The Enchanted Forest Named Best Cultural Event at
Scottish Event Awards
The Enchanted Forest, Scotland's premier sound and
light event, has been named Best Cultural Event at this year's
Scottish Event Awards in Glasgow.
Beating off stiff competition from the
Wickerman Festival, the Edinburgh International Festival and the MG
Alba Scots Trad Music Awards, the event took the title at a
sparkling Gatsby style black tie event held in the Crowne Plaza on
It is the second time the
event has claimed this title at The Scottish Event Awards, and it's
their second Cultural win this year, having picked up the Regional
Thistle Award for Best Cultural Event in June.
Record breaking visitor numbers and its positive impact
on the local community in 2012 sealed the deal for the
judges, who recognised the ongoing success of the event as
a major driver of tourism at a national level, as well as
the event's international reach which saw TV crews attend
the event from Russia, France and press coverage across the globe
including Die Welt, National Geographic Traveller and other
Derek Allan, producer of The Enchanted Forest commented:
"The Enchanted Forest continues to go from strength to
strength and we are truly thrilled to receive this award for a
second time. Every year we stretch the creative impact of the event
and it's rewarding to know that our efforts are
The 2013 show, absorb, opens to the public on
Friday 4th October and has been designed by Scottish
lighting designers Kate Bonney and Simon Hayes and with music by RJ
McConnell, which includes a specially commissioned orchestral piece
in collaboration with composer Jon Beales.
Tickets for The Enchanted Forest 2013 are selling quickly. For
more information visit www.enchantedforest.org.uk
We would like to introduce you to the NEW area web site
for Explore Highland Perthshire, it is called "Explore Pitlochry
Why Explore Pitlochry?
NEW WEB Site -
We would appreciate any comments you have, anything you think we
have not got right or need changed
The Highland Mainline was opened from
Dunkeld to Pitlochry on the 1st June 1863, from Forres to Aviemore
on 3rd August 1863 and the final section from Aviemore to Pitlochry
on 9th September 1863. Finally a direct connection to
Edinburgh and the South made travel possible for all.
On Monday 9th September at 11am the official ceremony
will take place on Platform 1 at Pitlochry Station in front of
invited guests. The unveiling of the restored MacFarlane 7
Drinking Fountain from the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, one of only two remaining at Stations
in Scotland and a plaque will be performed. Invited guests will be
able to view the Breadalbane Academy and Pitlochry High School Art
posters along the railings,which gaily emulate Victorian travel
posters, the Floral Train on Platform 1 and a collection of old
photographs of Pitlochry Station & staff and the new Mural in
the North-bound Waiting Room on Platform 2.
After speeches, the official party will make their way to the
New Fishers Hotel for lunch.
The whole Station, both Waiting Rooms and the Victorian
Footbridge have been cleaned and re-painted for the 150th.
To celebrate this Sesquicentennial,
FirstScotrail and Network Rail have refurbished the Station
buildings and the Victorian footbridge at Pitlochry. The
local community, with help from Pitlochry in Bloom, Pitlochry
Partnership, Moulin and Pitlochry History Circle and local schools
have set up a group to celebrate the arrival of the train and
tourism to Pitlochry. A colourful exhibition of childrens artwork,
a floral train and unique historical photographs will be on display
for September this year.
Central to the celebrations has been the restoration of
the Victorian Drinking Fountain, a MacFarlane 7 from the
Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, with financial assistance from the
FirstScotrail, P&KC Heritage Trust and the Railway Heritage
Trust. This is one of only two
remaining at Stations in Scotland.
To continue the celebrations and allow the local community to
join in, Pitlochry in Bloom is holding a Celebration
Ceilidh in the Atholl Palace Hotel on the evening
of the 9th September 2013. The Atholl Suite
will be suitably decked out for the occasion, with all things
railway and tickets, which must be pre-purchased by Saturday 7th
will be on sale from the Atholl Palace. Supper and a celebration
cake, dancing to the Pride of Earn Ceilidh Band and if you want to
dress up in your Victorian finery, please do!
Pitlochry in Bloom will be hosting a private Victorian
Tea Party for the Pitlochry Primary School children to
celebrate too in the New Fishers Hotel on the afternoon of the
11th, sports, stories and sticky buns!
The final event for the town is a free
talk with slides in in The Bow Lounge, at the Atholl Palace Hotel
at 7.30pm on the evening of the 11th September
2013 by renowned railway author Neil Sinclair. Neil
Sinclair is the author of the new edition of The
Highland Main Line which has just been published by
Stenlake to mark the 150th anniversary.
Pitlochry in Bloom wins Heritage Lottery Fund
Pitlochry in Bloom has received £25,800 from the
Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, 150 Years On
Track, to celebrate the Highland Mainline Railway arriving in
Pitlochry. Led by volunteers from the local community, the project
focuses on the opening of Joseph Mitchell's railway line over the
Cairngorms and the arrival of trains to Pitlochry in 1863 and the
impact on the town as it became a Tourist destination and a place
to live and work.
The project will enable visitors and locals to explore the
changes the train and railway brought to the town, it will involve
young and old alike and leave a photographic and written legacy for
all to enjoy.
Commenting on the award, Sally Spaven, Chair of Pitlochry in
Bloom said: " We are thrilled to have received the support of
the Heritage Lottery Fund and are confident the project will give
the community pride in their Railway Heritage and the opportunity
to celebrate 150 Years On Track.
Colin McLean, Head of HLF Scotland, said "This
project is driven by the local residents of Pitlochry. It
demonstrates how our heritage can be a living part of a community
bringing people together to learn from and enjoy their shared
identity. We are delighted to be giving this worthwhile venture our
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage
Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage
for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and
enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology,
natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every
part of our diverse heritage. To date it has invested
over £500 million in Scotland's heritage. Website: www.hlf.org.uk
Over 30,000 tickets have gone on sale this weekend for the
multi-award winning sound and light show The Enchanted
The Enchanted Forest attracted almost 31,000 visitors in
2012, organisers have announced an extension to the event's usual
23 night run to include an additional night to cater for
tourists holidaying in the area during the English mid-term
The Enchanted Forest celebrated its 10th anniversary last year and
was recently named Best Cultural Event at the VisitScotland Thistle
Awards ceremony held earlier this month, adding to a raft of awards
won over the last few years.
The 2013 show, 'absorb', has been designed
by Scottish lighting designer Kate Bonney and sound
designer RJ McConnell, and will include a new orchestral piece
which has been specially commissioned, by composer John
Derek Allan, creative director of The Enchanted Forest commented,
"We are looking forward to this year's event which will be held
in the glorious Autumnal setting of Faskally Wood. It's always a
challenge for the creative team to reinvent the canvas of the event
but we have been working on some very exciting concepts for this
year's show which we are certain will deliver the wow factor that
our customers expect from us as well as showing new aspects of
Faskally Wood that returning visitors may never have seen
The Enchanted Forest will take place from Friday 4th - Sunday 27th
October 2013 at Faskally Wood near Pitlochry.
Tickets are now on sale to the general public. For further
information please visit www.EnchantedForest.org.uk
The Birks Cinema, a new state of the art cinema in
Aberfeldy, sold its first tickets today, fittingly
purchased by John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance,
Employment and Sustainable Growth in the Scottish Government and
MSP for Perthshire North.
John Swinney has been a staunch supporter of the
local community's seven-year fundraising campaign to bring the
project to fruition and was on hand to congratulate the team of
volunteers behind the re-launch of The Birks Cinema as they opened
their doors to the nation's press for the first time.
Journalists were treated to a short video introduction to
the cinema's 2D and 3D capabilities, before being given an
exclusive opportunity to explore the magnificently refurbished
listed building, which has been lovingly restored as part of a
£1.3m construction programme, and to meet some of the 8 team
members The Birks Cinema now employs.
During the walk around, the local MSP took time to nip to the box
office, picking up tickets for blockbuster Ironman 3, due to be
screened later in April and naturally steering clear of April's
other major film release, and the first film to be shown at The
Birks Cinema Golden Ticket Event this coming Friday,
John Swinney commented:
"This day has been long awaited and really drives
home what community team work can achieve. I'm honoured to be first
in line to buy tickets for my local cinema and very proud to see
The Birks Cinema restored, resplendent and fully operational once
Moreover, I am excited about the role the cinema will now play in
the local community as an employer, as a creative inspiration, and
as an asset to Aberfeldy and the Highland Perthshire area for both
residents and visitors alike."
Charlotte Flower, Chair of The Birks Cinema,
"John Swinney has been a prominent supporter of our project
and we are delighted he has been our first customer. We've truly
appreciated his backing and we look forward to seeing him return to
The Birks Cinema as a regular customer as we know he's a big fan of
This is an extremely important week for The Birks Cinema.
To get everyone geared up and ready for opening to the public, from
tomorrow we will be opening our doors to a series of test viewings
with some of the area's best (and smallest) movie critics drawn
from local community groups and schools. Then, on Friday we
will stage a glittering Golden Ticket event with winners attending
from across Highland
Perthshire, before finally settling into our new routine from
Tickets will go on sale at 19:39, marking the
year the cinema was originally opened, on Monday 15th April and can
be purchased in person at the box office from 11am on Saturday 20th
For more information on the cinema and its film schedule visit
DEWAR'S WORLD OF WHISKY OPENS
NEW VISITOR EXPERIENCE AT ABERFELDY DISTILLERY
We have just learnt that Dewar's World of
Whisky at the Aberfeldy Distillery, Perthshire, has unveiled an
exciting new blending experience at the spiritual home of
DEWAR'S® True Scotch. This exclusive new offering provides
visitors the opportunity to create their own Experimental Batch of
Blended Scotch Whisky within the atmospheric heritage center at
Blending is considered an art form, combining whiskies
from different distilleries to create a perfectly balanced
taste with a complex flavour profile, greater than the sum
of its parts. Charlotte Brown, Centre Manager, said, "Our founder, John Dewar, was a pioneer
in the art of blending, making Dewar's Aberfeldy Distillery the
natural place to try your hand at blending. Our Blending Room plays
homage to Dewar's rich heritage with the design inspired
by the original 1920's blending room in Perth. "
Following a guided tour of Aberfeldy's traditional working
distillery, those undertaking the premium Blender's Tour
will be invited to join a masterclass in the new blending
room. With a tutored sensory session exploring the many
flavour profiles and regional whisky characteristics of Scotch, the
tour will culminate in the creation of a bespoke blend, created by
the visitor to take home.
Dewar's World of Whisky at the Aberfeldy Distillery
Please allow one and a half hours for your visit
with additional time for your blending session.
Please note: Aberfeldy is a working distillery
and visitors are advised that sensible shoes (no open toes or high
heels) must be worn on the distillery tour.
Adults: Standard tour £7.00,
Concession £6.00. Cask tasting
tours £15.00. Connoisseur tours £25.00.
Blender's Tour £75.00. Bespoke and private
tours from £99.00 per person.
Blair Atholl's Railways
The Atholl Country Life
Museum is looking for relevant artefacts, photographs, documents or
stories to be included in the exhibition for the period when the
museum is open from Easter through to September 2013.
The Atholl Country Life Museum in Blair Atholl will stage an
exhibition this year to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the
opening of the railway between Aviemore and Pitlochry.
In the days of steam locomotives, Blair Atholl was an important
staging post for trains which were topped up with coal and water in
preparation for the long haul through the formidable Drumochter
Anyone with memorabilia which they would be willing to loan for
this period should contact John Cameron (01796 481232) or Stewart
MacGlashan (01796 483339).
In addition, the Museum will host an illustrated talk "Blair
Atholl's Railways" by Howard Geddes at 7.30 PM on 20 March in the
Atholl Arms Hotel, Blair Atholl.
VisitScotland chairman, Mike Cantlay, has stated today that
Enchanted Forest, a Perthshire Big Tree Country event
and Scotland's premier sound and light show, is a must see event
for visitors to Scotland this Autumn, embodying the essence of the
country's national tourism message: Surprise Yourself. Visit
Visiting the event on its opening night with his family, Mike
Cantlay saw the multi-coloured event unfold in all its glory. He
commented: "The Enchanted Forest is a spectacular and
incredibly popular event, which attracts tens of thousands of
people to visit Perthshire each year, and I am confident it will be
a box office ticket smash again this year.
My family and I had a wonderful time at the Enchanted Forest and
it proves you don't have to travel very far to experience
Scotland's vibrant culture, which is so evident in every corner of
The Enchanted Forest now attracts visitors from all over the
UK and, indeed, the world and the positive impact on the
local area is estimated to be well in excess of £1.5 million
economic benefit every year.
With box office numbers soaring, the impact on the local economy
is expected to increase and closer working relationships with key
businesses this year are set to enhance the offering for visitors
to the area this Autumn.
A number of local tourism businesses
are working collaboratively to promote the event, with local
accommodation providers offering deals that include tickets to the
event, and other visitor attractions offering discount entry for
Enchanted Forest ticket holders.
Blair Castle on Atholl Estates is one of the businesses that is
promoting discounted entry during the show. Mike Dukes, Head of
Visitor Services at Atholl Estates explained why: "The
Enchanted Forest is a firm favourite amongst families and creates a
real buzz across the region as people flock from across the country
to come and see the spectacular light displays. The fact that the
exhibitions are refreshed each year also means that we see a flurry
of new visitors through our doors when the event is on. It also
provides a very welcome boost to businesses across the surrounding
area and we're delighted to extend a warm Highland Perthshire
welcome to The Enchanted Forest's customers."
Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland added: "The success of
The Enchanted Forest has a knock-on positive effect on the local
economy and I would encourage businesses, accommodation providers
and the tourism sector to seize the opportunity this provides to
showcase to visitors all that this fabulous area has to
In this, The Year of Creative Scotland, we have the chance to
spotlight, celebrate and promote Scotland's cultural and creative
strengths, so let's embrace this and show what a warm welcome
Scotland can offer each and every visitor!"
Organisers are encouraging members of the public to buy their
tickets in advance to avoid disappointment with recent box office
reports suggesting the event is on target to power past all
previous box office records.
Following a successful opening weekend demand for tickets has
surged indicating that the 2012 event is set to sell out.
Derek Allan, creative director of The Enchanted Forest 2012,
commented: "Last year many people travelled significant
distances to attend the event, all we're asking is that they plan
ahead and book their tickets in advance. Tickets sell so quickly
and many shows are already sold out with hardly any tickets left
for the most popular Saturday nights - a little bit of advance
planning can avoid disappointment on the night."
The 2012 show "FLOW" has been designed by a creative team led by
Derek Allan which includes Scottish designers Simon Wilkinson
(lighting) and RJ McConnell (sound), as well as Dundee based visual
artists Dalziel + Scullion, whose work is supported thanks to the
generosity of a grant from Creative Scotland in celebration of Year
of Creative Scotland 2012.
The event runs from Friday 5th October - Saturday 27th October.
For further information about the Enchanted Forest and to book
tickets, visit the Enchanted Forest website at www.enchantedforest.org.uk
For the last 6 years sea eagle chicks, (collected from nest
where there are two or more chicks in Norway), have been flown to
Fife and released after seven weeks in captivity. This years chcks
were release in the last few weeks.
Each sea eagle chick in this project has a colour
tag, the colour refects the year it was released. Each has a radio
(VHF) transmitter with a battery life of five years. This allows
the RSPB staff to track the eagles in Scotland this summer.
Interestingly if you look at their report (see link below) ,
there have been significant sightings in Perthshire. I was
told verbally, here in Highland Perthshire that Loch Tay and
Pitlochry have been hot spots.
Have you seen any of these young sea eagles in your travels in
This photo on the right is of a young sea eagle being harrased
by a crow - Thanks to Karen
Hartnell for sending us the image.
To read the excellent
East of Scotland Sea Eagle Summer 2012 newsletter,
with maps and information on sightings and other interesting
"What to do if you spot a Sea Eagle" is well worth a
Also worth looking at is
"How to tell the difference between a Buzzard, Golden Eagle
and White-tailes Eagle or Sea Eagle" This
information sheet provides pictures of the different birds, their
open wing spans, so you know what to look out for when they are
Finally an interview of You Tube with Meriem
Kayoucheche of the RSPB advising how to spot White tailed
eagels or Fish eagles. (4mins 28
Sea Eagles are big for Tourism on the Isle of Mull, will
the same happen in Highland Perthshire? I understand it takes five
or six years before a yound eagle matures enough to breed. It would
be great to have a nest here in Highland Perthshire.
If any spots a Sea Eagle in Highland Perthshire please let us
know, better still get a photo and totally wishful thinking a sea
eagle nest, we cxan all observe a long way off as on the Isle of