The National Trust for Scotland is a Scottish Charity, SC0007410
Welcome to One Trust One Trust is published every two months for the people of the Trust. It can easily be downloaded, printed off and shared with colleagues who don’t have regular access to IT. If you’re aware of colleagues who would like to read One Trust, please feel free to print it off and forward a copy to them. We welcome feedback and suggestions for future content which you can email to Allie McAllister, Communications Officer, email@example.com or post to: Allie McAllister, Customer & Cause, Hermiston Quay, 5 Cultins Road, Edinburgh EH11 4DF.
Contents 01 Message from Simon Skinner 02 Board update 02 Trustee Elections 03 Policy and guidance 04 Lidl Partnership 06 Visitor Survey 07 Project Reveal 08 Paxton House partnership 08 Founders’ Circle
09 Fundraising made easy 10 Thistle Camps 10 Our CEO’s a happy camper 11 Embracing values 11 Retail news 12 Invasive species 13 More than just one box 15 Regional news 27 Across the sea
28 Spotlight on
Message from Simon
visitor experience while being true to Charles Rennie Mackintosh's legacy.
We hear from our CEO
The Hill House, Glencoe, as well as Brodick, Inverewe, Brodie, Newhailes and Culzean, are all symbols, symbols of the changes we promised to make four years ago in ensuring the sustainability and continued relevance of the Trust. They are also the symbols of the dedication, effort, commitment and expertise of the volunteers and staff who delivered the projects.
On 31 May, we officially opened Glencoe's Visitor Centre following its complete refurbishment. Like any other visitor I was struck by the complete turnaround that's been achieved through clever design and genuinely engaging and interesting interpretation.
In other news, as some of you may be aware, Sir Moir Lockhead's four-year term as Chair is now coming to an end. Since taking on the role in 2015, many of you have had the chance to meet Sir Moir and will be sorry to hear this news. Under his leadership, the Board agreed to radical change and support a strategy for investment which led to us undertaking the priority projects as set out above. Our Trustees have now confirmed that Sir Mark Jones will take on the role of Chair in August.
At last, we are doing proper justice to the Glen and its story – from the geology that shaped it, to the dark events that made it infamous, to today's National Nature Reserve status that makes it beloved by lovers of wild landscapes.
Sir Mark's achievements in the museum and heritage sector are extremely impressive. He was the Director of the National Museums of Scotland from 1992 to 2001 where he oversaw the project to create and open the 'Museum of Scotland'. He then became the Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. During his tenure, there was a ten year, £120 million programme of renewal of the museum and visitor numbers tripled.
What also struck me was the huge level of local community engagement. Locals were out in force to mark the formal occasion as you would expect, but well before that, as soon as the centre opened for the day, many more were arriving for breakfast and morning coffee in the stylish new surroundings of the café.
Currently, he is chair of the Pilgrim Trust, the Historic Scotland Foundation and the Patrick Allan-Fraser of Hospitalfield Trust. He also owns the Golden Hare bookshop in Stockbridge, Edinburgh which was recently named Independent Bookshop of the Year at the British Book Awards.
The second occasion was the evening reception to mark the opening of the Hill House Box. I was honoured to have the chance to say a few words and, looking over the faces of the guests, I could see from their expressions how pleased, reassured and relaxed they were - they understood that the Trust had kept its promise and delivered something that enhances the
Sir Mark lives in Edinburgh and is keen to get out with his grandchildren and meet as many of you as possible. I know we will all make him welcome.
out independently by our internal auditors, Grant Thornton. The Board looked forward to our forthcoming AGM in Glasgow in September and previewed the planning for the event. Finally, our Trustees received the latest reports from our Investment Committee, Audit & Risk Management Committee, Remuneration Committee, and reviewed recent fundraising and volunteering activity in the Trust.
Summary notes from the last Board of Trustees meeting Our Trustees are responsible for the Trust’s strategic direction and leadership. The Board of Trustees meets six times a year and have bi-annual two-day meetings. The Trustees last met on 27 June 2019. It was another busy meeting with a very full agenda.
The Board is scheduled to meet again on 8 August.
The first item of business was the formal resolution to appoint Sir Mark Jones as the Trust’s new Chairman. Sir Mark will take up office on 9 August after the term of office of our current Chairman, Sir Moir Lockhead, comes to an end.
Voting is now well underway for the 2019 Board of Trustees election Voting is now well underway for the 2019 Board of Trustees election. Four Trustees are completing their terms of office – two are eligible to stand for a second term of office. Elections are being held for all four Trustee vacancies.
The Board spent time reviewing the quarterly health, safety, and wellbeing report. The Board also reviewed and discussed the other standard quarterly reports from management including the strategic KPI report, finance reports, 4Risk reports, and priority projects reports. Our Trustees have taken a keen interest in our systems implementation project and there was an opportunity for a good discussion on this process to date as well. Turning to our properties, the Board gave the go ahead for £700,000 of investment in House of Dun as the latest in our series of priority projects. Iain Hawkins, General Manager North East, attended the meeting to present the project plans. An update on delivery of our Gardens Strategy was also given and the Board welcomed Ann Steele, Head of Heritage Gardening (Policy), for that item. Finally, the Board has approved the marketing and sale of a property donated to the Trust at Inverleith Terrace in Edinburgh. The former owner is keen that the Trust now proceeds with the sale, the proceeds of which will help the Trust’s work.
If you’re a member, this is a fantastic opportunity for you to have your opinions heard and use your membership to its fullest potential. You should vote for who you believe can best direct the Trust for the future. This ensures that the Trust can deliver and develop more fantastic experiences for our members at all our properties. The elections have been split into 4 different categories to showcase the relevant skills and knowledge required for each respective role on the Board of Trustees. You can vote for one candidate only in each category. Voting closes in September, but why wait? Vote online now!
The Board also considered several governance matters. Each year the Board carries out a review of its own effectiveness. This is a standard good governance practice in larger organisations. This year the review was carried 2
Policy and Guidance
plan. It identifies particular gaps in the supply of stonemasonry and roofing to maintain Scotland’s built heritage, as well as a wider range of skill shortages in roles such as traditional joiners, lime plasterers, heritage gardeners, surveyors and archaeologists. There’s also an increasing demand for skills in areas such as ICT and digital, leadership and management, business and enterprise, customer service skills (front of house), events management, and advocacy.
An update on our policies Our Place in Time historic environment strategy The Trust plays a major part in delivering the national historic environment strategy ‘Our Place in Time’. The majority of activity takes place in working groups, each focused on a particular challenge or opportunity.
Built heritage investment plan – finally, work is continuing on the built heritage investment plan, which is intended to quantify the conservation deficit for Scotland’s historic and traditional buildings. Some 50 data sets have been reviewed to date, with the best visibility of need coming from public sector and from charitable owners. The conservation needs of privately-owned properties are more difficult to estimate. Currently, annual spending on the historic environment in Scotland, from all sources, is estimated at £1.27 billion. However, this is considered to be insufficient to meet the needs of the sector, based on the value of works required to heritage estates, and the volume of applications for grants. Future funding for the historic environment is therefore likely to need greater prioritisation to manage demand, accessing new sources of funding such as equity and debt financing, and, for private owners, new approaches to taxation.
Volunteering Campaign – the Volunteering working group has been developing a campaign to promote volunteering in the heritage sector. Planned to run from 2019-2024, the Volunteering Participation Campaign is intended to increase both the numbers and the diversity of volunteers across Scotland’s heritage organisations. Actions are expected to include promoting opportunities to volunteer, building volunteering into annual national initiatives such as Scotland’s Year of Coast and Waters 2020, Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, and Scotland’s first World Volunteering EXPO 2021 and yearlong Festival of Volunteering. Skills investment plan – the Skills working group has overseen the publication of the first Skills Investment Plan for the historic environment. The plan is intended to recognise the unique skills needs of the sector and address these through the development of a coordinated action
Support for rural Scotland The Scottish Government has published new research on citizen views of agricultural support and rural priorities. This is an important step in helping determine how rural Scotland may be funded once we leave the European Union, and 3
the Common Agricultural Policy ceases to apply. It is notable that agricultural funding is relatively low on citizen priorities, with only 5% ranking it in the top three government priorities.
sustainable development. There are also new commitments to sustaining cultural venues, to promoting biodiversity, to reducing climate change and to landscapes in National Scenic Areas. Other significant changes to the planning system include a move to a ten-year cycle for local development plans, and the end of regional planning in its current form. However, a number of proposed improvements, including around planning permission for hill tracks, and in rebalancing appeal rights, were not taken forward. Overall, the new bill is not the radical transformation of planning that seemed to be promised at the outset, and frustrations with how the planning system manages conflicting ambitions are likely to continue.
Environment by contrast had a stronger showing, with 20% of respondents ranking it as among the top three government priorities. This supports the Trustâ€™s case that future support for rural land management should be based on delivering public benefits, including access, biodiversity, air and water quality, and caring for our landscapes.
Updated procurement policy ExCo have approved an updated procurement policy which informs all purchases made by the Trust. The new policy reflects changes in systems and internal structures but keeps the existing delegated limits for procurement. For every purchase, we have a duty to the charity to ensure best value and, where contract amounts are larger, we need to better demonstrate how we have sought to obtain value. The policy sets out the stages to be followed in making purchases, including the tender process, setting up suppliers, and agreeing contracts.
Planning â€“ a better future? The Scottish Parliament has finally approved a new Planning Bill, which has had a prolonged and much amended journey through Parliament. The Trust and partner organisations were much involved in contributing to the bill, and there have been a number of improvements made to the original proposals. These include stating, for the first time, that the purpose of planning is to manage land in the long-term public interest, and to contribute to
Trust credit cards ExCo have also approved new guidance on the use of credit cards in the Trust. The new guidance explains how credit cards are issued, the responsibilities of card holders, and when and how these are to be used. If youâ€™d like further information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our big partnership with Lidl
A Q&A with Clare Willis, Marketing Manager, on our partnership with the supermarket chain Lidl is covering the cost of the booklet and the accompanying marketing campaign. They’re also paying us a brand association fee. This goes straight into the General Income Fund, meaning all properties will benefit from the partnership. The partnership has been many months in the making but we’re excited about working together and feel there are many more opportunities to explore over the next three years! What is the Lidl Book of Big Adventures? It’s a fun, seasonal activity book designed to appeal to our family audience. Each booklet is packed with ideas of places to visit and things to do. In addition, kids can collect stickers from Trust places as they tick off their adventures. Alongside each booklet there will be a complementary marketing campaign to amplify the key messages and to reach an even wider audience. You may have already seen our promotional film on social media which was shot at Crathes!
As summer gets underway, we’re delighted to share news of an exciting new partnership with the supermarket chain, Lidl. We’ve teamed up to co-create The Lidl Book of Big Adventures, a free booklet that’s packed full of ideas for fun family outings and activities at Trust places. Here Clare Willis, Marketing Manager, tells us more about this new partnership.
Where can I get my hands on one? Over 200,000 copies were distributed as a free insert in the Scottish Sun at the start of July and copies were also handed out at the Royal Highland Show. You can pick up a booklet at participating Trust properties along with special sticker sheets. Copies are also available at all Scottish Lidl stores, and following huge popularity, Lidl have reprinted 100,000 new copies!
What’s the aim of this partnership? This is the start of a three-year partnership, the biggest in the history of the Trust. The partnership supports our aim to attract more visitors and engage with a wider audience. Teaming up with Lidl means our messages will reach even more people and we’ll benefit from their wide-reaching communications and instore point of sale.
When will the next books be available? We’ve already started planning the autumn booklet which will be included as an insert in the autumn/winter issue of our membership magazine. Copies will also be available to pick up at Lidl stores and participating properties (along with new sticker sheets) from midSeptember. Activities featured in the autumn booklet include inspiration for seasonal walks, spooky Halloween games and a family-friendly guide to our most haunted houses!
Why Lidl? The Trust is keen to develop large-scale and long-term partnerships that can help us work towards achieving parts of our corporate plan. Lidl is also committed to developing partnerships with a similar outcome and we felt there was good synergy as we were both looking at ways to reach new audiences. 5
Are all properties taking part? There are 50 properties taking part in the campaign. Participating properties get a supply of booklets and stickers along with supporting promotional collateral.
What’s property feedback like so far? It’s still early days but initial feedback from property teams has been positive. We’ve been working closely with Michael Bauld, Insights Manager, to devise a set of targets so we can track the campaign but would welcome any additional feedback – contact details below.
How will Lidl promote the Trust? Each seasonal edition of The Lidl Book of Big Adventures will be available to pick up at one of Lidl’s 100 stores throughout Scotland. In addition, Lidl will promote the campaign through their own channels including in-store point of sale (billboards, posters, and hanging signage) plus their website and social media channels. The Trust features heavily in their ‘Lidl Moments’ magazine with two full-page spreads and we also featured in their ‘Lidl Weekly’ magazine. They’re fully committed to the partnership and want to support it as much as they can.
How can I find out more? We’ve created a dedicated area on TrustNet containing a partnership information pack. Here you’ll also find a set of approved images and assets which properties can use on their own channels to support the campaign. You can also contact Clare Willis, Marketing Manager, for more information about the partnership and the accompanying campaign: email@example.com.
Visitor Survey June 2019 results
The visitor survey is now well underway, and June was a very strong month, with 829 responses collected and a Trust wide Overall Experience score of 9.13 out of 10! Weâ€™re now in peak season, so properties are getting busier, and teams are asked to keep up the pace in July and August by using the tablets and promoting the link on till receipts etc. The information weâ€™re getting back is proving extremely valuable.
Project Reveal round-up
A look back on what’s been achieved in the last two years monthly blogs which have informed readers of project progress and which methods we have used, from object marking to data standards to photography processes. Social media has also played a big part in the project. We’ve tweeted most days with images of objects in our collections, and this has led to a significant increase in the number of followers of @NTSCollections on Twitter. Property staff can now use AdLib to check object information, manage the locations of the objects (if an object moves and we don’t record it, it’s lost again), create room lists and so much more. Curators can add the results of their research to the Collections Management System and our Conservators can use the ‘condition’ data gathered during the Project to establish strategic priorities for treatment. Our Registrars have updated loan agreements, returned loaned objects and converted some loans to gifts, and all our loan items have had condition reports completed for them.
As Project Reveal comes to an end, Wendy Turner, Reveal Inventory Project Manager looks back at £1.3m, 24 months, 100k objects and 47 properties! Back in July 2017 a team of fresh-faced Project Revealers came to Hermiston Quay for the first time. We spent three days in training to enable us to begin work on this exciting project. Two years later, the final two teams, North and East are drawing this inventory and digitisation project to a close with an eye on what the next steps will be.
The scope for stories that can be told using our collections is vast. Having our collection objects recorded in Adlib has provided us with the opportunity to search under properties and to gain knowledge of what we have, and where.
Every object has been recorded in our Collections Management system ‘AdLib’ and has been photographed (these images are also available via our Image Management System ‘Portfolio’). Each object has been marked nonpermanently with a unique number that will allow the Trust to manage and trace it in AdLib. Digital media has been an integral part of disseminating information about the Project. Sixty-four Reveal articles have been published on the Trust’s website, providing details about objects in our collections, and telling stories about the properties we’ve worked in. We’ve also charted the Project through a series of
This is the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to all the amazing people who have worked on Project Reveal and all the support we’ve had from our colleagues. This has been a monumental Project and we’ll leave the Trust’s collections in a strong position for future projects. 8
Paxton House Partnership
Members simply show their valid membership upon arrival to enjoy a great day out in the Borders.
We’re delighted to announce that we’ve teamed up with Paxton House to offer Trust members free entry to this beautiful Palladian mansion.
Discover more at www.paxtonhouse.co.uk.
Free admission offered to Trust members
Our new Founders’ Circle launched at Gosford House recently On Saturday 6 July, members of the Fundraising team, Simon Skinner and a very excited group of dedicated supporters, were delighted to enjoy the hospitality of Lord Wemyss, at his ancestral home, Gosford House, in Longniddry, East Lothian.
There’s so much for you to enjoy, the house is filled with treasures including a nationally significant collection of Chippendale and Trotter furniture and masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland. Children can enjoy the Teddy Trail that runs throughout the house. In the extensive grounds there are gardens, woodland, an adventure play park and even a den building area. With the savings you’ve made on entry fees, why not treat yourself to lunch in the Stables Tearoom and a visit to the Regency Gift shop.
The event was to re-launch our Wemyss Circle, now known as the Founders’ Circle. This is a giving circle for supporters who donate £1,000 or more, to the Trust each year. The group is socalled, to reflect the passion, care and love for Scotland by those who built and shaped the
Mark Bishop, Director of Customer & Cause said: “Offering our members free admission to Paxton House is a great way of thanking them for their continued support. It’s a beautiful property and one I know our members will enjoy exploring.”
Trust, including Sir John Stirling Maxwell, Lord Wemyss, Lord Bute and Sir Jamie Stormonth Darling. Their dedication has ensured that our heritage has been cared for since 1931. The Founders’ Circle allows us to create a group of supporters who want to realise a greater impact from their philanthropy and love of Scotland by joining with others and helps us to deepen their engagement with ‘behind the scenes’ access to learn more about why and how we care for Scotland’s heritage.
AmazonSmile Almost everyone has used Amazon. Imagine if every time you made a purchase on Amazon, you made a donation is made to the Trust? Well, now you can! It’s easier than ever to support the Trust when you’re doing your shopping through AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile is the same as Amazon, but by shopping through AmazonSmile you can make a donation to the Trust, at no extra cost to you. When using AmazonSmile, Amazon will make a donation on your behalf to the Trust, 100% of which goes directly to us. Please save www.smile.amazon.co.uk to your website bookmarks and shop through that.
Guests enjoyed afternoon refreshments in the impressive Marble Hall of Gosford House, serenaded by a pianist on a grand piano, who played music appropriate to the era of the property. Following this, guests were lead to the Dining Room, where they enjoyed a number of speeches, including words from Simon Skinner and a presentation by Lord Wemyss, who regaled attendees with funny and fascinating stories of his family history, and the changing history of the beautiful house, after which, guests enjoyed an exclusive tour of the property. Feedback was very positive. This was a wonderful opportunity to thank supporters and increase their involvement with the Trust through Founders’ Circle membership. If you’d like to know more about the Founders’ Circle, please contact the Fundraising team on: 0131 458 0200 or at Founderscircle@nts.org.uk.
Easy Fundraising EasyFundraising is the UK’s biggest charity shopping fundraising site and has helped to raise millions to causes that online shoppers care about. Now, the Trust is a charity you can support through EasyFundraising. All you need to do is visit www.easyfundraising.org.uk, choose the National Trust for Scotland as the charity you’d like to support, then start shopping! With over 3,600 shops waiting to donate to us, including John Lewis, ASOS, Next, Sainsbury’s, Argos, Ebay and Marks & Spencers, your daily shopping just became an opportunity to protect Scotland’s heritage. You can even install a donation reminder ensuring you never miss a chance to raise money again.
Fundraising made easy
Supporting the Trust is now easier than ever You can now support the Trust as you shop through AmazonSmile and Easy Fundraising! By shopping through these websites, you can make a difference to the cause you care about, helping us to protect Scotland’s heritage, landscapes and wildlife, and at no extra cost to you. Shopping through these sites is simple and free, and these platforms have helped millions of shoppers raise over £20 million for good causes, simply by shopping online. You can also use them for work! All expenses and purchases made on company credit cards are eligible for donations.
If you have any questions about using either site then drop the Fundraising team an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. 10
Our CEOâ€™s a happy camper
For the second year running, Thistle Camps have teamed up with the University of Edinburgh's Insights programme give students from a variety of backgrounds first hand experiences in the world of conservation. The Insights scheme was set up to inspire students, increase their personal and professional confidence and widen their networks, as they benefit from university alumni sharing their knowledge and experience of job sectors.
Volunteers recently undertook three days of pathwork as part of the Ben Lomond Upland Thistle Camp. 45,000 people walk up Ben Lomond each year (and back down again!), so it's important to reduce the impact of erosion on this Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Working together with the University of Edinburgh
Simon Skinner recently joined one of our Thistle Camps
The first two days were spent improving and widening the main path, to encourage people to walk on it. The path is like an iceberg - lots of work goes on under the surface! Sizeable holes were dug and stone chiselled to accept large rocks as step risers. These rocks were stabilised, then all but the front of them was covered. Step risers have a dual purpose - they prevent the path surface from being washed down the path, and they provide low steps up the gradient of the mountain.
Seasonal Thistle Camp leader (and University of Edinburgh graduate), Johnny Wells, was joined on Arran by three first year students who had the opportunity to work with Trust staff including Kate Sampson, Head Ranger, Patrick Hayes, Head Gardener and Nan Morris, Footpath Team Member, who have all experienced very different career paths. The students were involved in hands-on work including creating a footpath by preparing the site, constructing cross drains and digging surfacing from the hillside. Hayley was particularly inspired by the challenges the work presented as she watched Kate, Nan and Corrina Goeckeritz, Ranger, working to find a solution to getting stones locked in place on the path. She reflected that it was a truly positive experience to see an all-female team and it helped her see a future career path for herself in the sector.
The third day was spent landscaping this area, with the help of some visitors â€“ including Simon Skinner. Mounds were constructed and rocks placed strategically to discourage the walkers from veering off the side of the path, to prevent braiding. The path up Ben Lomond was in places a 25-meter-wide scar in the landscape back in 1996, prior to all the path improvements, so it's important that to keep on top of this with maintenance.
The group were all happy with their achievements and enjoyed learning new skills under the expert coaching of Head Ranger and Property Manager Alasdair Eckersall and Seasonal Ranger Fraser McKechnie.
The quote in the stone wall in the garden at Hugh Miller’s Cottage sums up the trip perfectly! All involved came away from the trip with some key takeaways and are committed to being Curious and Caring and to using their eyes and ears well!
The People team go exploring
Sales updates, new ranges AND the dreaded ‘C’ word
A group of newbies from the People Team travelled to the North West region last month to learn about the joys and the challenges of working in both built and natural environments and find out what they can do to best support their operational colleagues. They visited Balnain House, Culloden Battlefield, Abertarff House and Hugh Miller’s Birthplace Cottage & Museum and received a warm welcome from everyone they met. They heard surprising stories about working on the Islands, the debate over nature conservation perspectives and using local suppliers for a sustainable supply chain and experienced a real sense of camaraderie and pride everyone they encountered had in their work.
It’s been a very busy start to the year in retail with a bumper few months in terms of sales. Retail’s £400k ahead of last year (having already taken in £2million) with the busiest months still to come! A huge thank you to all the teams out there, working hard in gift shops selling our fantastic ranges to our visitors.
Outside of learning what their colleagues do, they also got to see and experience the Trust’s values in action: Care for our visitors, volunteers and colleagues; Bravery in the innovative approaches to age-old problems; Vibrancy created in teams from a real diversity of personal experience; Inclusivity through being an integral part of our local communities and; Curiosity with a real thirst for knowledge as every experience is treated as an opportunity to learn.
Over the last few months, many new shops have opened their doors and the Merchandise team have been out and about supporting properties as they merchandise these new shops and get them ready for opening. They recently travelled 12
up to Glencoe, across to Brodick Castle and went West to the Hill House. The shop fits and ranges across all three shops really showcase the Trust’s retail in a very different way and offer visitors truly unique gift ideas.
in the year! There’s going to be an amazing range of Christmas cards this year, catering for all tastes. Trust hampers can offer great gift solutions for all the gin, tea, coffee and chocolate lovers out there and a healthy living/eco-friendly hamper will also be introduced this year. The team have also been busy getting ready to produce a Christmas Gift Guide brochure 2019, which will be included in the Autumn/Winter membership magazine and some other publications from September. September is the month that most customers start thinking about getting organised for Christmas so the aim is to put our gift ranges at the forefront of their minds at an early stage will help them become the best Christmas gift givers!
Eco-Friendly The team are very passionate about supporting customers lead an eco-friendly lifestyle and are just about to launch a brand-new plastic carrier bag that looks and feels like plastic but is not. It’s made from 100% sugar cane and is 100% recyclable and completely carbon neutral. All of these messages are highlighted on the bag itself as well on our website.
An exclusive range of stationery and prints was designed by Alistair at Hole in my Pocket, who took inspiration from the original plans and drawings of the Hill House A beautiful range of laser cut jewellery was designed by Mhairi at Bonnie Bling taking inspiration from inside the house itself.
Next on the agenda is a plan to replace the plastic water bottles sold in shops with an ecofriendly alternative - watch this space for more information!
Christmas The summer holidays have only just begun but the Merchandise team have been busy selecting the core Christmas ranges for the year ahead already - sorry to mention the ‘C’ word so early
_________________________________________________________________________________________ Invasive species identification and management
Hannah Patterson, Ranger at for Perthshire properties shares her expertise on how to identify and appropriately manage four common invasive species Invasive species essentially refers to plants or animals that are often not originally from here but thrive and spread rapidly causing negative impacts on our native wildlife. This can be achieved by increased competition for food, territory and other essential resources. Once invasive species become established in area their removal can be expensive and time-consuming but necessary to protect our indigenous species. The North Perthshire Ranger Service has been working in partnership with the Scottish Invasive Species Initiative to tackle four species found along the banks of the river Tay in Dunkeld; Himalayan Balsam, Japanese Knotweed, Rhododendron Ponticum and American Mink. Here are a few tips on how to identify and appropriately manage these species. 13
Himalayan Balsam Is identifiable by the reddish-tinge to the stalk and leaves. Found from June – October, this plant has large pink flowers. Although bees love Himalayan Balsam this isn’t a good thing as it means they will favour it over other plants, including our native species. As a result, less indigenous plants are being pollinated, which reduces their populations and overall biodiversity. Himalayan Balsam can be removed by simply pulling it from the ground. Once removed from the ground the stems should be snapped and the plants can be left on site but off the ground, i.e. on a tree stump to avoid the roots restabilising. Plants can emerge from May and often germinate in spaces that have been cleared so it’s best to monitor the area throughout this time. Don’t pull Himalayan Balsam from August - September as this could result in accidental dispersal of seeds. It may take several years of pulling for the plant to be eradicated from the area but it will work, eventually.
Rhododendron Ponticum Rhododendrons are loved garden plants but the Ponticum variety is highly invasive. Like Himalayan Balsam, they produce large purple flowers that attract bees, consequently reducing the pollination of native species. Its large leaves block sunlight from reaching the ground, resulting in a vast reduction of flora species. Rhododendron has thin waxy leaves which are not palatable to our native species and it is not a suitable habitat for nesting or other animals. Consequently, where rhododendron is present it is difficult for other species to survive. To manage this species effectively, the roots must be removed either being dug out by hand or with machinery like a stump grinder. Alternatively, pesticides can be used. As Rhodendron is a tree with solid timber trunk, not hollow stems like the Knotweed, holes must be drilled for the pesticide to be delivered to ensure it reaches the root system. American Mink Since their release from fur farms in the 1930s, American Mink populations have grown across Scotland. Highly adaptable and opportunistic predators that thrive both on land and in rivers, mink are direct competition for otters and have had a catastrophic impact on water vole populations. The Scottish Invasive Species Initiative has provided us with mink rafts across our properties that help us monitor the presence of mink in the area. They work by floating in the water which attracts the curious mink. When mink enter the raft, they step on a clay pad inside, leaving footprints behind. The rafts are regularly checked and on confirmation of mink footprints the clay pad is replaced with a trap, which is then checked every 24 hours. Once a mink has been trapped it is illegal to release it due to its non-native invasive status, so it must be humanely dispatched by a trained individual.
Japanese Knotweed This plant has hollow stems that look similar to bamboo and bright green leaves in the shape of a spade. It spreads through a large rhizome (modified subterranean plant stem that sends out roots and shoots from its nodes). Left untreated it can grow in dense clusters leaving no space or light for other ground flora. It should not be dug out as this could encourage the species to spread. Instead, the stems should be injected with neat pesticide. This is then absorbed into the root system and eventually kills off the plant. This can take multiple sessions from July-September over several years, depending on how well-established the plant is in the area. Please remember that the use of pesticides should only be done by a trained individual with the appropriate equipment and protective clothing. 14
More than just one Box
A Q&A with Jacqueline Wilson on the tech that helps the Hill House run What makes the Hill House different from other properties? Having spoken to Richard and other members of the Hill House staff, it became apparent that what we had provided as a baseline, was no longer relevant to their ways of working. We became aware that this was going to be a very busy site, so instead of just having built in till points, we’ve decided to trial queue busting tablets which would allow volunteers and staff to move people away from busy areas and put through their membership details, entry payments, retail purchases etc. more efficiently. Although we can try, realistically, we can’t predict the volume of visitors the Hill House can expect, so it’s important to have methods in place that will allow the team there to deal with extremely busy situations. What were the key challenges? People moving around the site! Not only from a visitor perspective, but also volunteers and staff. The offices (currently situated in the gardener’s cottage) are used for a certain level of administration, but a critical part of the role for those volunteering and working at the Hill House is being in the property itself, both the Box and the house. They need to be able to carry out their tasks and support visitors without disruption. I quickly learned that once volunteers and staff left the office area, contact with them became limited. We talked this through with Richard and decided to make the Hill House a pilot property for a more mobile solution. We’ve put in VoIP systems (Voice over IP - the transmission of voice and multimedia content over Internet Protocol). This means that instead of running our telephony through our standard analogue lines, we’re running it through our data lines which allows us to connect with other devices such as an App on Trust mobiles. This app connects the team to their desk phones allowing them to pick up calls whilst on the move around the site – allowing them greater versatility in their role.
By now, we’re all familiar with the Hill House Box, our ambitious project to help save the Hill House. But as this Jacqueline Wilson, Technology Director, shares, there are in fact a lot of other boxes at the Hill House helping to make the whole visitor experience happen. So that we can live up to our value of being Curious, here’s an opportunity to hear from Jacqueline how important technology and infrastructure support is playing for our priority projects How did you decide what tech was needed at the Hill House? We set up a morning where myself and members from the IT Team visited the property to meet with Richard Williams, General Manager Glasgow and the West. We also invited along representatives from our technical suppliers who would be involved in implementing the new systems at the Hill House, to come to the site and assess the project. We had to get an understanding of what the property’s requirements were. This visit allowed us to assess what the current service was on site, what worked, what needed improvement and what we wanted to do in the future. 15
What about Wi-Fi? When considering Wi-Fi at most of our other sites, we tend to think of them as being old buildings where there will be conservation restrictions meaning we need to think carefully about where we cable.
What will you and the team take away from this project? We’re testing and piloting ways of using technology at the Hill House and see this as the blueprint for what we should be using across the organisation. We’ve gone through a digital transformation programme and the critical thing for us is to have robust networks so visitors, volunteers and staff across our sites can use Trust systems without any difficulty, as well as being able to operate all the digital equipment needed on site. This blueprint should be something that we can replicate on every site and ensure that the whole experience is a positive one. We want our people and our visitors to have a seamless experience. If they have an issue, we want them to be able to call that into our team and we’ll resolve issues quickly and efficiently. We want to be able to introduce a common approach to systems, where every site has the same keeping us all connected as one Trust.
The Hill House project provided us with an opportunity to do a walk-through of the visitor journey and determine what visitors would like to see and download, this then allowed us to resource Wi-Fi that delivers a good signal over a large space – one that’s effectively shrouded by a metal curtain! While walking the visitor route, we discussed at what point on their journey visitors might want to stop, take photos and upload them to social media, sharing their visitor experience. We’ve been able to boost the Wi-Fi signal on walkways, in the new café and on the terrace meaning that coverage won’t be interrupted by the chainmail of the Box or heavy usage, thus allowing for full visitor engagement.
Continuing the Japanese theme, not only is Mike Jack undertaking his successful Threave Garden Show workshops on ‘The Japanese art of Kokedama’ (Thursday and Saturday mornings), but on Hornel’s birthday itself the Japanese Consul General Mr Nozomu Takaoka, formally opened the new museum space which named ‘The Collections Room’.
News from across the Trust
Dumfries and Galloway Threave Gardening Show Success A huge well done to everyone who helped and supported the successful running of Threave’s first Gardening Show! Over the course of the weekend, the property welcomed 4,226 visitors and almost £18,000 of income from ticket sales, sponsorship, pitch hire, catering, donations, retail and plant sales. The success of this event was real testament to how far the team have come to be able to deliver such a largescale event with calmness and professionalism throughout. Exhibitors were delighted with the event and many have already asked to come back next year.
Edinburgh and the East A right Royal affair As a thank you for hosting His Royal Highness, Prince Edward the Earl of Forfar, during his Duke of Edinburgh real tennis challenge last year, six staff and volunteers from Falkland Palace alongside six members of the Falkland Real Tennis Club, were invited to this year’s Royal Garden party at Holyrood. It was a perfect day, and everybody enjoyed afternoon tea, admiring all the guests’ outfits and trying to spot a Royal!
Let’s hope the sun is shining for the next Threave Gardening Show, 12 -14 June 2020!
Celebrating Hornel’s birthday Hornel was born on 17 July 1864. To celebrate his life Broughton House & Garden planned a whole week of activities between 15-21 July. Visitors can view a range of stunning late 19th early 20th century Japanese photographs, art and books in the Gallery, to complement the current Japanese exhibition on the lower ground floor revealing what Hornel did on his holidays! 17
Explorer Backpacks for young explorers
Foraying into the Fringe
The Outreach Team partnered with Health Scotland in an effort to encourage a healthier lifestyle for families by being more active in the great outdoors and being aware of how to stay safe when in the natural environment. The team received grant funding to purchase Explorer Backpacks which contain all the most essential items needed to go exploring, including a map of the local area, activities to encourage learning about wildlife and advice on how to be tick aware.
Gladstone’s Land will be joining the ranks of Edinburgh Fringe Venues and playing host to a brand-new piece of site specific, interactive, promenade theatre set over three floors of the historic building. From the 16 July – 8 September, visitors will be invited to play A Game of Death and Chance, created by acclaimed playwright Ben Harrison, the interactive piece uses the real-life history of the Old Town building to weave an atmospheric story that spans the period from the Union of the Crowns in 1603 to the Act of Union in 1707. Audience members will be asked to make choices which will shape the play, making every performance completely unique.
To launch the Explorer Backpacks, Newcraighall Primary School came along to Newhailes for a morning of exploring, learning and fun in the outdoors.
Tickets are available to buy via the Trust’s website and the Edinburgh Fringe website. It’s hoped that the play will be able to entice people who might not have otherwise considered a visit. For casual visitors (or those who don’t manage to get their tickets before they sell out!) self-guided visits and guided tours will be led around the play, allowing visitors to experience the property in a number of different ways.
During the launch, the children, their teachers and parents enjoyed counting their steps with pedometers (over 1,000 steps per child), spotting and listening to birds, hunting for mini beasts and learned how to minimise risk from tick bites. The school had a great morning and really enjoyed becoming explorers!
Celebrating volunteers To celebrate Volunteers’ Week 2019 and the Georgian House receiving a 5-star grading from Visit Scotland for the sixth year in a row, a wine and cake party for staff and over 100 volunteers was held to thank everyone for their hard work and commitment to the property.
Newhailes staff and the Outreach Team will adapt these packs for seasonal learning for all ages to encourage more families to be healthier and safer outdoors.
continues with a harp concert by Karen Marshalsay in August followed by a September concert featuring Spanish, French and Argentinian music performed with guitar and flute played by the Bruadar Duo.
Kellie’s war on clothes moths Kellie Castle recently found itself victim to a moth infestation in the collection store. Hundreds of webbing clothes moths were discovered in the carpet and other textiles, and with designs on breaking out into other parts of the castle. However, swift action by the property team who called on colleagues from Falkland Palace and the Collection teams ensured a plan was put in place and action taken to contain and treat the infestation.
A great evening was had by all! Stuart Maxwell, General Manager, and Claire Grant, Operations Manager (Edinburgh City) also attended and personally thanked staff and volunteers.
A very musical mansion ‘Music at the Mansion’ has become a monthly feature at the Hill of Tarvit this year. Starting off in the dark winter months with an a cappella and jazz concert, both of which were a great success and attracted totally different audiences. To continue, Jim Tribble took guests on a musical journey through time at Easter introducing instruments from the Middle Ages through to the Renaissance period. This was followed by a Blues Concert with Sir Peter and the Snowdrops, which again made for a fabulous evening introducing a different style of music to the mansion and attracting a very varied audience.
Both volunteers and staff, along with external art handlers came together to empty the room, send all the affected textiles off to the National Museum of Scotland for deep freezing, fumigate the room and start a cleaning programme of all the other objects before being returned to the room. To avoid spreading the moths and their eggs and larvae to other parts of the castle, a carefully planned exit route was chosen, and doors were blocked off along the way - the castle was closed to the public for the day as well.
On 21 June, Midsummer Night was celebrated with songs performed by Scottish singer Fiona MacKenzie including modern classics from the period of the house including La Vie en Rose, Mack the Knife, Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend and many more. ‘Music at the Mansion’
It’s too early to know how successful they’ve been, as the whole castle will continue to be monitored for further signs, and there is still much cleaning to be done, but the team are hopeful of a positive result. 19
Glasgow and the West
Uncovering Weaver’s past
From 22-23 June, Derek Alexander Head of Archaeological Services put some test pits in the garden, as he was interested to see if there was evidence of an earlier settlement at the top of the garden. Items found during the dig included medieval pottery and clay pipes, and also the strange objects on the left! If you think you know what they are, get in touch with the team at email@example.com. Amongst the finds is a theory that the earliest part of the cottage might be dated as far back as 1660.
The Tenement House has been a whirlwind of activity for the last month. While their new Women, War, and the West End exhibition, kindly funded by the Heritage Lottery Project as part of the West End Festival, has been bringing lots of visitors through the doors to learn of Glasgow’s bygone feminist heroes, they’ve been preparing for their next exhibition with the help of some local children. Last year, a group of youngsters learned all about 19th and 20th century life at the Tenement House, and inspired by their love for it all, have created beautiful drawings and paintings of the property’s wee Wally Dugs! Twenty-three have been designed in total by children aged 6-15 years and have now come to life in plaster form. Local businesses and shops have each sponsored a wee dug after running their paws all over Garnethill – try and spot them in shop windows if you’re in the area they’ll lead you to the Tenement House where you can see the exhibition, in full, from 13 August.
Wooly wonders for Weaver’s Weaver’s Cottage got a delivery of two Texel sheep fleeces from a local farm which they’re going to prepare in a traditional way, similar to what the families who lived in their cottage would have done! The fleeces will go through the whole traditional process of washing, carding, dyeing, spinning and finally weaving with the wool. The
To launch the Wally Dug trail (#whereswally), the Tenement House took part in ‘Interfest’, a festival celebrating cultural diversity as part of Refugee Week, hosted by Garnethill Multicultural Community Centre. There were many crafts at the property’s stall, with all the dugs presented together before being sponsored. The day marked a real hub of community, culture and art, and the team at the Tenement House were proud to have been a part of it and to host this upcoming exhibition. 20
The class of 2019 has already attracted considerable attention, with Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment and hen harrier species champion Mairi Gougeon paying a visit in June, and the BBC’s Landward making a segment on the harriers in July.
wool will be dyed with natural dye plants, some of which have been grown in the cottage garden. The team hope to host natural dyeing workshops this summer so keep an eye on their webpage.
Hen harriers are the UK’s most persecuted bird species, routinely killed to protect grouse moor interests. Several birds sat-tagged at Mar Lodge have ‘mysteriously disappeared’ over grouse moors.
Lodging harriers at Mar Lodge Back in 2016 hen harriers returned to breed at Mar Lodge for the first time in living memory. Since then, they’ve gone from strength to strength on the reserve. Each year, in partnership with the RSPB Hen Harrier LIFE Project, their nests have been monitored and a number of the birds have been satellite tagged.
As well as harriers, Mar Lodge staff conduct annual monitoring of the estate’s golden eagles, merlins and peregrines. This year a golden eagle chick was also sat-tagged as part of another long-term study.
Wonderful wildflowers This year, the Trust’s wildflower identification workshop took place on Arran, hosted by the ranger team there. There were 19 participants, including full-time and seasonal rangers and other volunteers and staff involved in the management and interpretation of Natural Heritage. The course has been running for many years with the aim of maintaining and improving skills at wildflower identification which are vital for understanding the habitats the Trust cares for.
The tagging process is the culmination of months of monitoring work from estate ecologists, rangers and gamekeepers. The tiny tags don’t hinder the birds in any way and provide researchers with a wealth of information on their movements and ecology. The process is heavily regulated, with only a few people in the country licensed to fit tags to birds. This year, up to five birds will be satellite tagged at Mar Lodge.
Organised and led by Dan Watson, Ben Lawers and Glencoe Ecologist, with voluntary assistance from Lindsay Mackinlay of Parnassus Ecology and Trust colleagues, the workshop is a great example of sharing knowledge and expertise across the organisation. 21
Nature spotting at St. Abb’s
The first afternoon was spent on the coast at the south end of the island, with some participants refamiliarising themselves with the delights of keying out plants while others received guidance on doing this for the first time. The second day was spent in Glen Rosa, with a wide range of plants to identify. The team split into two groups, with one having the treat of finding the rare Alpine Enchanter’s Nightshade for which Arran is a stronghold. The final morning was spent at another good coastal site, this time on the east side of the island. It had been hoped Celery-leaved Buttercup would be found there, but it was no longer at its known location. Being an annual, there is a good chance that seeds in the soil are just waiting for the right conditions to germinate.
It’s been all go at St Abb’s NNR, as June-July has seen the team there counting seabirds, monitoring wildlife and welcoming thousands of visitors to the reserve which is currently brimming with life! Aside from the resident seabirds and insects there have been a few rarities of late. On 2 June there was a fleeting visit from five spoonbills heading north past the reserve, the second reserve record and the second biggest flock EVER recorded in Scotland! On 3 July, Ciaran Hatsell, Seabird & Marine Ranger was on his way back from a Shag monitoring trip, walking past the Mire Loch when he spotted a Lesser Emperor Dragonfly – possibly constituting the third record for Scotland and the first record for the Scottish mainland!
Finally, there’s been a Lesser Scaup gracing the reserve with its presence on the Mire Loch of late – this vagrant duck from North America was first discovered in mid-May and has lingered since then. This is the first ever record for St Abb’s and also a first for the county. On 3 July it was seen at the same time as the Lesser Emperor Dragonfly – two firsts for the county in the same place at the same time! St Abb’s is a place of variety and wildness and you just never know what you’ll see on a walk around the reserve. There’s still plenty of time to see the resident seabirds, butterflies and wildflowers but get there quick - blink and it’ll be autumn!
It’s hoped the course will run again next year. Get in touch with Dan, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you’d be interested in attending. 22
Kintail kayaking and other sports
The Kintail & West Affric’s summer programme of guided outdoor activities are proving very popular this year.
Volunteers’ tea time On 7 June, volunteers from properties all over the North East were invited to a thank you tea party at Crathes Castle, to celebrate Volunteers Week. Iain Hawkins, General Manager and Sir Moir Lockhead, Chairman thanked the volunteers for their incredible contribution to the work of the Trust. It was a great opportunity for volunteers and staff to get together over a cup of tea and a cake and to meet volunteers from other properties.
Willie Fraser, Property Manager, has led several sea kayaking ‘taster days’ and courses locally in the Lochalsh area, as well as multi-day kayaking expeditions exploring other areas of Scotland’s magnificent north-west seaboard including Skye, Applecross, Knoydart and Harris. Rule Anderson, Ranger, has been leading guided hill walks including day walks such as the Five Sisters of Kintail and multi-day expeditions including the West Affric Munros and the Knoydart Munros.
Some lovely feedback was received after the event: “Thank you very much for coordinating the lovely tea party we had this afternoon. Whilst I always feel appreciated as part of the Crathes gardening team it’s really nice to be appreciated as part of the wider Trust volunteer work force.”
Rule said: “Rangers at Kintail have been providing outdoor guiding for many decades now helping visitors to enjoy and explore Scotland’s natural heritage is one of our core roles as rangers.”
“My day in the gardens is one of the highlights of my week: I’m outside, doing something I love learning loads and working with a great team. Someone else is making the decisions - a refreshing change from work! The bonus is that visitors clearly enjoy the garden and express their appreciation of the work of the garden team. I’d recommend to anyone.”
Drumming up love, for the roses of Drum Laurie Daguin, Head Gardener at Drum Castle is very proud of the rose garden at Drum Castle, which is divided into four quadrants showing how roses have been cultivated from the 17th 20th century. 23
A quarter of a century at Pitmedden
Laurie said: “Nearly 30 years after its creation, the Garden of Historic Roses is now reaching maturity.
Hamish McDonald, the longest serving member of the Pitmedden Gardens team, has recently celebrated his 25th anniversary with the Trust.
“This project is a horticultural and garden design journey through time in which you embark from the 17th century’s harmonious, classical design to the elegant and landscaped 18th century, flowing into the well displayed Victorian period, and finishing at the naturalistic and informal 20th century. Throughout the centuries, the form of the rose itself evolves as we follow the course of horticultural progress and the garden collection. From the pure and simple forms of the early times to the delicate pompom and chiffon petal shape to bolder Victorian forms and colours, we arrive at the modern English rose created during recent decades.
As well as being the team’s specialist in lawn care and cutting the vast quantity of Pitmedden’s famous formal box hedges and yew columns, Hamish also takes care of the maintenance of machinery. When the garden needs anything like a metal fruit frame or gate, he’s able to weld them together. His experience and dedication are of utmost value to the Pitmedden Garden team.
Putting Dun on the map Laurie continued: “Today, we’re looking towards the future. Two winters ago, we started with a colossal rose pruning campaign as well as feeding and improving the soil. We did not have to wait long for a result as last summer the roses gave an indecent profusion of blooms and are repeating it, as we speak.”
A drinks reception was held at the House of Dun for members of the local business community. The aim was to get the house back on the map and form links with local B&Bs, hotels and providers. Drinks and canapés were served in the walled garden, providing a relaxed, informal atmosphere for networking.
Happily ever after This June, J.M. Barrie’s birthplace hosted a wedding for the first time ever! The happy couple, Jamie and Antzela, got together when Aberdonian Jamie sang a song he’d written called ‘Finding Neverland’ to Antzela who served him behind a bar in Corfu. Eventually Antzela moved to Aberdeenshire and two years after that first meeting, they were
In the next years, Laurie and his team will be looking at redesigning some areas keeping in mind the need to be historically accurate while adding a modern twist, for the enjoyment of all. 24
married at the birthplace of the Peter Pan author.
working with quality local suppliers to add to their experience and enable the Trust to showcase Scotland’s fantastic produce, food and drinks to visitors from near and far.
North West A taste of a successful partnership
Local businesses such as Windswept have the chance to work with and collaborate with the Trust to the benefit of the visitors and the local economy, supporting the Trust’s vision.
The Trust is continuing to grow partnerships with local food and drink suppliers and the latest is the launch of the newly developed Culloden Ale – at Culloden Battlefield. The launch took place recently to celebrate the opening of the historic Leanach Cottage, the only building remaining on the battlefield site from the time of the conflict. The cottage has recently been renovated and rethatched and is being used as a location for the exhibition entitled ‘Culloden 300’ - a public consultation exercise by the Trust to gain a vision for what Culloden Moor landscape should look like in 2046 – 300 years after the Battle of Culloden.
Take-way dinner with a view at Glenfinnan With Glenfinnan expected to welcome 400,000 this year, the visitor centre continues to be very busy. To help improve facilities there, the team are investing in another catering outlet to serve a quality hot food take-away menu (including salmon and lime burgers, Mallaig fish and chips, and Mull cheddar macaroni cheese) at the viewpoint where tourists congregate to enjoy a glimpse of the Jacobite steam train and famous West Highland Railway viaduct. This specially designed metal container offers a production kitchen and servery, with large glass walls and larch cladding to hide its industrial origins behind a sleek natural exterior. The Viaduct View Eatery will open from mid-July, 10am to 7pm.
Waulk on the wild side of Canna This spring, Scottish publishers Birlinn Ltd reprinted John Lorne Campbell of Canna’s works ‘Hebridean Folksongs’ for the first time in over 30 years. These three volumes are renowned the world over as the influential works on traditional Hebridean work songs and were the product of many decades of research carried out by John Campbell and his friend, well known musician Francis Collinson. They’re highly sought after and this reprinting will open up the world of these songs to a whole new audience.
This new partnership is with the small, independent Windswept Brewing Company from Lossiemouth in Morayshire. Joint owners are ex RAF pilots Al Read and Nigel Tiddy. Windswept are a small independent brewery and the owners are delighted with the partnership which is a real collaboration between the Trust and this local supplier, which provides the Culloden Visitor Centre with a beer and label design that befits such an important site of Scottish history.
To celebrate this occasion, Fiona MacKenzie, Canna Archivist, invited a team of professional ‘waulkers’ to come and deliver a day of waulking and spinning demonstrations and workshops for residents and visitors.
Bart Bukowski, Regional Catering & Hospitality Manager - North West & Islands, has developed this new partnership. Visitors are increasingly interested in the stories of the food and drink which are sold at the sites, so Bart has been 25
Nine ladies of the ‘Inverclyde Waulkers’, demonstrated these traditional Hebridean craft techniques to a steady stream of Canna visitors who were able to participate and learn some new skills.
One hundred years on, Inverewe is recognising its centenary with a parade of willow figures representing those who served, created by sculptor Trevor Leat, and a special plant display.
Glencoe visitor figures climbing Waulking is the process of ‘fulling’ the tweed by hand to make it wind and weatherproof before tailoring. It’s a long and laborious process and the Hebridean tradition possesses a huge treasury of songs which were composed to accompany the work, to make it less burdensome. The team’s repertoire of songs are almost exclusively contained in ‘Hebridean Folksongs’ and it was the first time, that a waulking event had been held on Canna, using the songs contained within the Canna Archive.
The official opening of the Glencoe visitor centre took place in May with guests including the Chiefs of the Clan MacDonald, project partners and friends in the community.
A right royal visit Inverewe Garden recently welcomed a royal visitor recently! Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal toured the garden, met volunteers and staff and visited the newly created Peace Plot exhibition (28 June – 28 August), a collaboration between Inverewe and the Gairloch Museum, commemorating the peace making at the end of the First World War. Osgood Mackenzie marked this by inscribing a stone in his garden and creating a 'Peace Shrubbery'.
Highlights of the new visitor centre include a ten-minute film narrated by Game of Thrones star, Rory McCann, which gives you a taste of Glencoe’s story from volcanic origins to the present day, an info hub with a large 3D map of the Glen, and the ‘Pioneers of the Peaks’ exhibition which shines a spotlight on mountaineering in Glencoe, which was developed in partnership with the local mountain rescue team, avalanche service and climbing clubs.
Since opening, the visitor centre has received very positive feedback. There’s been an equally positive effect on the income generated to support conservation work in the Glencoe National Nature Reserve, which is 60% up on the same time last year. Shop sales alone have now reached as much as the entire property had made by the end of June 2018. The team are enjoying their bright new surroundings and looking forward to welcoming over 250,000 visitors in 2019-20.
very own archaeologist, Dr Daniel Rhodes, kids were able to take their dad along to the historic Brodie Castle for a special Father’s Day treat.
Bunnyversary and digging with dad Brodie Castle had a very busy few weeks, with a first birthday party for Brodie Bunny and a special Father’s Day archaeology weekend event – and both were hugely successful. The Bunnyversary event attracted visitors from far and wide, offering many different activities for families, including a magician and face painters, mask making, bubbles and outdoor games.
Visitors were able to carry out supervised archaeological excavations, helping to uncover what the estate looked like 500 years ago and how people lived and worked. Chief Executive, Simon Skinner got involved, during his visit to the region!
Dig with Dad gave visitors chance to take part in a real archaeological dig. Along with the Trust’s
__________________________________________________________________________________________ Across the sea
News from the NTS USA Foundation The Trust’s Head of Archaeology, Derek Alexander, visited the US as the guest of NTSUSA and Scottish Heritage USA. Derek gave a lecture on recent archaeology digs at Glencoe and Glenshiel at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in Linville, North Carolina (one of this country’s largest games), as well as in Boston and Nantucket. Derek’s trip was ideally timed, as the NTSUSA Foundation have partnered with the Trust’s Fundraising team on an international effort to support work at Glencoe this year. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Spotlight on… Brodick Castle
What can visitors experience at Brodick? Saying there is something for everyone is a bit of a cliché, but in the case of Brodick, it happens to be true. We’ve got our incredible adventure playpark, Isle Be Wild, our popular red squirrel hide and the breath-taking landscapes of Goatfell and Glen Rosa, there are a range of new features around the grounds, including new garden trails, café and our Fairies and Legends Trail. Our recently reopened Plant Hunters Walk is a special trail that was built (early 20th century) into the rock along a cliff side in our gardens and feels otherworldly with many special foreign plants. We’ve also redesigned the layout of the walled garden over the winter and there’s now a stunning area around the sundial with sandstone pavement slabs and the newly laid out borders have multiple new plant species in them. Is the castle haunted? It depends on who you ask! Some would say absolutely and there have been a few publications on the island that mention the ghosts of Brodick Castle, particularly the Grey Lady. However, while there are some incidents that make you wonder, I haven’t seen anything or know anyone that has experienced anything. We have a professional ghost hunt happening in November so maybe we’ll have more answers then!
Jared Bowers, Operations Manager, at Brodick, has been working at the castle for just over a year. Here, he gives us a little insight into life behind the castle’s gates. Brodick recently opened after refurbishment, what’s new? Along with all of the new improvements to our fire safety system, we’ve been working hard on a new, innovative castle visitor experience. As well as our world-class collection, the new experience features costumed performers, atmospheric lighting, music and sound effects, interactive exhibits and a Victorian Arcade that’s been incredibly well received so far. It’s all themed around the idea of fun and education and is an incredibly enjoyable experience for visitors. But be warned, the Grand National game is very competitive!
What’s your favourite room and why? It’s a difficult one as there are some amazing rooms in the castle, but I probably have to go with the Drawing Room. It’s the largest room in the house and has so many interesting features and paintings in it. We’ve also kept the light levels down low with LED flickering candles and music playing on surround sound speakers that bring the whole space to life. There’s also one particular story of how Princess Marie threw a ball in this room to celebrate her 27th birthday and the new castle extension and her guests and the staff danced Scottish reels, until 6am! 28
What’s your favourite collection piece?
and the new Dodo trail is fantastic for the children to get involved in while they tour around the house. The added attractions at the end of the tour of the house are also spectacular and very child friendly. The events put on by the Arran Ranger Service were brilliant. We did Birdbox making and they provided absolutely everything and were amazing at helping out too. Also the Isle be Wild adventure playground really is the best adventure playground that we have visited and is probably the best National Trust property we have ever been too! Thank you, Brodick Castle.”
I’m a big fan of the carved fireplace in the main arrivals hall. The craftsmanship is very impressive and makes that whole room feel like the grand castle / country house it was designed to be. Do you have any memorable visitors/visitor comments? We received the following comment from Victoria on Facebook on 12 April, which is possibly our favourite so far! “I could not recommend a visit to Brodick Castle more! The Castle is a fabulous family attraction
Brodick Castle is open daily from 10am – 5pm (April to October).
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