or the Church Office on 01764 679184. You really should not miss this – it is a cracking evening’s entertainment which even a philistine like me has in the diary already. Regular walkers in the fields behind The Drummond will have seen the mess left by kids playing football there – juice bottles, crisp packets etc. Without much hope of success my better half contacted PKC to see if they might put a waste bin at the playing field (and empty it). The next day a really helpful man from PKC phoned (Kenny Millar), I explained the problem and emailed him a photo of the mess. Within seven days PKC laid a wee concrete base and erected a lovely bin. So praise indeed for our local council and Kenny. And, better still, the kids appear to be using the bin! Mary reports from The Four Seasons a pretty busy time despite the horrendous weather over the past two months. A highlight was a party of 40 who celebrated one of their party’s members climbing his final Munro (that’s number 284!!). Mary wonders if anyone local has climbed all the Munros – in which case a meal at the hotel with complimentary bubbly would be an ideal way to mark the achievement. If you have not been climbing hills then you can still get a free glass of sparkly if you have Sunday Lunch to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – book now! Alternatively you could pop in to the Coffee Morning in aid of Sandison Hall maintenance funds on Saturday 30th June. Bob Livermore will be selling plants and there will be a ‘home produce stall’. Contact Sally on 685204 if you would like to have a stall selling whatever for hall funds. Last, but far from least, over to Sophie. John Murray

Sophie’s Bit


We have got some bad news this month. Our Bearded Dragon, Taz, has died. We all feel quite sad because he was an interesting, fun little Lizard – and he was part of our family. The good thing about this month is that after my exams are over my year will all get to go to Kindrogan Outdoor Centre for a week! We were shown pictures on the computer, it looks amazing. I hope the weather will be warmer. 4



The wonderful new bin; it really works!

My Aunt Neena is doing some really interesting work that helps scientists find out about the effect of climate on plants. A group of volunteers including my Aunt go to the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh every weekno matter what the weather – to look at and report on over 100 rhododendrons. They note when the flowers and leaves appear and when the seed pods open. This is called phenology – the study of recurring seasonal events like flowering, leaf fall, animal and bird migration. The really important thing about phenology is that over many years it can help us find out about the impact of global warming. Lots of people do a bit of phenology without realizing it if they record yearly events like the first snowdrops. I wonder if anyone in our area does this! (I’ll start recording my first dose of sunburn every year – JM) That’s all from me!

Sophie X X x

All Your DIY Needs All General Repairs Joinery, Laminate Flooring and tiling Doors and Locks Painting and Decorating No job too small! Phil Mather

07798946424 01567830396

Strathyre News

There has been a huge response to my article in last month’s Villagers outlining the situation on the lochside just now. I have included a letter (left) which I received through Bruce Crawford’s office from Chief Inspector Findlater who has very kindly given permission to have it included in my updated report. I would ask everyone to read this letter and if you have any thoughts on its contents that you may disagree with and would like to comment on, please do so, the link is at the bottom of the page, I’m sure the Inspector would welcome any comments as he sincerely would like this issue resolved, as would all of us. I also received the following e-mail from Provost Fergus Wood: Wullie, Pictures speak a thousand words every time! You may know my views, as expressed to the National Park, that the East Loch Lomond Byelaws should be applied throughout the National Park. As you will know, there are measures being planned to improve the Five Lochs (including Loch Lubnaig) situation by the NP but I believe they have to be backed by legislation. This would also improve the situation on Loch Earn. As a lochside farmer myself, I am appalled by the attitude of some folk - education would not be the solution for them! Regards Fergus Wood Since the article I have heard countless stories from the community regarding the issues I raised and some of them are just mind numbing! Can I just remind everyone that it is imperative that you contact the police when you see an incident that you feel should be reported, no matter how trivial it may seem, let the police decide if action should be taken. If no one reports any issues then obviously the police cannot act and the more complaints received the more likelihood that action will be taken. It is in everyone’s interest to work with the police and the park rangers if this situation is to be resolved. Please do not go down the route of thinking “what’s the point of complaining, nothing gets done”. Every complaint is logged and if a picture can be built up it can only be in our interest!! The police and the rangers are there to help so let’s work with them. I have been informed that Loch Lubnaig is now a priority issue with the police and the NP and they are working together with the land owners to find a solution to the ongoing problems and are aiming to introduce the same bylaws as now exists in East Loch Lomond, however this is a lengthy process and patience is the order of the day. We can, however, make life miserable for the offenders by simply reporting them and hope that eventually they will lose interest in visiting this beautiful area, but that again will take time! Wullie D I have been approached by a number of local residents with regards to the damaged wall on the A84 which has been there for quite some time now. I spoke to Transerv as I thought it may lie in their hands as it was at the road side but they have informed me that as far as they can see, it is out with their boundary area and suggested that the repair would lie with the landowner. After a few phone calls I have established that the land owner is Cambusmore Estates and I had a conversation with the owner Mike who was very helpful. While he accepts that they own the land he is awaiting a report back from his lawyer to confirm if they are responsible for both sides of the wall and he will keep me updated on this issue. He has said that now I have spoken to him he will now prioritise this with a view to repairs being done ASAP once total ownership has been identified ,but as usual, this will take time, but it is in hand. Can I just say thank you to Mike for his help in this. We also had a chat regarding wild camping and illegal fishing in the area and he has asked me to pass on the name and phone number of the bailiff who is responsible for the Lubnaig and has indicated that he would welcome any information of illegal activates on the loch or river. His name is Bill Cunningham and he can be contacted on ----- 07887835549 -- Bill is our only working bailiff and he covers a huge area, as far as Dumbarton , but he does have other volunteers to help him so if you see anyone that you thing is breaking the rules ,please give him a call and he can then decide if he needs to deal with it or if it is a police matter. You may remember a few editions ago I was having a moan about the state of the Village in general and mentioned the now dilapidated and over grown sign among the trees at the road side at Immervoulin Caravan Park. Well I have now been reliably assured, after a few phone calls, that this sign will now be removed by Scotland transerve. I would like to thank Mr McDonald for all his help in this and will keep a close eye on it to see if it is removed. Wullie D


B ALQUHIDDER S UMMER M USIC Our Season for 2012 starts

Sunday 15 July at 7pm

Balquhidder Church with

Athenaeum Winds from the Glasgow Conservatoire With the departure of Alan Clarke from Balquhidder, the popular summer concerts he presided over were under threat. The immediate danger was averted at the last moment when a volunteer was found to fill the void, but the future beyond 2012 is by no means assured. In these times of cuts and tales of economic woe, the arts are all too easily seen as a luxury to be dispensed with. Far and away the best method of ensuring that future seasons continue to happen is by maintaining the good audience numbers Summer Music used to be able to trump up in the past. Your presence in the church at Balquhidder is vital! On six consecutive Sundays, starting 15 July 2012, Balquhidder will once KYIV Classic Accordion again host the annual evening concerts. This is the 27th season for this series of classical chamber music concerts, held in Balquhidder Kirk, overlooking Rob This concert is a regular one at St Mary’s. The two Russian accordionists are real virtuosos Roy’s grave. The individual programmes are varied, and all concerts feature very and really do need to be heard! You simply will different combination of instrumentalists. We start out with a wind quintet, not believe the sound that they can produce – there is a piano and violin duo, an evening of songs for tenor and guitar, a string sometimes sounding like a full orchestra. trio, a baroque duo and we end the series with a violinist who manages to make The entire proceeds will go to their charity, his violin sound like a full orchestra. The vast majority of the players are young, the Hippokrat society, which is entirely devoted professional Scottish musicians at the start of their career. For them, it is an to the support of the victims of the Chernobyl opportunity to play in public, and for the public it is an opportunity to hear high nuclear accident. quality music making, live, in a tranquil rural setting unrivalled by any regular commercial concert venue. All efforts are made to keep the prices BALQUHIDDER SUMMER MUSIC as low as possible to make these concerts 2012 accessible to as large an audience as we can manage. Under 15s can attend for Sunday 15 July free. Normal ticket price is £8, concessions Athenaeum Winds (wind quintet) £7. Sets of 6 are available at £36 from Five young wind players from the Glasgow 3V Art & Crafts Conservatoire the organisation, via the web-site www. will have their last meeting That Sunday 22 July (for a while!) on Wed May30th. site is also open for those looking for full Sutherland Duo (violin, piano) details of the individual concerts. Further It’s just a break for the summer Harriet Mackenzie and Christina Lawrie will enquiries should be directed at: we’ll start up again on play a varied programme. Balquhidder Summer Music Wed. Sept 5th. Sunday 29 July c/o Wouter van Doorn See you then! Songs through the Ages (tenor, guitar) Breadalbane House Together with his guitarist partner Ian Watt, Main Street Stephen Chambers will bring us songs from Killin, FK21 8UT Dowland via Schubert to Britten and Seiber. 01567 820134 email: Sunday 5 August We will eagerly welcome patrons wishing to sponsor us beyond regular ticket prices every year their donations help substantially in keeping Balquhidder Summer Music alive. Our sincere thanks go out to them! We hope to see you at as many of our concerts as you can manage. All events take place at Balquhidder Church at 7pm.There is adequate parking around the church. And don’t forget: the Olympics can be recorded; Balquhidder Summer Music can only be experienced live!


Afton String Trio (violin, viola, cello) A folk-song inspired concert evening.

Sunday 12 August

The Grand Tour (flute/recorder, harpsichord) After a long absence, baroque music returns to Balquhidder!

Sunday 19 August

Violin Variations (violin and ...) Ian Peaston is a veritable one-man band. Come and be amazed!

The Response... The article from my colleague on The Villagers in last months issue has rightly rattled quite a few perches, and I feel that as a local Community Councillor, representing the local area on the 5-Lochs Management Group, that it deserves a fulsome reply. A couple of weeks ago I took a visit with Park Rangers to East Loch Lomond. The first thing I noted upon leaving Drymen was the warning sign advising all those travelling the road to Rowardennan that this was a ‘no drinking area and that no parking on grass verges and gateways and that no ‘wild camping’ was allowed between March and October’. As we started our tour I was utterly astonished at the differences between what is currently happening around our own Lochs and this particular side of Loch Lomond. We were taken to the 3 specific parking and camping areas – Milarrochy, Sallochy Bay and Rowardennan. Milarrochy is run by the National Park, whilst the other two areas are owned and operated by the Forestry Commission. So, let’s consider first of all the major differences as things stand. All these parking areas have barriers and no caravans are allowed. A limited number of mobile homes is permitted – 2 per parking area – on a first come first served basis. Boat launching is permitted at Milarrochy and again is controlled by the Park Rangers who oversee the use of this area. Each evening the barriers to the parking areas are closed, so that those who have paid to camp in the designated areas are okay to leave their cars in the designated bays, whilst other ‘day trippers’ must have cleared the parking areas by the identified times. All these areas have toilet facilities. At busy times, when the car parks are full, then again the barriers are closed and, because the road is a clearway, vehicles have to keep moving on. What this means is that should emergency vehicles have any requirement to travel this road then they can do so without having to negotiate illegally parked vans and cars. The camping areas are a revelation. Again the public has to pay a small charge for each nights camping which takes place in prescribed areas. At Sallochy Bay there are two areas. One being a cleared grassy area, which is fenced, whilst the other to the south of this area has a number of ‘pods’ – cleared areas in the forest where people again pay to camp. Each pod will have a concreted area where open fires are permitted and firewood can be purchased on-site rather than trees being hacked down, etc. and what has now happened is that families have returned to make use of the camping areas and the ‘lout’ element have moved on to areas around our own 5-Lochs. The by-laws have certainly had an effect. In my opinion there is one major difference to that of our own area and that is that the road from Drymen out to Rowardennan is one long cul-

Loch Lomond - looking beautiful

de-sac, whereas of course we’ve major roads such as the A84 and A85 to contend with. So, what of the future for our own area? The latest meeting of the 5-Lochs Management Group took place in Callander on 9th May. Discussions have been ongoing over many months and as you can imagine the National Park team have been meeting with all sorts of different organisations – Police, Local Authorities, SEPA, SNH, Landowners and Community Councils amongst others, all of whom have a particular interest in how things should be developed so that the one primary objective is reached – of returning our loch sides to the way that we would all want them to be, places were we and visitors alike can visit to enjoy the beauty and peace and quiet of our surroundings. At the moment the Park has outlined 19 areas for ‘development’. So what do I mean by ‘development’? Take the parking area alongside Loch Lubnaig to which Wullie referred to as an example. The area will be landscaped and toilets will be built and barriers will be placed across the entrance which will be patrolled by Park Rangers or perhaps by someone who – for want of a better term – has taken on the franchise of developing a small café style business at that location. The only vehicles permitted will be cars and motorcycles and just a couple of motorhomes that will be parked in specific bays. No caravans!! Camping will be on the narrow strip of land between the road and the loch to the north of the parking area and again only a designated number of tents will be allowed and wood for burning will be supplied. Fires will again be only permitted in the concreted areas. Indiscriminate roadside parking and camping will become a thing of the past. The difficulties of say travelling the South Loch Earn road should also become a thing of the past because either you will be parked in identified car parks or you will be moved on.

Photo by Alistair Barclay

Of course the biggest bugbear to me is Litter. The local authorities have in my opinion a lot to answer for. Not just in these parking areas where the littering is rampant, but up and down all our roads be they the main trunk roads or the narrower roads such as Balquhidder Glen. Perth & Kinross Continued on page 11

Various ‘befores’ and ‘afters’


Church News BalquhiĐĐer

A Note from

St Angus’s Church... DATES FOR YOUR DIARY...

Reg. Charity No. SC012316

Christian Aid Week`s retiral collections raised £50.00 towards the vital work being done throughout the world by this charity. We thank all who contributed to this. Messy Church was inaugurated here on 20th May. It promises to do well if its first programme as outlined to me is anything to go by. We emphasise that on the 3rd Sunday in the month, Messy Church is at with the main service at 12.00 noon as usual. Jean Edwards

Messy Church kicks off! When you think of Sunday morning, does it involve family time, bacon rolls and fresh coffee ….? The first Messy Church, held this month, kicked off with just that. Mums and Dads had time to catch up and young people of all ages began by drawing themselves with their families, which we hope to build and add to as time goes on. Music, thanks to Vera Stewart on piano and Callum Convoy on bodhran, was a really fun session with the little ones joining in enthusiastically on percussion. The morning’s focus was on Daniel, a significant biblical figure who sets a fine example about standing up for yourself and what you believe in. Then came the messy bit as we enjoyed designing and making lion masks together. There was a lovely relaxed and fun atmosphere, where we enjoyed hanging out together, chatting and also learning a little bit about Daniel, which we could reflect on further at home if we wanted to. We plan to hold Messy Church on the third Sunday of every month and the format, we hope, will evolve each month. We welcome all ages for a range of activities: both indoor, outdoor and further afield. In June, the plan is for some of the older ones, the ‘Youth’ as opposed to ‘little ones’ to go off walking after coffee/fresh juice and rolls, returning for a couple of rousing songs with the rest of the Messy gang.

At Balquhidder!

Birth Announcement

Singing is Good for You! Choir Occasional will have its last meet on 28 June before having a summer break during July and August. All welcome! See back page for details.

Please come and join us for our



11AM – 3PM


Refreshments supplied by the Watersports Centre

g various in and outdoor competitions: stone skimming, paper plane flying (patterns supplied to make your own) g Lovely home bakes g Cards and books, including our unique recipe book g Tabletop sale enquire at 01764 655389 (£10 a table) g Children’s crafts and play corner g Fun and hospitality g Raffle Free entry. Small charges to enter the competitions!


On Sunday JUNE we are having a


SONGS of PRAISE at 6.30pm in the Church

so come along and sing some of the most popular hymns.

Born 20 May to Abbey and Alcuin Arkotxa of Balquhidder - a little girl! A sister - Esti Eua Arkotxa Dougall - for Ossian and Magnus. Congratulations! 8

We look forward to seeing you at both these events.

Fruit • Veg • Jams • Preserves • Gifts

5 minutes with...

Rusty McD says “Sorry there’s no column this month. I’m having a break - but see you (and Jane Convoy’s ponies) in July!”

Pin-Feathers* by Old Nyati

*Once in demand by Victorian miniaturists, the tiny pin-feather comes from the leading edge of a woodcock’s wing and only two such feathers occur on each bird (one on each wing). This month Old Nyati points out the negative aspect of those paper lanterns we so love to send up into space...

Death in the Long Grass... We could be talking about ‘The man-eaters of Tsavo’ or some other adventure in Darkest Africa. But no, not this time. Just take a moment to look at the photos. What goes up, must come down... somewhere... Those flying Chinese lanterns are really pretty and fun to watch, floating away into the night sky on someone’s birthday or other occasion. But - wait a minute, what has that got to do with death? This is a happy occasion isn’t it? Well, yes, but it could be a thoughtless one too. Some of these contraptions can be lethal; the remains of the lantern in the photo look harmless enough - just bits of tissue paper and matchstick wood - but what about those thin bits of wire? Now, a cow does not chew what it eats at first go; being a ruminant it swallows food straight down and then regurgitates and chews its ‘cud’ at leisure. So those little bits of wire are now in the cow’s stomach - and do not always come back up to be ‘cudded’. If they did, it would seem to the cow just like a piece of tough grass, down it would go and pass on into the second stomach where it would start to be compressed by the digestive process. This is when the trouble starts. The wire will usually pierce the stomach wall at this stage. What a journey it has had by now - from China to the poor cows ‘tum’. So what happens next? The farmer does not know, yet, but the cow will be feeling a bit ‘off ’... but peritonitis will be setting in, with terminal consequences. If the farmer notices any symptoms in time, the vet would be able to operate and remove what would certainly be a ‘foreign body’. How far is it from China to Balquhidder? The vet’s bill for this would be £300-£400, plus postoperative care. Mostly the condition would not become apparent soon enough, and the animal would be found dead or would have to be put down. Now that is a loss of around £1000 depending on the age of the animal. ‘Death in the long grass’ indeed! Those lanterns are nice for a special occasion but please choose those that have absolutely NO WIRE in them, or you could be the killer. OLD NYATI

Drs Strang & Scott and Drs Mathewson & Gibson Community Nurses The surgeries and community nurses are taking part in a training programme. This is to meet the educational and training needs of all members of the practice and nursing team. The next training afternoon will be on: Tuesday 19th June 2012 Thursday 20th September 2012 Both practices and community nurse clinic will close at 12 noon. Emergency cover will be provided by NHS24 for nursing and GPs. In the event of an emergency, please telephone 08454 242424. On that afternoon, please do not contact the surgeries for repeat prescriptions or for appointments.

These two pictures show remains of lanterns that were found in a field (here in Balquhidder)- a field that will be cut for hay or silage later in the year. These same remains would be picked up in the long cut grass by the baler and eventually fed to the cattle. It really doesn’t bear thinking about... Below: This tragic letter from Horse & Hounds is not for the faint-hearted:

Unnoticed Killer Sir – My lovely 12-year-old thoroughbred gelding became unwell last summer with various skin complaints, and started having difficulty keeping weight on. His performance dropped and he never seemed to pick up or achieve to the same level. Despite being wormed and well fed. Finally in March he took a turn for the worse and began to lose weight rapidly. He ground his teeth, kicked at his belly, showed mild signs of colic and became listless. He was admitted to the equine hospital. No stomach ulcers were found and no obvious cause of colic. He still ate and passed faeces. His condition became dramatically worse, in less than two weeks he became a walking skeleton and his immune system was in overdrive. He was put down and a post mortem conducted. He had suffered extensive internal damage over a prolonged period and the cause was a length of wire. It was identified as part of a sky lantern. No horse or any other animal deserves to suffer as he did. Please sign the e-petition ( ht tp : / / e p e t it i on s . d i re c t . g ov. u k / petitions/13051), and remember what was a beautiful light in the sky can quickly become an unnoticed killer in your hay or haylage.

Sally-Ann Spence Swindon, Wiltshire


Race Night Puts Village Hall Funds In Stable Position

Race night in Lochearnhead was not all horseplay. The serious sum of £1086.62 was raised within hours. The event got off to a galloping start as punters entered into the spirit (and beer) before queuing up to place bets with their favourite bookie. One enthusiast backed every horse in every race. When questioned about his strategy he replied, “I just love to be the first to jump up and shout I’VE WON!” Each race activated frenzied screams and hand waving. Choruses of The Lone Ranger, Champion the Wonder Horse and other equestrian theme tunes were flung in for good measure. Shug was spotted doing a celebration polka, kicking his heels up good style as the night livened up. Hats off to the lovely ladies who arrived Some of the dazzling in caps and chapeaux which would have graced Ascot. Prize for the best creations... millinery design went to odds on favourite Krysia Binnie, who dazzled everyone with her battery operated purple feather nest creation, featuring cute bunnies and flashing turquoise stars. A huge thank you goes to local businesses for their generous sponsorship and boozy prize donations and to locals who paid big sums to buy horses in the auction. That’s not the final hurdle though! Chairman George squeezed a few more gold coins out of us after positioning a bottle of whisky on the floor, enticing studs and fillies to slide any number of pounds - nearest to win. The night would not have been possible without the hall jockeys setting up, serving drinks, handling betting slips, calculating and chalking up the odds and paying out. And spare a thought for the volunteer hands. They had to muck out the stable long after the last chequered flag and a lot of cash was raised. Kim Proven Lochearnhead Racing Correspondent

Notice of A821 Road Improvement Works

Scottish Coastal Rowing comes to Balquhidder As a recent arrival in the village and to Loch Voil (having moved from the coast), I was wondering if anyone would be interested in setting up the first inland Scottish Coastal Rowing Club? has some background of recent events and history of the project. We would need to raise some funds to buy the boat kit and find somewhere to build it - but after that the first World Championships beckon in 2013! The racing is split up into different age groups for men and women, so all are welcome. According to the SCRA, Loch Voil was considered as one of the lochs for the Inland Championships - so we certainly have suitable water, and as well as racing there are cruising trips organised - so it is not all about the winning. If you are interested please get in touch via . Thanks! Fearghas McKay, Balquhidder


Stirling Council will be carrying out road improvement works along the A821 between Portnellan Farm and Coilantogle Farm at Loch Venacher week days beginning Monday 4 June and Monday 11 June, 2012. The road will be open at the weekend. There will be disruption for residents and businesses but the works have been scheduled to minimise inconvenience. Businesses along the A821 will be open as normal during the planned works. A821 - Road Improvement Programme of works is as follows: Monday 4 June Treatment begins to restore the road surface. This will take 3 to 4 days. The road will be open during the working day using a convoy system. Work is planned for Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Work is due to begin at 7am until 7pm. The road will be closed from 7pm until 7am the next morning. This stage of the work should be finished by Thursday evening when the road will be open again to all traffic until Monday 11 June at 9am. Monday 11 June to Wednesday 13 June Final resurfacing work will begin during the working day (9am to 7pm/possibly earlier). The road will be closed to through traffic during the resurfacing works. This is primarily for health and safety reasons. The road will open at the end of each working day and close again at 9am the next morning. Work should be completed by Wednesday 13 June.

National Park approves Community Hydro Scheme Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Planning Committee has approved plans to build a 348KW hydro scheme. The development was submitted by Callander Community Hydro Ltd, a subsidiary of Callander Community Development Trust. The hydro scheme will run from Stank Burn, approximately 5km North West of Callander. Stank Burn flows into Loch Lubnaig and once complete the hydro scheme will provide enough energy for 300 average homes. Speaking about the application, National

The Response... continued from page 7

have introduced new litter bins alongside the roads in their area of the National Park (eastern end of L. Earn) and during the height of the season the roadside is regularly cleared 2 or 3 times a week. This includes any bags of rubbish left at the roadside by fishermen. The bailiffs also do a great job around Loch Earn and the Rangers attempt to keep on top of the rubbish in other areas such as L. Lubnaig and Glen Ogle head. They do a great job too, but is that what the Rangers should be doing? Stirling Council have got to get their act together with regard to the litter problem. They have a policy of ‘take it home’!! Great in theory but in practise it just doesn’t work. We need to see regular teams out in these areas and working their way up and down the roadsides on litter patrols. I’m disgusted personally at what our visitors must think as they drive, walk and cycle through such fabulous countryside and are continually

Park Planning Committee Chair, Owen McKee, said: ““I am delighted that this community project chimes so successfully with the National Park Authority’s vision to harness the natural resources of the Park in the fight to combat climate change. It may be the first community hydro scheme within the Park but I am sure that it will not be the last. I would also like to congratulate Callander Community Trust for working so hard with the National Park staff to ensure that there will be no lasting adverse impacts. By setting 28 conditions, we are confident

that the development will have no adverse effect on the River Teith Special Area of Conservation (SAC) or to the landscape or the ecology of the local area. ” Construction of the hydro scheme is likely to take 9 months. One of the conditions stipulates that it should not take longer than 24 months. A detailed planning report can be found on the National Park website www. Ruth Crosbie

confronted by fast food type stuff which has been thrown out of car windows and just left to rot at the roadside. Even bagged rubbish unless it is quickly picked up gets spread as the wildlife attack it! It just isn’t good enough for the council to talk continually about budget restraints. This is our countryside; we should all look after it and respect it. Yes of course it all starts with the attitude of those travelling through the area, but better signage would help and make at least some of these people think twice. So, hopefully come October the National Park can commence work on improving our own area. It won’t be an overnight ‘chalk to cheese’ type change. The money isn’t available to do that, but things will improve and with luck we’ll start seeing the benefits from the start of the new season in 2013. I congratulate the park for their approach to all of this. The police too should be congratulated for their efforts

through ‘Operation Ironworks’, etc. Efforts by many people to improve things are ongoing and I welcome the day where on a nice summer’s evening I can take a trip along to one of the parking areas and sit quietly watching the world go by as the sun sets without getting hounded by a group of drunken yobs who feel I’ve ‘invaded their space’. I’m more than happy to discuss particular aspects of this article and especially what plans are in hand for improving our area with anyone who wishes to contact me. So please, do not listen to the grapevine, get in touch and I will explain the current situation in more detail. It is, and will remain, a developing situation for some time yet and inevitably things will change. Perhaps local by-laws will be introduced. Who knows? Alistair Barclay BLS Community Council, Vice Chairman

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park

Do you need a new home in Lochearnhead, Strathyre, Killin or Callander? If so,

Rural Stirling Housing Association may be able to help

The Association’s aim is to support rural communities by providing affordable good quality homes for people in housing need. We currently have 450 rented homes and around 30 of these become available for re-let each year. We also build some new homes each year. For more details and a housing application form contact us at: Rural Stirling Housing Association Stirling Road, Doune FK16 6AA Telephone 01786 841101 Email Registered as a Scottish Charity No. SCO37849 Please note that we encourage all applicants to also apply to Stirling Council’s housing list (Tel 0845 277 7000) Being on both lists is the best way to maximise your chances of being re-housed.


Gardening JUN E

by Jonathan MacDonald

The joyofoffruit fruit and vegetables The joy and vegetables The trade and hobby of growing fruits and vegetables has a very recent past. Your accomplishments may be tastily remembered by guests and family and your failures may be a lesson in anger management. You are never growing alone - watchers and accomplices will abound. One old patch of mine resembled Watership Down in a bad year - and counting magpies led to new and elaborate verses of the famous song. You soon learn that your eyes are as good a device as any in the shed for early diagnosis of potential problems and close inspection and intervention is the best of organic methods. If you do not get the hang of a certain vegetable one year you can always try another variety of the same. Think Bruce! Sticking to varieties that have good resistance to certain ailments will reduce stress and give better returns on your efforts. The breeders have produced some wonderful varieties for the production garden and you may overcome previous disappointment with a Cobham improved over a Gladiator! Edwardian gardening books contain flat-capped, collar and tied, double breasted, pipe smoking experts. These men were not to be messed with. This was not Downton Abbey. The apprentice would spend at least an hour a day spit and polishing the head gardener’s boots then, as the sun got up, he had to barrow two tons of muck up the slope to the vegetable garden before mixing forty bushels of compost for the show chrysanthemums. We have to a degree all shared this experience and nothing has changed. We therefore skimp on manures, composts and mulches at a great risk to the soil. We must keep it in good heart and any effort to boost organic matter is vital to the long term success of a plot. Plan to rotate crops; our ancestors stumbled upon the benefits of this method by chance and we should not forget to employ this free boost to production. We plan and lick our lips in joyful anticipation of something on its way, with the emotions, often mixed, of being stood up! Jilted and chucked by a row of cauliflowers may be hard to bear - but do not be put off. This growing game may be new to us - and a good harvest from a potato bag at the back door is a small scale replica of feeding the world. We must therefore stock up on our ‘knowledge’ and herein lies the joy of growing food. 12

In the middle ages herbs were more widely grown for cooking and used more to mask rotten stews and stinking fish. Sailors who perished on the Royal Navy ship Mary Rose in 1545 nearly all had a small bag of peppers in their possession. It tells us that then, as now, we greatly value flavour in our food and I would imagine any Michelin chef ’s secret is in the fresh ingredients, herbs and spices he can source. This summer, then, why not build that nifty raised herb garden by the BBQ or at the back door? Be careful with the mint though as it is definitely ‘triffid’ in character, and unchecked, soon takes over the neighbourhood. It even spills out of the buckets and bowls that are recommended on telly to contain the brutes. Listening to Desert Island Discs reminded me to make a list of fruits I would take with me. I have no hesitation in putting at top of my list rhubarb, which is always an easy plant for the novice fruit grower. Any old corner will do if moist and fertile. Can you remember a pokey hat of paper with sugar for dabbing a thinly cut clean red shoot? What follows that? You would probably need currants

to make some jam and perhaps an apple tree to supply you when you get tired of rhubarb crumble and then onto a nice tasty cherry to go with some mascarpone cheese. Finally here is a simple method of getting a free apple tree. Eat a Cox’s orange pippin and then sow straight away into small pots all the seeds - usually about five in total. They will very soon germinate. I tried germinating seeds with a group of the roughest, unemployed youths from one of the most deprived areas in the country and when they germinated and grew they soon become engaged in food and a small amount of joy certainly appeared. Later we were all to dine richly one July afternoon on their own grown Lady Crystal potatoes in butter and fresh grown mint. The swearing had stopped and you could hear a pin drop during the slavering. Winners of Last month’s quiz: Answer: Sweden is home to Linnaeus. This month’s quiz: Q: What is the only fruit to have seeds on the outside? Two Gardening books up for grabs: email: by 15th June.

Open 7 days a week: 9.30am -5pm Summer bedding now in stock, planters and baskets filled and delivered. Huge range of Perennials, trees and shrubs. Rare plants. Beehives, customised houses signs and much much more. It’s a great visit and lots to see. Free delivery and advice.

Gardening evening classes! See website for more details or call to book a place:

5th June 12th June 19th June

Plant nutrition and the root environment Perennials, alpines and water features Visit, review of learning and end of term quiz

On the main road A85 going East just before Comrie Tel: 01764 670800

Scottish WildlifeScottish Trust Wildlife Trust Our programme of talks will re-start on 11 September, relocated to the Waverley Hotel, Callander, offering alternative beverages for those who enjoy something other than tea with their wildlife! On 24 June John Snodin will lead a walk to look for orchids and other wildflowers, leaving Ancaster Square, Callander at 2pm and walking up through the woods to Bracklinn Road towards the crags. No charge but please let me know whether you plan to come (details below). Several groups have been giving our insects a helping hand by sowing wildflowers along the path bordering the Primary School playing field and in Callander cemetery. Bird boxes made by the cubs have been put up in the cemetery with at least one of interest to blue-tits. Others have been put up in Little Leny Meadows where we hope to start more conservation work over the summer. We have several volunteers for surveying and control of Himalayan Balsam, Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed under the Forth Invasive Non-Native Species (FINNS) programme, covering the Forth and all its tributaries. However, we could get a head start by recording where they are growing along our waterways. If you see any of these species, or skunk cabbage, please send a GPS reading, OS reference or just a description and I’ll collate the information. We are always keen to share any interesting wildlife sightings in the area.

The May Villagers reported sightings of nuthatches in the Strathyre/Lochearnhead area, a species on the northern edge of its range but maybe responding to global warming. They are also seen in Stirling but have you seen them in other places? Also reported were ‘some very interesting signs of beaver activities on the River Earn near Comrie’, presumably animals from the uncontrolled release on the Tay, now thought to number around 50 from five generations. The geese are long gone, swallows are back, the hunt is on for the elusive pearl bordered fritillary at Loch Katrine, the water voles are waiting for better weather and there are more active black grouse leks. What have you seen? The red squirrels are now more active and it is good news that the Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels project has received a further two years’ funding and hopefully will include a local community group. It is a disappointing fact that there are those who do not respect wildlife, even harming it. Please report any incidents to the Central Scotland Police Wildlife Liaison Officer, based in Callander (01877 330222). Finally, if you want to get involved in any of the above activities or offer to lead an event please get in touch. Lesley Hawkins contact at or 01877 339080

Callander Rambling Club

Sponsored by Caledonian Country Wear

The Club consists of a group of enthusiasts who meet regularly throughout the year to participate in a programme of strolls, rambles, hill walks and a Long Distance Path. Details are published on http://www.incallander. in the Ben Ledi View and on posters around Callander. New members and guests are always welcome. Here are some dates for your diary:

JUNE • Sat 9th 8:30am Hill: Meall an t-Seallaidh (852m) contact 01877 339080 • Wed 13th 9:30am Ramble: Gardens and Waterfalls of Rumbling Bridge (61/2miles) contact 01877 331691 • Sat 16th 8:30am Ramble: Duncolm and the Slacks (10miles) contact 01786 841240 • Wed 20th 9:30am Stroll: Allan Water & Kippenrait Glen (4miles) contact 01877 376200 • Sat 23rd 8:30am LDP: CtoC(7) Ardgartan to Loch Lomond (8miles) contact 01877 330032 JULY • Wed 4th 9:30am Ramble: Ardtalnaig to Invergeldie (11miles) contact 01877 330102 We meet in Ancaster Square, unless otherwise indicated. Please bring wet weather clothing, appropriate footwear and a packed lunch. And please let the walk leader know if you plan to join the walk via the contact number given!


Strathyre Primary School News Go Yellow Day by Rosie Cooper On Monday 4th June P1-3 children at Strathyre Primary School are holding a fundraising event at the school for Strathcarron Hospice. It is from 2pm to 3pm. There will be a teas, coffees, yellow raffle, tombola, toys, books, home baking, facepainting and much more. Please come along and support the P1-3’s and help make this a success. Wear something yellow. We would be grateful for any items for any of the stalls. Please hand items into the school. Thank you. P7 Induction Days by Dan Hesp On Tuesday 15th May All P7’s went to Mclaren High School for the first of our induction days. We had to get the big bus down on the morning. It was organised by the PE department. We played lots of different sports! The second induction day was on Thursday 17th May and we were put into our classes for next year. We spent the day going around the school; we followed the timetable that we will be doing after the holidays. We all had a great day and enjoyed it immensely especially the science. We are all looking forward to moving on in August now that we have had a wee taster of what is to come. Swimming by Freya Stewart Earl P4/5 have been getting swimming lessons at the Leisure centre every Tuesday since the Easter Holidays. We go with Crianlarich School. There are two teachers teaching us and they are helping us to build our confidence in the water and teaching us how to swim properly. Health Week From Monday 21st April - Friday 25th April it was Health Week at the school. We all have been very busy doing different things. On Monday we had PE outside where we were taught athletics by Mrs McLay. Tuesday was Grounds Day where we cleaned, weeded and planted out all our summer tubs with petunias and lobelia. We resurrected the butterfly garden and planted pansies and honeysuckle in it and we are going to plant a buddleia bush as well. P7’s did a litter pick around the village in the morning and P3/4 went around the village in the afternoon clearing up the litter. In total they collected 10 bags of litter. On Wednesday we all went into our house groups and we had to invent a new game for the Olympics. We had to show every group our game and then we all voted for the game we thought was the best. This game is now going to be played at our mini Olympics in Killin next month. On Thursday morning we had Claire from Active Stirling who came out and went through Paralympics. We had to wear glasses that had covers over them or had fuzzy lenses in or we wore blindfolds and had to run races with someone leading us. We then had a game of handball and we all got a shot of going in a wheelchair to play the game. Then in the afternoon we had our Ready Steady Cook competition. We had three judges - Matt Duncan from Lochearnhead who has his own catering business, Robert Kerr from Lochearnhead Hotel and Stephen Smith from Strathyre who is the chef in CIROS in Callander. Again we went into our house groups and each group were given recipes and ingredients. This year theme was Olympic countries. Ledi got England and had to cook traditional Fish and Chips and a Victoria sponge which was iced in an Olympic theme. Vorlich got Greece and had to cook Greek Spinach Parcels and an Olympic Ring Cake. Sheann got Australia/New Zealand and had to cook Pikelets and an Olympic Ring Pavlova. Lawers got South Africa and had to cook Rolkoek which is a Swiss roll which Robert said was one of the best he had ever tasted, they also made Sweet Potato and Chickpea fritters. It was a hectic hour well maybe it was slightly longer than an hour. Everybody was kept busy and we were judged on presentation, taste, health and safety, skills, and team work. The food was amazing and the winning team was LEDI.


Top: Running blindfold - not as easy as you might think! Above: Wheelchair handball Important Dates June 4th GO YELLOW DAY June 5th P7 go to Ardmay June 11th Sports day at the Playing Field at Strathyre School 10am June 13th Summer Show –Old Time Music Hall. Please phone school for tickets! June 20th Prizegiving in Balquhidder Hall at 9.30am

Quiz Night

I am organising a “100 question Quiz night” at the Inn and Bistro on Friday 29th June 2012. All the questions will be general knowledge but will be covering lots of categories including some local knowledge. Starting time will be 7.30 for 8.00 pm and questions will be in blocks of 25 with a small interval between each block. To take part a fee of £2.50 per person would be payable. Maximum of four people per team! All proceeds raised would be for funds for the Stuc a’ Chroin and the winner will receive a complimentary drink from the bar. There may also be a raffle on the night! So if you feel like testing the old grey matter why not get a team together and come along and have an enjoyable evening - but come early as seating will be limited. Wullie D See you then!!



A column devoted to saving cash.

The Mantra; “Eat it up. Wear it out. Make it do. Or do without.” This month, something that is on everyone’s list of chores, is a repeated expense, but is oh, so easy to substitute homemade preparations at a fraction of supermarket prices - the never ending clothes washing! Powdered Laundry Soap: 2 cups finely grated pure soap (or soap flakes) 1 cup borax 1 cup washing soda Mix and store in a lidded container or whatever you have . Use 1-2 Tbsp. per load. The Easiest Laundry Liquid: 3 Tablespoons Borax (the real stuff, not borax substitute) 3 Tablespoons Washing Soda (different from bicarb. soda) 2 Tablespoons Fairy Liquid soap Put these ingredients in a one gallon container (4.5 litres). Pour on 4 cups boiling water and swirl until ingredients are dissolved in the liquid then let it cool. Fill almost to the top with cold water. The bubbles will overflow. Decant into clean, containers rinsed out plastic milk bottles are ideal - and use at a rate of one cup per load. This mix will not produce a lot of suds in the machine. You don’t need suds to wash your clothes for the detergent to be effective. The agitation of the washing machine does most of the washing. Additives loosen the dirt and grease. If you feel the need for Fabric Conditioner, try a homemade one: 6 cups water 3 cups white vinegar 2 cups hair conditioner (an inexpensive one with a nice smell) Mix water, vinegar, and hair conditioner in a large container; stir. Don’t shake it as that will cause foaming. Use the same amount you normally use in a rinse cycle or spritz it on a face cloth and

“Ooh! Look at the muck on that!”

throw it in the tumble dryer with the clothes. Alternatively, a cup of white vinegar on its own, added to the rinse cycle works will work well too. For ironing, use a homemade fabric spray, which can also act as a room spray. Fabric and Air Spray 1 tsp. lavender essential oil (or your favourite essential oil) 1/4 cup unflavoured vodka or white vinegar (these will act as an emulsifier and help the solution dry faster) 3 1/2 cups boiled water Spray bottle 1. Mix the vodka or vinegar and your choice of essential oil in the bottle 2. Then, add the water to the bottle until it is almost full. 3. Screw on the cap and shake the bottle to disperse the oil evenly throughout. 4. Shake lightly before each use. For all those hard to remove stains, spray on the following before washing: Stain Remover (like Shout or Vanish) 2/3 cups Fairy Liquid 2/3 cups ammonia 6 Tbsp. baking soda 2 cups warm water Before you go to use it...if it’s been sitting for a while...give it a good shake. Once the basic ingredients have been purchased, you will be set for months of amazingly inexpensive washing days! On a personal note, I have found these ‘recipes’ to be excellent substitutes.

Susan Stewart

Mobile Local Hairdresser

07712 047149


Rangers’ Review By Gareth Kett

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park

The Ranger Service across the National Park has been out in force patrolling the loch shores for doing our best to curb the anti-social behaviour which has become so rife amongst our loch side campers. With the camping byelaws in place on east Loch Lomond, sadly lochs Lubnaig, Earn and Venachar are now the most badly effected in the Park. While the problems experienced on Loch Voil are smaller in terms of numbers, their impact on the local community makes them no less severe. Rangers patrol the Breadlbane Area on normal (0900–1700) and late shifts (1400-2200) throughout the week with the exception of Thursdays. We try to speak to as many campers as possible about responsible behaviour, but where there are too many we target the most likely trouble makers. Yet we have no legal power of enforcement so are especially grateful for the Operation Ironworks partnership with the Police. Should rangers encounter a situation where the law is clearly being broken or there is a significant safety issue then we contact the Police who have always been very quick to respond. The Police also patrol the loch shores during busy summer weekends although they focus on a wider range of offences than those limited to camping. It is not uncommon, though, despite all our best efforts (including the heroic efforts of Alec and Raymond the Drummond and Ardvorlich Estate bailiffs) for the loch shores to be strewn with litter by the end of a busy weekend. It is not the job of the rangers to clear this litter, but when we have time we do and on a limited budget together with the bailiffs, the Councils and the Community Service Team we do our best to clear up and to replace the burnt and broken infrastructure. This a regular and sometimes weekly event over the course of the summer. Yet probably we are succeeding in no more than stemming the tide. Hopefully things will improve with the implementation of the 5-Lochs Project. Our thanks go to Barry Wild of Lochearnhead who dropped into the NP office with news of a pine marten residing in and maybe even nesting in his garden. Pine martens were once abundant across the UK, but numbers declined with 16

Pine marten...

deforestation and by the 14th century they were already scarce in England. Demand for pelts, further woodland clearance and predator control by game-keepers meant that by the turn of the 20th century pine martens were confined to NW Scotland, N Wales, Lake District, parts of Northumberland, N Yorkshire and Ireland. Trapping pressure was reduced during and after World War I and large areas were planted in trees following the Forest Act of 1919, both which favoured pine martens. Increasingly enlightened thinking concerning our avian and mammalian predators through the 20th century and into the 21st century has promoted further recovery and range expansion so that today the Scottish population probably numbers between 3,500 and 4,000. The only rarer British mammal is the wildcat, but we are fortunate in apparently having a strong pine marten population in our area. The pine marten received full legal protection in Britain in 1988 under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. Yet pine martens are not everyone’s friends and can kill poultry if they can get into the poultry houses or enclosures. They are essentially nocturnal so most problems occur at night. There are simple ways to prevent this though. It is important to ensure that housing is in good condition with no gaps of any more than an inch. Electric netting is excellent for preventing pine martens as well as foxes getting into enclosures, although vegetation may need to be kept back around the netting to prevent shorting. Where pine marten are seen during the daytime it will probably be females with dependent young. We’d be interested to hear if any of you have pine martens visiting your garden or if you have any other wildlife sightings that you’d like to share with us. Feel free to call in at the Breadalbane area office in Lochearnhead, e-mail or call us as normal. I can be contacted on the Lochearnhead office number 01389 722040 and my e-mail address is . Graeme’s number is 01389 722115 and his e-mail is

Open for Business!

I would like to sincerely thank all those who attended the very successful opening Catriona’s night of Sula Furnishing’s exciting new venture at The Tryst, Balquhidder on Thursday May 17th. The Tryst lived up to its name with over 100 people gathering from all the surrounding villages. Also much appreciated are all the flowers, ‘bubbles’ and best wishes that I have since received. Glasshouse Hospitality provided the drinks and canapés and thanks to them for taking the stress out of the evening. The local support over the years has enabled me to now expand the business and open a retail area at The Tryst. The new Sula shop will now offer an extended range of Harris Tweed products as well as continuing to provide an interiors service for curtains and blinds together with an in house upholstery service. The shop is also showcasing works by many creative local artists such as photographs by Dave and Jill Hunt from WesterLix, Killin, paintings by Ardell Morton from Balquhidder, hand turned wooden bowls made by Alistair Gowan, and stunning quilts from award winning Dianne Watson, both from Lochearnhead. Also within the new Sula shop, Nicki Haynes is also launching her new business making a range of hand made silver and gold jewellery so please feel free to come in and see the works of these talented local artists. Something for everyone!

Sula Furnishing lands at Kings House

Opening hours for the summer are every day from 10-5pm so please drop in – coffee always on the go! Catriona MacGeoch

Interior by Sula

Opening night!

Jewellery by


Bespoke or off the shelf Handmade jewellery created on the premises of Sula Furnishings The Tryst, Balquhidder (Next to the Kings House Hotel) All with Nicki’s own hallmark and until October, any commissions made can also bear the Jubilee Hallmark! An ideal gift idea. Open every day from 10 - 5.

Some of Sula’s lovely furnishings


McLaren High School News Music Festival Concert On 28 and 29 March pupils, staff and parents once again enjoyed some fantastic McLaren High School musical talent. During the day on the 28th and 29th staff and pupils were able to attend the Junior, Intermediate and Senior Music Festival Competitions, and then in the evening on the 29th the 2 days culminated in the Music Festival Concert. This got off to a wonderful start with a rousing orchestral piece from Lord of the High School Musical! Dance which was followed by pieces by the strings, wind and swing bands, the vocal groups and the competition prize winners. The audience were also treated to McLaren’s very own Flash Mob when the male vocal group ‘appeared’ from around the hall and performed Billy Joel’s ‘For the Longest Time’. West of Scotland Ski Slalom The West of Scotland Schools’ Ski Slalom at Glencoe took place recently at the indoor ski arena Xscape, at Braehead, Glasgow. McLaren High School was extremely well represented with 14 boys and girls from S1 through to S3 taking part. Regan Dingwall was first off for McLaren. He competently manoeuvred through all of the gates setting a good standard for his team mates. A clear run in the first attempt was the aim, leaving the second run to ‘go for it’! Peter Shaw followed suit and there was a spell when it appeared that only McLaren pupils had entered the competition with Sophie Parsons and Connor Ramsay-Clapham both following in quick succession, all successfully managing a clear run. The McLaren pupils had a benefit in that many were part of the Junior Ski Course earlier in the term and had seen their skiing develop from their week in Bormio, Italy. This was a great day for all involved and the experience is sure to motivate everyone to push harder in next year’s event. Well done to all involved! Senior Ski Course On 30 March a group of 40 pupils and 6 members of staff set off to Neukirchen in Austria for the Senior Ski Course 2012. As ever, this was a special excursion, especially for those in S6 who perhaps had experienced ski courses in their earlier years at McLaren. The weather was good for the week with a lot of sunshine and there was certainly plenty of snow. The instruction for all the groups was excellent and we were given exercises to try and improve our techniques. This was balanced with some free running. The slopes were reasonably quiet and everyone had a ball. The local instructors were able to take us into less well known areas, through trees and into gullies. Appraisals for the week reflected a very successful experience for all:- “amazing’!”, “brilliant!”, “best week ever!” S1 Mini Olympics On 18 April we held a Mini Olympics as part of our CfE Challenge. The Opening Ceremony was started off with a routine from two dance groups. This was followed by a performance by violinists Finn Manders, Ruairidh Oman and Jenny Holl plus cellists Anna Limonci and Maria Whyte. Throughout the morning we took part in a number of

Skiing at Breaehead

Senior Ski Course

Mini Olympics

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different sports including hockey, table tennis, softball, basket ball and water-polo. Each registration class represented a different Olympic country – Germany, USA, Japan and Spain. Teams were awarded points throughout the day based on their number of wins, draws and losses. Individual merits were also awarded for good sportsmanship and most valuable player. The results were announced at the Closing Ceremony. The winners by 8 points were Germany, also known as 1B, with a total of 138 points. 2nd place went to 1C, under the name of Japan, with 130 points. 3rd and 4th place were 1D (Spain) with 122 points and 1L (USA) with 114 points. Germany’s captains Jenny Holl and Thomas Madden-Carter collected the trophy. It was a great day for the pupils. By Jenny Holl and Beth Hunter 1B

Mini Olympics

Visiting the Parliament

Pupil Success in Creative Writing Congratulations to Danilo Falzon S6 for his outstanding achievement in the National Galleries of Scotland creative writing competition, Inspired? Get Writing! Danilo’s piece was placed in the top ten of over 1200 entries and was read aloud by representatives of the Scottish Poetry Library at the prestigious Award Ceremony in the National Gallery of Scotland on Thursday 19 April. Images of the work that inspired Danilo’s writing were also shown whilst his work was read. S1 Visit to the Scottish Parliament 14 pupils from S1 accepted a special invitation to champion their school’s outdoor learning approaches in a meeting with their Mid Scotland and Fife Regional MSP Murdo Fraser at the Scottish Parliament last week. Danilo Falzon After a tour of the Parliament pupils spent time with Mr Fraser discussing the benefits of timetabled learning outside of the classroom. They also spoke about their involvement with the John Muir Award, an environmental award scheme set up by the John Muir Trust. They explained the importance of contact with wild places in the school grounds, across Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park and further afield. Mr Fraser presented McLaren High School with a John Muir Award Provider certificate to mark the successful partnership between the school and the John Muir Trust. Mr Fraser also wished the pupils good luck with completing their own individual John Muir Awards later this term. Finally, when asked about his favourite wild place, Mr Fraser paused before settling on, “Highland Perthshire, and the bits around the Ben Lawers range. It is a very special place.” This especially delighted pupils living in close by Killin! does your COMPUTER run slowly? need SOFTWARE updating? VIRUS PROTECTION? General System overhaul?

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View from the Park by Owen McKee Wullie’s article about the problems caused by visitors to our area in last month’s issue certainly caused a stooshie. I am aware that he was not plugging any party line in the run up to the local government elections but his justifiable complaint certainly resulted in calls from two of the candidates seeking a briefing on the Park Authority’s stance on the problem. Although I have not seen it I understand that elsewhere in this issue there is an article on the subject from Alistair Barclay and consequently I will not be commenting except to say that when you look at the amount of resources and public funding that the Park Authority is putting into the Five Lochs Project you will see that we are treating the matter as a very high priority indeed. The Park Authority has been in close liaison with the community councils and Alistair is the BLS Community Council representative on the Five Lochs Project Group. Unfortunately the visitor management situation is not the only problem facing the authority. Of the 21 communities in the National Park only one has not listed affordable housing as a priority and consequently the Park Authority ensured that it had, within its Local Plan, a policy which states that any development within the National Park of four or more units must make provision for affordable housing. Normally this would be by or for local authorities or housing associations and would primarily be for social rent accommodation. However in the current economic climate it is proving more and more difficult for housing associations and councils to find the funding for social rented housing. The Scottish Government has asked that other methods of providing affordable housing be found. We have therefore


clarified our policy on affordable housing and made it clear that our requirement for an affordable element in a development will include mid-market rent, shared equity and self-build where occupancy restrictions apply. In addition we have put in place a Rural Housing Enabler who, although employed by the charity Rural Housing Services and part funded by the Park Authority and Leader, has the exclusive remit to help the Park’s communities find affordable housing solutions. Furthermore where a developer cannot incorporate an affordable housing element on a particular site we will consider accepting either the provision of the affordable units on another site or indeed take a sum of money to be used solely for the provision of affordable housing within the Park. During the boom years -oh where are they now? -the problem was finding sites to build houses. The problem now is finding the money. To some extent the housing problem was a feature in the recent decision to grant planning permission for a proposed supermarket in Callander. In that case the land on which the supermarket is proposed was allocated for housing. As part of the deal a sum of money was negotiated for exclusive use for building affordable housing in Callander. More good news, Thanks to a lot of hard work by the St. Fillans Community good progress is being made on the plan to use the old railway from St Fillans to Lochearnhead as a cycle track. Some considerable difficulties stand in the way, like rebuilding a bridge or two, but clearly these difficulties can and will be overcome. Owen McKee As always I can be contacted as follows: Taigh Na Bhuth, Lochearnhead 01567 830214

Sheila receives her Fellowship

CONGRATULATIONS In March of this year Sheila Macdonald Bird, Programme Leader, MRC Biostatistics Unit, Cambridge and Visiting Professor, Department of Statistics and Modelling Science, University of Strathclyde, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and along with other distinguished scientists was formally admitted by Sir John Arbuthnott, RSE President, at a ceremony on 14th May. Sheila Bird lives partly in Northampton and also in Auchtubh, Balquhidder.

Dear Games Supporters... Gosh another year has gone by and the Games are looming once again. This year our games are on the 21st July and do not cross with many other games. Last year we were one of the very few lucky games to have the sun shine on the field on the day. Three games cancelled and many more were very wet, having said that it was a nervous three or four days before getting things ready in the lashing rain, but it happened. The reason for the good weather on the day may be put down to the fact that we were prepared for rain and had hired a large cover to keep the dancers dry, in the end they were too warm but you can’t have everything. On that note, the dancing last year went very well mostly thanks to Jean Robertson, I think we had the most dancers for many a year. Jean, who is the secretary of the Perthshire Highland Games Association and helps her husband, John, run their farm, is very well known in the dancing world and has been world champion herself and has her own dancing school and organises all the dancing for us. We are very fortunate to have Jean on our committee. The “Heavies” turned out in force again giving the crowds an excellent show with our own Stuart Anderson winning the PHGA points. We have now dropped the Local Heavy prize list as nowadays we seem to lack competitors, apart from Stuart no other local wants to pit their strength against the Shot, Hammer and Caber. The piping was once again disappointing in numbers although the judges did say the standard of the pipers who did attend was very high. The lack of pipers is mainly due to other shows and many of the pipers being involved in pipe bands and there is now more and more competitions for bands. Field and track events were very successful with several pro’ runners and

a good bunch of spectators joining in, this adding to our motto as the friendly games. A special mention must go to Pasard Pasard who once again won the very gruelling hill race having competed in all the other races as a warm up!! For this he won his second McLaran – Hagan Skean Dhu. Alex our hard work Sec’ and Treasurer struggles to find pipe bands, mainly for the same reasons as I stated before, but this year we are fortunate to have Badenoch and Strathspey performing for us again. Sadly no McLaren band from Holland who came on to the field a couple of times last year and I thought played exceedingly well for an amateur band, but I hear they are keen to come again as they enjoyed the experience and the hospitality they received. The Clans as always were there in good numbers all adding to the atmosphere. This year the Mcnabs are producing a tent and are recruiting for members for the Clan Society which they have just started so hopefully bringing plenty of Mcnabs with them and as it happens Jamie Mcnab the younger of Mcnab is doing us the honour of being our Chieftain this year. As always Mike and team do a great job in the beer tent without which the games would certainly struggle financially, I know I should not say it as it’s not PC but for one day....keep drinking!! The Pure Malt experience after the end of the games is a great way to wind down after a hard day spectating hopefully in the sun. This year they have agreed to play for an extra hour therefore finishing at 8.00pm, I think they quite enjoy it as well. Our committee numbers are still dwindling, some due to departure others due to age, so we desperately need new members. The committee at the moment is stretched and hard working, so if anyone wishes to join us please get in touch with Alex or myself. Even if it is just to help out on the day, a couple of hours

at car parking or helping in the Bar. You can even let me know by Email on gus. you will be very welcome. We are sending the newsletter to all our Patrons and friends to remind you that the committee is working hard to keep the games going, it does cost nearly £11,000.00 per year. We are always trying to find sponsors but it is not easy in this day and age. So once again we are asking if you would be generous enough to help us with some form of Patronage or Sponsorship for this important event in the local calendar. Should you wish to sponsor an event, please contact me or Ken McCallum 01786 825270 or 07973 285126 and we can discuss what and how. As usual we will include names or company names in the programme, sums donated will not be printed. Those donating will be sent tickets for entry to the field and we would like to see you at some point for some “light” refreshment in the Secretary’s tent during the afternoon. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future. As usual, time is of the essence as we have print deadlines to meet for the programme. Yours as always Angus Cameron President


The 2012 Stuc a’Chroin 5000 results ‘Local lad doesn’t come un-Stuc...’

A 25% increase in runners this year, both male and female, saw some good times posted. Prasad Prasad, our first local winner, came in just over the 2:10 mark (2:10:34) in his first race here, ahead of Craig Mattocks on 2:24:15. Prasad’s time was the best non-British Championship time for at least 8 years. Our old friend Stewart Whitlie, who’s won this race several times before, came in 3rd with 2:26:02, and also clinched 1st Male Vet 40+. Another old hand at the race, Angela Mudge, had her best time here for years of 2:28:36 to finish 1st of the Females and 1st Female Vet 40+ once more. Sarah O’Neil finished 2nd (02:35:38) and Claire Gordon finished 3rd (2:35:38). Alan Smith from Deeside and Beryl Junnier won their respective Vet 50+ and Murdo MacLeod clinched the MV 60+. Carnethy again picked up ‘best team’. Results as follows: Male 1st Prasad Prasad Squadra Porcini 2nd Craig Mattocks Hunters Bog Trotters 3rd Stewart Whitlie Carnethy Female 1st Angela Mudge Carnethy 2nd Sarah O’Neil Hunters Bog Trotters 3rd Claire Gordon Hunters Bog Trotters As forecast, it was considerably cooler which contributed to the faster times but all in all another great day out. Once again, the marshals did a great job of carrying all that water from our new sponsors ASDA (Robroyston) and Bookers (Stirling). Some early comments : “.. privilege of enjoying a well-supported hill race in stunning scenery and immaculate weather ... Many thanks to the organisers of this epic hill run which was well-organised and well-supported. We will definitely be back next year.” Duncan, Penicuik “Brilliant views and perfect weather conditions for this (my favourite) hill race.” Kate Friend, Carnethy “Stuc is a great race and is really well supported, I think I managed to eat about a full bag of jelly babies and half a bag of fruit pastilles dished out by the numerous marshalls.” John Denovan, Westerlands

Congratulations to Prasad Prasad - our first local winner

As usual the race was a great success but only because of the hard work by everyone involved. This includes primarily the runners, whose positive attitude makes it all possible but thanks also to everyone involved in the admin, planning and computing and to all the helpers at the start and finish of the race. Special thanks as always to the marshals for their superb support for supplying jelly babies and carrying much appreciated water up the hill, the course markers and Tommy Anderson and Alistair Barclay for the photos. This year we had two new sponsorships from Asda (Robroyston) and Bookers (Stirling) as well as our main sponsors Pete Bland, Graham Tiso (Stirling), The Green Welly Shop Tyndrum who donate the very generous Local prize, Kingshouse Travel and Thomas Allan &Sons. The committee would also like to thank the following local businesses for their continuing support and sponsorship, Immervoulin Caravan Park, Stirling Stoves, Strathyre Cleansing, The Inn and Bistro, The Strathyre Village Shop, Roll on Flooring, Strathness Construction, Heroncraft, M&M Timber, Atchison Enterprises, Airlie House and Crystal Tearooms at Crieff who all generously donated prizes. The Inn and Bistro who hosted and supported the race this year were as always unflappable – nothing was too much trouble - many thanks to Steve and Jill Nixon and all their staff. Finally thanks to Edinample Estate for the opportunity to run the race on their land and to Mike Holliday for his continuing support and also to the Forestry Commission. In a break from our usual tradition the day was rounded off this year by a ceilidh at the Inn & Bistro with music provided by Voice Box. This was a great success and a huge thanks to Keith Wilson and team from Strathyre Building Services for getting the restaurant area ready in time for the non-stop dancing! A great night was had by all. June 13th The Ben Sheann Hill Race The Ben Sheann Race will be held on Wed 13 h June 7pm – please come along and support or even join in! Stop Press! Next year is our 25th anniversary and we have just heard that the Stuc a ‘ Chroin has been awarded the Scottish Hill Runners Championship Race. We very much look forward to hosting this event in 2013. 22

Angela Mudge does it again!

Three little words that work...

Thought our readers might like to share this! 1 The three little words: Hold on please.....! Saying this and then putting down your phone and walking off (instead of hanging up immediately) would make each telemarketing call so much more time consuming that boiler room sales would grind to a halt. Then when you eventually hear BT’s ‘bleep-bleep-bleep’ tone, you know it is time to go back and hang up your handset. You have efficiently completed your task! These three little words could eliminate telephone soliciting. 2 Do you ever get those annoying phone calls with no one on the other end? This is a telemarketing technique where a machine makes phone calls and records the time of day when a person answers the phone. This technique is then used to determine the best time of day for a ‘real’ salesperson to call back and get someone at home. What you can do after answering is to immediately hit the hash button 6 or 7 times as quickly as possible. This confuses the machine that dialled the call and kicks your number out of their system. 3 When you get those ‘pre-approved’ letters in the mail for everything from credit cards to second mortgages.DO NOT throw away the return envelope. Most of these come with postage prepaid return envelopes. It costs them more than the regular postage, if and when they are returned. It costs them nothing if you bin them. In that case, why

not get rid of some of your junk mail and put it in these cool little prepaid return envelopes. Send an advert for your local chimney sweep to American Express.....they might need one! Send a pizza coupon to HSBC... in case the canteen packs up. You get the idea. If you didn’t get anything else that day, then just send back their blank application form....after all, it is their form! IF YOU WANT TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS, JUST MAKE SURE YOUR NAME ISN’T ON ANYTHING YOU RETURN. You can even send the envelope back empty and keep them guessing. It still costs them, and it is their envelope after are just returning it! The banks and credit card companies are currently getting a lot of their own junk back in the post but we need to OVERWHELM them, in order to stop them. Let them know what it’s like to get lots of junk mail, and best of all they`re paying for it...twice... Let’s keep the Royal Mail busy. Since the Royal Mail is saying that e-mail is cutting into their business profits, let’s help them so they will not need to increase postage costs again. You get the idea! If enough people follow these tips, it will work --- maybe you’ll get very little junk mail anymore Good Luck! WD

Stuc a Chroin Hill Race

Community Website The Communities Team has been working on creating a section of Stirling Council’s new website which brings together all the information which communities may need to access. The intention is to pilot this site with a group of community representatives to ensure it meets our aims, and your needs, through their ideas and input work on its further development. All correspondence will be done by email and all information gathered will be anonymous. If you would be interested in being part of this group, email PaulineRoberts on robertsp@stirling. Pauline Roberts

I had a most enjoyable day marshalling at the race and managed to “capture” some local lads who took part. Pictured left are Matthew Shelley and Kyle Heron (enjoying a much deserved refreshment from fellow marshal Jim Roberts). Kyle returned a time of 2-52-23 and came in at 34th place while Matthew returned a time of 3-02-44 and came in at 60th place. Given that there was a field of 168 placed runners I would say that both lads did very well in what is a very gruelling race and we hope to see them back for our 25th anniversary in 2013. Just had to add this picture of our very own “Mountain Man” Dick Revie who marshalled with Jim and myself on what was a wonderful day. Wullie D

Community Publicity and Development Officer 01786 432159 mob 07825 978347


Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Community Council Minutes of Meeting held in Lochearnhead Village Hall on 16th May 2012

Present: R Eastland, A. Barclay, M Kobs, S Crammon Apologies: R McWilliams, K Methven, A Cameron, P Hicks, M McNaughton, A Squires, S Hesp In attendance: O McKee (National Park), PC A Ward, Cllr. Alycia Hayes (Stirling Council) The minutes of the previous meeting were approved. Proposer and Seconder: A Barclay Police Matters PC Ward announced that since the new policing year began on 1st April road traffic offences in Strathyre and Lochearnhead have numbered 170. The only reported theft was of some fixtures to the main tent erected for the Stuc a Chroin hill race. He reminded the meeting to be vigilant regarding bogus callers who were at work in the area. An invitation was issued to members of the committee of the CC and the SVA to join the overnight police patrols on June 15/16 and 29/30 this year. Matters Arising: 5 Lochs Management AB first congratulated the National Park on its handling of the whole issue of wild camping and reported on the visit he made, along with two Strathyre residents, to the new camping area on East Loch Lomondside. The layout and facilities are excellent and the lack of litter astonishing. The project is a great success and bodes well for the similar plans in this area. Work will begin on the Loch Lubnaig area later this year with In/Out barriers being erected at the main camping site. Charges will be levied for parking and camping and Park Rangers will patrol the site. Eco-toilets will be provided and cemented areas for camp fires will be laid out. No caravans will be allowed into the designated parking areas around the 5Lochs. Limited motorhome access will be available overnight in some of them. For the benefit of our newly elected Stirling Councillor, Alycia Hayes, it was explained that the ongoing problem of removal of litter at Loch Earn relates to the policy of SC which asks people to take their litter home whereas Perth and Kinross Council on the other hand is very co-operative and provides extra bins and will also collect black bags from the roadside. This leads to confusion at Loch Earn where the area is divided between the two councils and visitors understandably think that they can leave black bags for collection anywhere along the road. Broadband AH stated her intention to make the Broadband issue her special priority and form a good case for Broadband funding to be provided to Stirling Council. The Westminster government did not provide as much funding as had been expected but it has been matched by the Scottish government and there is also money from a European fund. At the moment it would appear that SC has to apply to the Scottish governement for its funding but a final decision has yet to be made. BT is being unco-operative and is unwilling to extend operations to lay fibre optic cables or even to give details of exactly where these cables are at the moment. AH suggests liaising with Sustrans who propose completing a cycle track from Stirling to Callander and also to approach Scottish and Southern Energy in order to suggest that fibre optic cables be laid whenever trenches are being dug. Stirling University, the Police and the NHS have already been contacted to see if there could be some coordination between their existing broadband systems. AH also suggested a change of policy when granting licences to companies who require to dig road trenches such that they would be required to lay fibre optic cables at the same time as carrying out their own work. A84 accident black spot RE reported that the road survey had been completed and there was a proposal for some anti-skid tarmac to be laid. The ground at the lochside is not suitable for a crash barrier to be erected immediately as the banking needs to be built up. Balfour Beatty will complete the work required for Transerv from next year’s funding. Correspondence: None Planning Matters: No new requests. Any Other Competent Business There is much concern from local people regarding the proposed new legislation on public entertainment licences which would impose a heavy financial burden on i.e. Balquhidder Summer Music and the Christmas pantomime. AH reported that this matter is still under discussion and that the Scottish government has handed over the responsibility for implementing the law to individual councils. Before the recent local elections Stirling Council had proposed a nominal fee of £1 for each licence but this has yet to be ratified. There being no further business the meeting was closed at 8.55pm. Next meeting to be held on 27th June at 7.30pm in Strathyre Village Hall. Members of the public are invited to attend.


Central Scotland Police

There when you need us

PC Andy Ward is taking a break from his column this month! “Excuse me, officer I’d like to report a UFO sighting!”


Farm Forum: Natural Balance I finished last month’s article by referring to the fact that the beautiful countryside we enjoy is in no small way due to those who have worked the land for generations. To continue in that vein I believe that the diversity of flora and fauna we enjoy is similarly enhanced by the way we look after the countryside. The vast majority of farmers and those that work on the land are natural conservationists and yet so often the decline of a particular species is blamed on “changes in farming practices”. lapwings and curlews are a classic example. We used to have good numbers of both species but we have not seen them for years despite practices not having changed. One thing these birds have in common is that they are both ground nesting birds, curlews on rough ground and lapwings usually in hay fields. We used to mark the nests before taking a tractor near a hay/ silage field and follow their progress until the young were flying. I believe mink and foxes have a lot to answer for, quite apart from the protected buzzards that spend

their lives looking for mice, small nestlings and frogs. You have only got to start mowing a field and you are surrounded by buzzards looking for an easy meal. A conservationist farmer in the south of Scotland was writing in the press recently, telling how he had a sand martin colony in which he has invested money and he works with the Sand Martin Trust to look after them. He said he was at his wits end following the introduction of red kites which he claims to have seen lifting sand martin chicks as well as lapwings and even two barn owl chicks. A spokesperson for a well known organisation is reported by Alison Mann as having said “red kites are largely opportunist scavengers rather than active hunters, being too weak - footed to kill any prey much bigger than a half grown rabbit. If prey is taken, it is mainly invertebrates and other small or weak animals. However, small mammals and birds are occasionally taken, but only when the opportunity arises.” I do not think I will comment on that profound statement, principally because words fail me! I could go on ad infinitum on this subject but will not except to suggest that, whilst you

cannot generalise, it does appear that the protection of some species and introduction or re introduction of others often seems to be to the detriment of some existing species and it might be that a lot more research should be undertaken before embarking on such radical projects. Once again I cannot let another month go by without commenting on the weather – especially after hearing all the reports of a record wet April and shortage of grass. It is strange that here, March was the driest month since at least the start of 2011 and, believe it or not, April was slightly drier still. It has certainly been quite chilly and as I write there is certainly not a lot of grass for cattle but the sheep have not really been short all spring. It is noticeable that while we tend to be dominated by weather from the West, there appears to be a tendency now for more of it to come from the East. Checking our rain figures today (20th May) I noticed that the total rain to the end of May 2011 was 44.8 inches – this year until today the total is 22 8 inches!

Cuttings from Times Past... This copy of a petition from 1892 - signed by 133 Balquhidder residents - shows that vital train links were being withdrawn more than sixty years before Dr Beeching came on the scene! 25



d up must be pai Advertising publication. before rts on a plies to adve This also ap iscount which are 6 month d p for renewal. coming u g out invoices in We are send d to give people a month ahea e to pay plenty of tim t is received en m but if no pay e Day (24th) by Deadlin rt will have ve then the ad moved. to be re

We’ll send you or your friends The


£12.00 for 11 monthly issues (£37.00 for Europe and £47.00 for the rest of the world). We are sorry about the increased costs to our valued overseas readers, due to the new postal rates imposed by the Post Office! All you need to do is to post the completed form to: BLS NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION, GARDENERS COTTAGE BALQUHIDDER FK19 8PB, SCOTLAND Cheques should be made payable to: THE BLS NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION Remittance enclosed £ .........................(do not send cash) Please send copies of The Villagers starting on ................................. for 11 months To: NAME .......................................................................................................................... ADDRESS: ........................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................POSTCODE .............................. SENDER’S NAME & ADDRESS IF DIFFERENT FROM ABOVE Please send copies of The Villagers starting on ............................... for 11 months NAME ................................................................................................................................ ADDRESS .......................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................POSTCODE................................


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• The Villagers’ Contacts • Jill Johnston Editor Gardeners Cottage Balquhidder FK19 8PB 01877 384227

Gill Allan Production Manager Stronvar Farm Balquhidder Lochearnhead FK19 8PB 01877 384203

Alistair Barclay Photographer & Advertising Coordinator Dalvaich, Glenbeich Lochearnhead FK19 8PZ 01567 830453

Other Contacts... Helen Clark Business Manager 07971 648743

• DIARY DATES • We e k l y A c t i v i t i e s Tuesday

Keep Fit - Lochearnhead Hall - 10.30 -11.30am Gaelic Playgroup - Balquhidder Hall - 10.30am - 12.30pm Contact Abbey Arkotxa 01877 384671 Badminton - Balquhidder Hall - 8.00pm

Wednesday Thursday

Yoga - Balquhidder Hall - 11.00am-12noon (contact Ann Cobbett 01877 376291) Youth Club - Lochearnhead Hall - 7.00-9.00pm Upholstery Classes - 10am-1pm - Lochearnhead Hall - 07824 446024 ‘Choir Occasional’ - Balquhidder Village Hall - 7.30pm - 9.00pm


Playgroup - Lochearnhead Hall - 10.00am-12 noon Ballroom Dancing - Lochearnhead Hall - 7.30-9.00pm

Lochearnhead Contact: Ali Ferguson 01567 830 405 Strathyre Contact: Wullie Dalziel 01877 384 384 St Fillans Contact: John Murray 01764 685 487 Mail Order Distribution: Hilda Astbury 01877 384 681

The Villagers’ Photographer Alistair Barclay is available to attend village functions and take photos if contacted in plenty of time. CDs of photos are also for sale. Please phone him on 01567 830453

JUNE 2-4 3-4 9 13 14 15/17 16 23 23 29 30

Waterski Weekend Mhor Festival Monachyle Mhor Bag Pack - Morrisons Ben Shean Race Concert Aberfoyle see p. 6 Patch and Match Sandison Hall St. Fillans - see p.22 Summer Dance Balquhidder Hall - see p.2 Coffee morning Lochearnhead see p 8 Kings House 70’s Night Quiz Night Inn at Strathyre see p. 14 Sheep Shearing Championships Lochearnhead see p. 2

JULY 1 15 21

Sheep Shearing Summer Music starts see p. 6 Highland Games Lochearnhead see p. 21

Copy Deadline Day is the 21st of the month. Send your contributions to: contac t@the Please help us to get The Villagers to you as soon as possible!

CHURCH CHURCH SERVICES SERVICES Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre and St. Fillans CHURCH OF SCOTLAND Balquhidder Parish Church Registered Charity No. SCO12316 Sunday 12 noon Minister: Rev John Lincoln The Manse, Killin Tel: 01567 820 247 Dundurn Church, St Fillans Sunday11.30am Minister: Rev Graham McWilliams Tel: 01764 671 045

ROMAN CATHOLIC Callander, St Joseph the Worker Sunday 11.30am Saturday Vigil Mass 5.30pm from 12 May through to September Killin, in the Episcopal Church Sunday 2.30pm Father Jim McCruden 2 Ancaster Square, Callander Tel: 01877 330 702

SCOTTISH EPISCOPAL CHURCH St Angus’s Church, Lochearnhead First and third Sundays of the month: Holy Communion at 11.15am. Second and fourth Sundays of the month: Evensong at 6.00pm Fifth Sunday of the month: please see church noticeboard. Vestry Secretary - Mary Barclay Tel: 01567 830453

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The Villagers June 2012  

News about the people and places surrounding Loch Earn, Loch Doine, Loch Lubnaig and Loch Voile. Villagers from Balquhidder, Strathyre, St F...

The Villagers June 2012  

News about the people and places surrounding Loch Earn, Loch Doine, Loch Lubnaig and Loch Voile. Villagers from Balquhidder, Strathyre, St F...