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Tracking Lottery Funding Success

Take the Bus for a Walk

A Year of Natural Events

Cateran Trail GeoTour

Auchintaple Loch, PKCT staff, Cateran Yomp Event and 2020 VISION Exhibition

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Tay Landscape Partnership wins Lottery Funding The Tay Landscape Partnership has been awarded £1,435,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to support the conservation of the unique Tay landscape. The Landscape Partnership Scheme, led by Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust and Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust, covers an area of 200km2 and will involve over 40 organisations in delivering 29 projects. The scheme will include a programme of archaeological excavations, the protection and enhancement of the distinctive clay buildings of the Carse of Gowrie, while the surviving historic orchards will be protected. Access to the Tay will be improved with new path networks and other initiatives to encourage people down onto the river.

Technology Tempts Tourists to the Cateran Trail Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust is using technology to encourage tourists to the Cateran Trail, with the launch of the first UK based GeoTour. The aim is to tap into the growing popularity of geocaching – a high-tech, treasure hunting game in which participants use Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to seek out a cache that has been hidden at a specific location. Increasingly, geocachers plan days out, weekend breaks and even annual holidays around ‘cache rich’ environments, and this has led to a new tourism initiative – the GeoTour. The Trust saw the opportunity to build on Perthshire’s reputation as the Geocaching Capital of Scotland and secured funding from Forestry Commission Scotland and Perth & Kinross Council to establish the GeoTour. The Trust is also working in partnership with local businesses and Blairgowrie and East Perthshire Tourist Association to provide visiting cachers with great places to sleep and eat during their stay. To take part, geocachers record finds in a special passport, with points earned by finding caches (one point), by stopping to eat (two) or staying overnight (three). Collectable bronze geocoins are




“The sort of Scotland walkers dream of…” THE GREAT OUTDOORS (TGO) MAGAZINE

A long distance circular route through beautiful Perthshire and the Angus glens, in the footsteps of the fearsome cattle thieves of the highlands.

New Cateran Trail Leaflet The Trust has produced an eye-catching new leaflet to promote the Cateran Trail. The new publication is currently available to download from www. It includes lots of handy information on each stage of the Trail as well as details about the new Cateran Trail GeoTour and phone app. With more people using the internet to research trips, the leaflet recommends walkers use the Blairgowrie and East Perthshire and the Glenshee Tourist Association websites to find great places to eat and sleep.

Bob Ellis, chair of Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust said “I cannot stress enough how exciting this news is for Perthshire. Landscapes speak to the heart, inspiring people in all sorts of way. Sadly, they can often be taken for granted. We are fortunate that the Heritage Lottery Fund understands the importance of our natural heritage and has given The Landscape Partnership the go ahead to deliver an exciting range of 29 diverse yet interconnected projects. These have been developed through close working with communities, interest groups and national organisations and will help conserve and restore wildlife, habitats, historic buildings and traditional skills and encourage people to get actively involved in learning about and caring for their local environment.” Follow progress at

then awarded to those who collect 25 points. Antique silver geocoins are awarded to geocachers who collect 30 points. Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, commented: “In the Year of Natural Scotland, it is great to see organisations coming up with new and innovative ways in which to promote our country’s breathtaking beauty. Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust’s Cateran Trail GeoTour will give visitors an exciting new way to explore this stunning region.” Players can start their Cateran Trail geocaching adventure by visiting

Our Highland Perthshire Path Network Vision P E RT H S H I R E

Take The Bus for a Walk 8 beautiful combinations of walks + bus journeys in Perthshire

For some time now The Trust has had the vision of a network of longer distance, off-road routes in Highland Perthshire. It commissioned a survey of possible routes in 2011 from Mike Donaghy Associates Ltd, with funding from Scottish Enterprise. Linking Long Distance Routes is a priority for the Trust as they encourage visiting walkers and cyclists to stay in an area for longer, thus providing greater potential for local economic benefit. Dunkeld and Pitlochry are surrounded by fantastic path networks but what has been lost is the off-road link between the two areas. Until now. Last year TACTRAN (Tayside and Central Scotland Transport Partnership) gifted £10k towards realising this key route and The Trust wasted no time in getting the project underway using a specialist contractor, McGowan Outdoor Access (MOA) to work on the first section. MOA specialise in low impact environmentally sensitive work on upland paths using locally won materials. It is now possible to walk and cycle from Dunkeld via Loch Ordie and Lochan Oisinneach Mor, through Ballyoukan forest to the metalled road above East Haugh, and from there into Pitlochry. 15 miles (24km) of the 18 miles (28km) are off-road. Further work will be carried out to refine the route to make it fully off-road, when funding and landowner permissions allow. That is the model the Trust used for gradually improving the Cateran Trail, getting more and more of it off-road as funding permitted. As well as re-joining Dunkeld and Pitlochry, the new path links two of Scotland’s Great Trails in Highland Perthshire – the Rob Roy Way, which finishes in Pitlochry, across to the Cateran Trail at Kirkmichael. The Trust is delighted that TACTRAN continues to share its vision for a Highland Perthshire path network, and has granted a further £7k towards upgrading paths between Lochan Oisinneach Mor and Kirkmichael. Along that section improvements will be carried out to the path known as Sophie’s Path which is also important, which is an important to the community in Kirkmichael in their efforts to create a path network centred on the village. So you may be hearing a lot more about Lochans Oisinneach Mor and Oisinneach Beag in the near future. Oisinneach? Try saying ‘osh-enn eh’.

From Comradeship to Challenge

Take the Bus for a Walk A green initiative from the Trust is making it easier for people to get out and enjoy Big Tree Country. `Take the Bus for a Walk` is a free guide detailing eight superb combinations of walks and bus journeys throughout Perth and Kinross. Each walk is graded and the guide contains full route descriptions, outline maps and recommended bus times to fit conveniently with these way marked walks.

Bob Ellis, Chairman, Perth & Countryside Trust commented: “This has proved to be an extremely popular guide for both locals and visitors. It is in such demand that it has now been updated and reprinted three times. Those who feel they have to drive to get somewhere interesting might be pleasantly surprised at how much they will see and notice when all they have to concentrate on is the view from a bus window. By taking the bus for a walk you don’t have the extra miles of doubling back to collect the car either, and visitors can give the car a holiday too.” The guide is available from Visitor Information Centres throughout Perth & Kinross or can be downloaded from

Get mobile on The Cateran Trail Earlier this year, the Trust launched a new and innovative mobile phone app to give visitors to the Cateran Trail easy access to information on the go. The app allows walkers to explore the Trail while reading stories about the hidden history of the people and places along the way. We have put together a collection of 20 fascinating stories including the Glenisla Giants, the Herdsman of Alyth, the Legend of Queen Guinivere and of course lots of tales about marauding Caterans. Paul McLennan, Trust Manager commented: “Our goal was to give walkers an interactive, informative and enjoyable experience on the Trail. The use of Smartphone technology is growing rapidly and the modern traveller is hands-on and wants to actively engage with their environment. They want to learn more and do more in the places they visit.” To use the app, walkers simply look out for symbols on waymarker posts along each section of the Trail and when they spot one, thumb the matching symbol on the app to access the story. The app works offline so that it can still be used when your phone signal is lost on the more remote stretches of the Trail. The Cateran Trail app is part of the ongoing offering from Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust during Year of Natural Scotland. It is available to download for free from Google PlayStore.

The Cateran Trail was the destination in early September for thirty-five disabled ex-service men and women. The trip was made possible thanks to funding from The Not Forgotten Association, a unique national tri-service charity which provides entertainment, leisure and recreation for the serving wounded, injured or sick and for  ex-service men and women with disabilities. The focus of the trip was on developing confidence and self esteem, using positive experiences out on The Cateran Trail as a tool to achieve this. Bob Ellis, Chairman, Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust, was asked to lead a group for the week. His knowledge of the Trail is incomparable and as an ex-serviceman himself was ideally suited to the job in hand. For more information visit STV Filming the launch of the Cateran Trail app

Big Tree Roots Exhibition

Local Community Partnership Keen walkers can now take the high road above Kinloch Rannoch following path work supported by the Trust. A significant improvement programme has been carried out on the Meall Dubh path to the north of Kinloch Rannoch to extend it and make it more accessible. A new All Abilities path has also been created which provides safe access to the village by allowing pedestrians to stay off a difficult stretch of road. The project has been a great example of what can be achieved through community-based partnerships. Inspired by their success and beginning to see the benefits of enticing walkers to the area, the group has since made funding applications in support of the creation of a path network for Kinloch Rannoch and renewing the interpretation and improving car parking around the Clan Trail. The group is now marketing the area as ‘Open All Year Round’ and has offered a programme of guided walks throughout the winter and summer. To take part in a walk led by a local guide visit

The rich heritage of woods and forests in Perth and Kinross is being explored as part of a new exhibition. Perthshire is known today as Big Tree Country – a phrase local journalist Thomas Hunter would have also understood 130 years ago when he wrote his book “Woods, Forests and Estates of Perthshire”. The book described how the landscape was being transformed by the plants introduced by plant collectors such as David Douglas. As well as recording all the remarkable trees in the area, the publication also featured engravings from photographs taken by Magnus Jackson, who had a studio in Perth. Now these images have been unveiled during the Big Tree Roots exhibition at Perth Museum and Art Gallery thanks to funding from Forestry Commission Scotland. Displays feature 25 photographs taken between 1860 and 1890, accompanied by extracts from Hunter’s writing. Other objects featured illustrate the uses of wood and timber over the centuries to the present day including work by contemporary artists, Angus Ross, Angus Clyne and Nigel Ross. ‘Big Tree Roots’ runs until Monday 30th December 2013. Perth Museum and Art Gallery is open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. Admission is free. To help you explore the natural heritage and wonders of Big Tree Country, a series of ten walks are also available to download free from

iCONic Seed Collecting Expedition The iCONic Project, a Perthshire Big Tree Country initiative set up to pioneer the conservation of threatened conifer species around the world, get off to a “Chile” start to 2013 with a major seed collecting expedition. The main aim of the expedition was to collect seed from the threatened Chilean plum yew (Prumnopitys andina) from a valley which is due to be flooded in 2015 as part of a hydro-electric scheme. However the seed collectors, the iCONic Project leader Tom Christian and Martin Gardner, an expert in conifer conservation from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, also collected seeds and cuttings from species which are facing other environmental threats. These include the Pilgerodendron uviferum, a small-growing conifer when planted in Scotland, and the Fitzroya cupressoides, South America’s answer to California’s awesome redwoods and a ‘natural monument’ of Chile. The seeds and cuttings are destined for a range of carefully selected sites within Perthshire and will act as a valuable conservation collection that Chile can draw on to help restore its native populations in future years. For more information on the iCONic Project visit

A Year of Natural Events in Big Tree Country Visitors have been enjoying Perthshire’s breathtaking landscapes for generations. The natural environment of Perth and Kinross is the number one reason why people visit the area and the ‘Big Tree Country’ brand generates some £1.8 million of tourism activity per annum to the local economy. Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust backed Year of Natural Scotland 2013 by taking the lead in highlighting the outstanding natural beauty of Big Tree Country and providing inspiring ideas on how locals and visitors can explore it. An initial list of over 100 ‘natural’ events taking place across Perth and Kinross was compiled and quickly grew into a list of several hundred events. I was delighted when Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive at VisitScotland congratulated The Trust for seizing the opportunities presented by the Year of Natural Scotland 2013. The Trust is now looking forward to 2014 and Homecoming Scotland and the Ryder Cup Event at Gleneagles and Junior Ryder Cup in Blairgowrie. The Cateran Trail GeoTour and the work on the Rannoch Clan Trail are just two of the ways we will be supporting Homecoming Scotland 2014. I am delighted that The Trust has been chosen as a partner in the Ryder Cup’s pioneering Green Drive initiative. At a time when finances are tight this is very welcome financial support for the work of The Trust and will help ensure that the Ryder Cup event has a significantly lighter environmental footprint. Councillor Bob Ellis Chairman, Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust Photo Credits: Mike Bell, Paul Adair, Malcolm Cochrane, Martin Gardner and PKCT Staff

The work of the Trust is only possible thanks to support from the following:

Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust, c/o Pullar House, 35 Kinnoull Street, Perth PH1 5GD | T: 01738 475255 |

Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust Newsletter 2013  
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