The Enchanted Forest, the multi-award winning Perthshire
Big Tree Country event, which this year attracted over 26,000
visitors to the Highland Perthshire area, is calling on the local
business community to get behind it with a bold and unprecedented
move to raise £40,000 of private funding from the businesses that
the event directly benefits.
In recent years The Enchanted Forest, which is set to
return to nearby Faskally Wood for its 10th anniversary show in
2012, has successfully transitioned from being run by public sector
agencies, to being run by a not for profit Community Interest
However with public funding hard to come by, and ever
increasing costs of running the event, the Community Interest
Company Directors are asking the hundreds of local businesses who
directly benefit from the event to help provide the financial
backing needed to ensure The Enchanted Forest's ongoing economic
input to the area.
Eddie Thomson, chair of the Highland Perthshire Area
Community Interest Company commented
"This has been a tremendous year for the event, winning four
major awards and attracting over 26,000 visitors to the area and
we're really very keen for that success to continue into 2012. Over
half of The Enchanted Forest customers stay overnight in the area
and with increased numbers attending, the overall economic impact
of the event is now estimated to be in the region of £1.5million
benefit to the local economy."
"In our most recent feedback survey we asked our customers
to tell us which businesses they spent money with while in the area
and well over 250 businesses were mentioned by name, ranging from
restaurants to take aways, from hotels to retail shops. If each of
those businesses were to pledge just £160 then we would have the
necessary capital we need to continue to run the event. It's not
much to ask when you consider the sheer extent of the economic
impact of the event is almost 10,000 times that much per business -
that's an exceptional return on investment."
Businesses are being invited to attend an open meeting at
Fishers Hotel, Pitlochry at 7pm on Tuesday 20th December, 2011
where there will be an open and public discussion around the future
of The Enchanted Forest and how they can play an active role in
ensuring its success continues.
To register attendance at this meeting, contact Eddie
Thomson, Chairman of the Highland Perthshire Area Community
Interest Company by email on email@example.com
The Enchanted Forest was founded in 2003 and this year has
acquired a string of accolades including the Event Management Grand
Prix at the Scottish Event Awards, Best Cultural Event, Event of
the Year at the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Business Star Awards
and the Community Award at the Perthshire Big Tree Country
Highland Perthshire received one of the top five awards at the
annual Cycling Scotland Conference Awards in Glasgow as the 'Cycle
Friendly Community' as a result of
the work done by the Highland Perthshire Cycling group.
Cycling Scotland's Chairman Bill Wright said,
"There is so much excellent cycling work now happening across
Scotland, that we had 5 categories this year, attracting the
highest number of entries to date. We are delighted to award the
'Cycle Friendly Community Award' to Highland Perthshire Cycling for
all the work they have done in the last 12 months from their highly
successful cycling festival through to local initiatives including
the local schools and youth groups."
Emma Burtles the Highland Perthshire Cycling
Coordinator, who is based in Aberfeldy
said, "I am absolutely delighted to receive this
award on behalf of Highland Perthshire Cycling. We are a very new
group only having been formed 2 years ago, we have come a very long
way in a short time." She continued, "I would like to thank
everyone who has put in lots of voluntary hours in making the many
events that Highland Perthshire Cycling organise, happen."
The Cycling Scotland citation states; " The
winning entry in the Cycle Friendly Communities Award had really
embraced the concept, making it a stated aim of the project to
create a cycle friendly community in their target area. Using a
hugely successful cycling festival as the focal point, the scheme
expanded with a range of projects including initiatives to take
local schools through the Cycle Friendly School award. Operating
youth clubs linking to Scottish Cycling's Go Ride programme,
helping local businesses be more cycle friendly to attract more
customers, developed disabled and special needs cycling events with
adapted bikes, producing route cards and securing funding for
forthcoming cycle signage."
For more information on the Highland Perthshire Cycling or
to pass on details, please contact Emma Burtles firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo - Bill Wright Chairman
of Cycling Scotland, presenting Emma Burtles the Highland
Perthshire Cycling Coordinator, with the Cycle Friendly Community
Award at a ceremony in Glasgow.
Novelist Ian Rankin, author of the best-selling Inspector Rebus
series, claimed the Aberfeldy Festival (4-5 Nov 2011) had
his dream line-up of Scottish music. Rankin says, 'I
think my original wish-list had ten names on it, but only six would
be needed. The first six we asked all said yes'.
The acts, including Star Wheel Press, James Yorkston, John Hunt
and Admiral Fallow, were all chosen by Rankin, who was the guest
curator of this year's festival.
The festival, now in its second year, was a sell
out and saw the local community pulling together to ensure
its great success and mark it as a permanent annual fixture on the
It kicked off in Aberfeldy Town Hall on Friday
evening, hosted by Ian Rankin who introduced the bands who
were playing. Rankin, a confessed music lover, had worked closely
with local artist and musician Ryan Hannigan, to put together a
lineup of his favourite bands to entertain the bigger than expected
crowd that attended over the two nights of the festival.
On Saturday visitors were able to sample a gourmet
breakfast at local Café D'Amour Bistro; listen to Ian
Rankin, who further supported the weekend's festivities by giving a
talk and signing copies of his latest book 'The Impossible Dead',
in the Watermill Bookshop. A special festival market had an array
of crafts, gifts and local produce, while live music from the
fantastic Second Hand Marching Band and local band Sandstorm
entertained on stage in the Town Square. Children's entertainment
was provided, and market shoppers were further entertained by the
skills of street performer Tam Baker, and a spectacular firework
Saturday night brought more great music from the bands
Ballboy, A Band called Quinn and Admiral Fallow, who all
received a great reception from a warm and appreciative festival
audience. Festival goers were also treated to some really great
food over the two nights provided by local chef Steven Dow. The
festivities continued well into the early hours with the After
Party at the Courtyard Kenmore.
has a thriving artists' community, and it has a terrific
bookshop. It's the perfect location for something that involves
writers, musicians and artists,' Rankin says.
Ellen McBride of the festival committee adds, 'The Aberfeldy
Festival was a huge success, bringing visitors into the town at a
usually quiet time of year. We are so grateful to our headline
sponsors Dewar's and all the local businesses that have supported
us; and particularly to everyone who attended for making it such an
Highland Perthshire bungee jumping operator Highland Fling
Bungee has successfully dispatched the oldest jumper in Scotland- a
73 year old from Ayrshire.
Retired cancer survivor Denis Gallagher has raised
almost £1000 for cancer charities by becoming the oldest bungee
jumper in the country. Former mechanic and multiple bike champion,
Gallagher, was shocked to discover he had bowel cancer six years
ago when attending a routine medical for a bike license.
However, the adrenaline-loving pensioner, given the all-clear in
2010, has now realised a dream he has had for over thirty years.
Gallagher, from Girvan, leapt 155ft at 50mph from Highland Fling
Bungee's state-of-the-art bungee pod at Garry Bridge near
Killiecrankie, near Pitlochry in
Cheered on by family, friends and wife Phyllis, the evergreen
OAP (complete with doctor's line) was so happy with his jump, he
has written to thank the company. Now, as he gathers together the
proceeds for Cancer Support Ayrshire, he is hoping to do it again-
if he can rope in a few of his septuagenarian pals.
"I am definitely considering doing it again and I am trying
to get a few of my friends this time," said adventure-loving
Gallagher, who has also tried para-gliding and diving.
"I first saw a film of people bunjee jumping in New Zealand
about thirty years ago. I was at the cinema in Glasgow with my
brother and it was on a Pathe Newsreel. At the time, I remember
thinking: 'if I ever get the chance, I am going to do
"Obviously, it was a massive shock when I was told I had
cancer but when I got the all-clear last year, I decided to give it
a go. I heard you could now bungee jump in Scotland, which is great
because I don't think I would have gone to New Zealand. It was
fantastic and, when all the proceeds are gathered in, I reckon we
will have over £900 for the charity."
Since opening in May 2011, Highland Fling Bungee has counted
over 3800 jumpers worldwide but yesterday confirmed Gallagher as
officially its most senior participant.
For insurance and health reasons, the company requires all over
65s to present a valid doctor's line, which Gallagher- and his GP-
A company spokesman said yesterday: "We have now examined
the data and Denis is definitely the eldest jumper we've had so
far, although the age-range has surprised us, in a positive sense.
We've had quite a few jumpers of a more mature vintage and it is
really encouraging to see so many people still remaining active and
challenging themselves to keep trying new things."
As well as planning another bungee jump, Gallagher, who still
competes in classic motorbikes, has been looking at the possibility
of a fresh challenge.
"I've had a look at wing-walking but I am not sure
yet," he said. "When I told my wife about the bungee
jumping, she just shook her head but, after 54 years of marriage,
she knows what I am like. I am not one of those people to wrap
myself in cotton wool or to look back and wish I had done something
but never did. I like a challenge and, although I felt a bit like
an old fogey in a kindergarten when I did the bungee jump, I was
made to feel really comfortable and loved it."
Highland Fling Bungee's partners, the National Trust for
Scotland, are delighted people of all age ranges are heading to
"We are really encouraged to see that people spanning the
age range are taking the opportunity to engage in outdoor
activities such as this, especially at the Killiecrankie site. The
area is rich in natural history and it is great that people, young
and old, are enjoying all the area has to offer," said Ben
Notley, Property Manager for the National Trust for Scotland's
North Perthshire Properties.
The Enchanted Forest, a Perthshire Big Tree Country event, has
smashed all previous box office records, welcoming over 26,350
visitors during its 23 night run, picking up the Big Tree Country
Community Award in the process.
The event, which was founded in 2002 with the primary
objective of extending the traditional tourism period, held in Pitlochry came to a close on
Saturday after attracting a record breaking 26,350 visitors, up 31%
from 20,000 visitors in 2010.
Attending the Big Tree Country Awards on Sunday
afternoon, the Highland Perthshire Area Community Interest Company,
who is behind the management of the event, was delighted to hear it
had also become the lucky recipient of the Big Tree Country
Community Award for its work in spreading the impact of the event
amongst local businesses and community projects.
"Winning the Big Tree Country Community Award is the icing
on the cake for us, after such an amazing year. We're truly
delighted that our efforts as a community interest company have
been recognised by Perthshire Big Tree Country."
"Such an unprecedented increase in ticket sales is
also very good news for the local businesses in the area. 50% of
Enchanted Forest customers stay overnight in the area, and a 31%
increase in attendance translates into a very strong increase in
the overall economic impact of the event, which is now estimated to
be in the region of £1.5million benefit to the local economy"
The Enchanted Forest has
also been shortlisted for Event of the Year at this year's
Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Business Star Awards.
Organisers of the Marie Curie Cancer
Care Etape Caledonia, IMG Challenger World, has announced today
that all 5,100 places on the 2012 event have sold out in record
time. The event starts and finishes in Pitlochry, passing through Rannoch and near Aberfeldy.
Overwhelming demand for the 2012 Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape
Caledonia, taking place in Highland
Perthshire on May 13th, saw the event sell out in a matter of
weeks since entries opened mid September. This underlines the
growing popularity of what was the UK's first closed road cycling
sportive and is now the largest of its kind outside mainland
The news comes as a welcome boost to the Highland Perthshire
economy with the event expected to bring in over £1million of
additional spend in the area as cyclists and their families flock
to Highland Perthshire for this annual event which has become a
firm favourite in the cyclist's calendar.
To cope with increasing demand for such events, the organisers
have recently announced the opening of their third closed road
sportive and the first closed road event in England, the Marie
Curie Cancer Care Etape Pennines, which takes place in Durham on
October 7th 2012. Entries for this event are now open and are
sure to sell quickly as this is the only opportunity for cyclists
to ride on completely closed roads through some of the most
stunning countryside in the north of England.
Julia Warne, Head of Marketing, PR & Communications for IMG
Challenger World sees the growth in demand as a reward for hard
work in delivering quality events: "2011 has been a great year
for us with the Etape Caledonia and Hibernia growing in popularity
and cementing their reputation on the national and international
sportive calendars. Now that the Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape
Caledonia has sold out in record time, it's great to be able to
offer cyclists another closed road event in the new Marie Curie
Cancer Care Etape Pennines on 7th October 2012."
"We are excited about returning to Scotland in 2012, with a
sell out event and continuing to build on our success and our
positive impact on the local economy. We understand that a number
of hotels and B&Bs are already booked up well in advance and
that the Highland Perthshire business community is preparing for a
very busy weekend in May."
Marie Curie Cancer Care is the official Charity Partner of the
Etape Series 2012. All funds raised by cyclists taking part will
enable Marie Curie Nurses to provide more free care and support to
terminally ill people and their families.
For more information on Marie
Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia
I went to the Enchanted
Forest Press Night last night and saw this years show
- if you have been to previous years show, my advice, is go with a
completely blank canvas. By this I mean, do not go expect to see
what you saw in previous shows - each year it is very different and
you will be disappointed if you are looking for things from
Having given you a word of warning, in my opinion this year it
is EXCELLENT, it is not just me saying this, but I ran in to a past
Enchanted Forest Chairman (2007 to 2009), he used words like
"They have nailed it." "I really like what they have done". "It
was truly superb!" He knows, as he has been to all 9 Enchanted
Location - this year it is in a very different
venue, there is no registration in the centre of Pitlochry. You
park in Pitlochry and can walk (allow 15mins) or catch a Yules Bus
(£1), from outside Fishers Hotel, which will drop you right at
the Enchanted Forest entrance.
The new venue which gives it a totally different
feel. For the last 5 years it has been at Faskally
Woods around Loch Dunmore which is all relatively flat. This year's
site does not have any water, but it does have some height. The
Paths are excellent, there is a very good affordable snack
catering facility on site, if you fancy a coffee or hot chocolate
when you are there.
What tips can I
give? I think the real secret is take your time going
round, (unlike other years) you can go round which
direction you fancy. There is an arrow pointing one way round,
but you do not have to go that way. Better still (if you have the
time, go one way round and back round the other way (with your
cup of hot chocolate), this will give you a totally different
perspective, (there is no time limit for being in the forest). The
other key thing to be aware of, is the time it takes for the
full display of music and lights at various points in the
forest. I am told each takes around 9 to 10 minutes to run
The catering in the Enchanted Forest is by Fayre and Square from
Gandtully - You will find it very reasonably priced Venison and
Steak Burgers £3.50, Giant Hot Dog £3.50, - Vegi Burger £2.50, - 6
mini doughnuts £2, - Soup, Tea, Coffee £2, - all soft drinks
My suggestion is, as you go round, find good
viewing spots and wait there for 10 minutes before moving on,
listen to the music and watch the light show. So find a spot at the
bottom of the valley, maybe half-way up, and at the Pagoda
(Building) at the top of the valley and make sure you stop and see
the whole sequence of lights from within the Pagoda too. Every spot
you will see something different.
A couple of other tips I would give:-
So the Enchanted Forest it is back with a totally
differenent show, one to really savour - enjoy!
Highland Perthshire web site www.HighlandPerthshire.com
is given the thumbs up by its members. The web
site was developed as a result of cooperation of twenty six tourism
businesses from across Highland Perthshire. These businesses
formulated the web site specification and a Business Cooperation
Agreement, a year on over 80% of it site members rated it as either
'Good' or 'Excellent'.
When asked how well HighlandPerthshire.com compared to
other tourist web sites 78.5% of the members, rated the web site as
either 'Good' or 'Excellent'. With regards to 'Value for money'
82.6% rating the site 'Good' or 'Excellent', with 52.2% rating it
Members comments include;
"It's simple to navigate, attractive layout; easy to absorb
information; up to date."
"Very well thought out, every aspect covered that the
visitor may wish to know coming to the area."
A truly professional site, well geared and attractive to
A year on HighlandPerthshire.com has over 300
pages of information; it has a Trip Planner, allowing
visitors to plan their trip as well as a language translator,
Google Maps and a comprehensive Events Diary.
What makes the web site so different is that businesses
agree to promote each other, by taking feeds from
HighlandPerthshire.com in a style to suit their own web sites.
James Rattray based in Killiecrankie, who
co-ordinated the initiative and manages HighlandPerthshire.com on a
day to day basis said, "It is a great achievement that a after
we set out to a create a very different web site for Highland
Perthshire, with all the risks this involved, it has all come
together and worked. The fact that members actively promote each
other on their web sites, makes the whole concept very different.
As you can imagine a business cooperation web such as this is
fraught with dangers." He continued "A year on, we find
very high levels of satisfaction amongst the members and
importantly the cooperation agreements have stood the test of one
Kevin Grant of Escape
Route, the Bike Shop in Pitlochry said, "As one of
the founding members, it is very satisfying to see that fellow
members of HighlandPerthshire.com rate the site so highly a year
on. A lot of time, effort and care went in to creating
HighlandPerthshire.com. It is very satisfying to see how it has
stood the tests of going live and functioning on a day to day
basis." He continued, "It is great that we are
seeing a steady stream of new businesses joining the web site,
the more businesses involved the better it is for the whole of
Part of the project costs have been supported by Perth
& Kinross Council via the `Developing Rural Tourism Project`,
funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The project
supports new initiatives and encourages businesses to work together
to improve the quality of the visitor experience and increase
Eight young people from 16 to 20 years old, put on a cracking
performance of traditional Scottish music played on fiddle, guitar,
bagpipes, banjo, whistle, wooden flute, drums, mandolin, keyboard
and vocals. The Cairngorm Ceilidh Trail came to Blair Atholl
village hall, last night, Monday 18th July .
- A wee clip (aprox 3 mins long) to let you know what
The Cairngorm Ceilidh Trail started 5 years
old, providing training and performance opportunities to
musicians between the ages of 16 and 20 years old. Some of the
young musicians last night may well be considering a career in
traditional music. One of the purposes of the Cairngorm Ceilidh
Trail is to give everyone a taste of life on the road!
This years Cairngorm Ceilidh Trail started in Kingussie on
Tuesday 12th July and ends after fifteen appearances on the 22nd
July in Glen Isla. Places visited along the way included, Glenmore
Lodge, Landmark, Old Bridge Inn in Aviemore, Glenlivbet Distillery,
Allargue Arms Hotel at Corgaff, Blair Castle and Blair Atholl
village hall, Braemar Village Hall, Balmoral Castle, MacRobert Hall
at Tarland, and The Retreat at Glenesk.
The audeince last night consisted of a few locals, but a
good number of holiday makers, including a French family who were
staying a week in Blair Atholl, they said they had thoroughly
enjoyed themselves and took their young family home exhausted after
having part icipated in many of the ceildih dances throught out the
The new business for the old Perth College premises in
Pitlochry, has been unveiled amidst great pomp and ceremony. Over
fifty businesses from across Highland Perthshire attended the
opening of 'Amor' the Cashmere, Tweed and Home Furnishing Store.
Both the business name and concept have had been kept a closely
guarded secret until the opening.
The opening ceremony began with two pipers from the Vale
of Atholl Pipe Band playing outside the doors of the new business.
The business name and all the windows remained covered to prevent
people knowing the details of the new business.
Kirpal Singh Sually the owner, welcomed everyone and
proceeded to unveil 'Amor' by removing the sheet covering the
business name board amongst great applause. Everyone then entered
the building, with its windows covered, to be served with Champagne
Mr Sually explained to the invited guests that he
had been working on the concept for the last 9 months, saying,
"I approached Perth College to see whether I could acquire the
premises, and six months later here we are with Amor." He
continued, "I have worked closely with Cashmere and Harris
Tweed suppliers, Lyle and Scott, Brooktaverner and Magee developing
a range of products for Amor, further supplies are in the pipe
Mr Sually went on to announce the 'Guess the Business
Competition' winner, as Kirsty McWilliam who correct guessed the
business name 'Amor', Mr Sually presented her with a £50 voucher to
spend in Amor.
Mr Sually had one final request of his guests and that was
to help him unwrap the new shop from the inside by removing all the
paper covering Amor's shop windows, thanking everyone for coming
and helping him to launch 'Amor'.
Messages of good luck were sent by Peter Guthrie
the Development Officer for Highland Perthshire Destination
Management Organisation, who apologised for not being able to
attend as he was on holiday but said, "It is really great to
see a quality business moving in to Pitlochry's high
Mary Bover secretary of Pitlochry in Bloom said,
"Pitlochry does need an upmarket business like this, it looks
absolutely wonderful, it has class, style and is so subtle. A great
new asset for the Pitlochry shops. I wish Mr Sually every
success and look forward to shopping in Amor".
Mr Sually also thanked everyone who had worked so hard to
get 'Amor' open, his own family, Jean and Willie who works with him
in the Scotish Shop next door, Ian Lewis Designs the architect,
Grant Structural Services, Beveridge Builders, Kraftwork Joinery
and Macolm Hewitt Joinery, Gordon Eason Electricians, James Lang
Decorators, Allan Moncrieff Alarms and Richard Drummond from
Strathgarry Restaurant for the canopies and drinks.