Monday, 31 October 2011

Big Tree Country Awards 2011

This year's Big Tree Country Awards theme was 'Trees Matter' as it is the International Year of Forestry.  There are three categories - Education, Community and Local Business.  Every year the theme is different so some year's it may not be applicable to the type of business you have.  This year's business award was aimed at local business and service providers that work hard to ensure that visitors and locals alike are aware of all the fantastic trees and woodlands in Perthshire.  So I thought I would give it a go and was delighted to be shortlisted in the business category.  The Awards were held yesterday at the impressive Gleneagles Hotel and we were treated to cake coffee, tea etc. The Education award was won by Blackford Primary school, the community award by The enchanted Forest in Pitlochry, large business award by Gleneagles Hotel and small business award by me!! - Gilmore House, pretty chuffed I am as well.  I was presented with a certificate and the most fabulous 'leaf' trophy which is made from Ash.

As you will know if you follow my blog I have an immense interest in the great outdoors and have had since a young child.  I was fortunate to grow up in a small village called Crook of Devon  and virtually had the River Devon flowing past the bottom of our garden so many happy hours were spent on the riverbank and the woodland surrounding it.  Trees have always been a part of my life as my father owned a sawmill and timber merchant business which he was involved in all his working life - he loved trees so perhaps this has rubbed off on me.  Rather aptly his final resting place is at a Woodland Cemetery in Comrie, with a lovely oak dedicated to him.  My parents met and married and started their life together in Comrie so it seems appropriate to me to support Trees 4 Scotland who own and manage Teaghlach Wood at Comrie.  The B&B is a business supporter so I have the opportunity to continually donate and increase the amount of trees planted and if you wish to donate whilst staying with us I can print you a certificate and you will forever have your own small piece of woodland in the glorious Perthshire countryside.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Perthshire Amber Outdoors 'Wheelbarrow Procession'

Today in Dunkeld as part of the Perthshire Amber Outdoors Festival there was a decorated Wheelbarrow Competition.  Amber Outdoors runs in conjunction with Perthshire Amber 'The Dougie Maclean Festival'.  Some of my guests this evening are attending one of his concerts in Blairgowrie Town Hall.

Put a note in your diary to come next year.

An Evening with Venison

 On Thursday evening I attended an event 'An evening with Venison'.  It was organised by Perth & Kinross Council and was a venison themed networking event for Tourism Businesses.  The event was held at the Birnam Arts, Community and Conference Centre.

 Delicious smoked venison from Rannoch Smokery

Scottish Country Sports Tourism

 To start the evening off there was an introduction about Scottish Venison, then a gentleman named George MacDonald talked us through and showed photographs about a day out deer stalking.  We then had a talk by John Fletcher about the history of deer and deer parks which may not sound very interesting but it was quite fascinating hearing about how people long ago used to capture deer.  He showed us some photos and one was of a place called Buzzart Dikes which is just at the edge of Cochrage Muir and looking on the Ordnance Survey Map you can see the ditches and line of enclosures clearly marked out - guess where I will be going for a look.

 We then had a cookery demonstration by Nichola Fletcher and the evening finished up with sampling all her venison dishes and then some very tasty venison burgers.

Interestingly yesterday I noticed the local butcher had some rather tasty looking venison and cranberry sausages.  Doing a little bit of research there are a plentiful supply of places to source venison and it is very low in fat and high in iron.  As well as the links I have already highlighted have a look at Highland Game , Glenlyon Gourmet and the Scottish Deli  I returned home laden down with leaflets and really excellent menu cards and having enjoyed another eye-opening evening.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Views in Blairgowrie, Perthshire

Such a beautiful day today, so went for a wander to see what is on my 'doorstep' in Blairgowrie.

 Autumnal trees surrounding Newton Castle which is home to Clan Chief William Macpherson.

 Interesting carved face on gate on Upper Allan Street.
 Kirk Wynd and Hill Church with some very old headstones in the Kirkyaird.

 Very pleased to see so many red squirrels around today and also very pleased to manage to photograph them.
 Ancient Beech Tree
 Weir on Lornty Burn just before it meets the River Ericht.
 Many old mills lie in ruins along the riverbank.
 Another ancient tree and another red squirrel
 The pictures below are of the River Ericht and the paths beside it.