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The Savage Garden has been created close to the pond in the beautiful Wester-Ross garden, featuring striking and unusual carnivorous species including the famous Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula). Amongst the collection are the distinctive Trumpet Plant (Sarracenia flava), which took on the role of a triffid in the 1962 film Day of the Triffids.
Head gardener Kevin Ball said:
“The main attraction will, no doubt, be the Venus flytraps, an insectivorous plant which children will have the opportunity to “feed” under supervision. When first seen in action, these small plants are awe-inspiring. They are without doubt the most famous of all carnivorous plants.
“A small raised bog has been created to display the yellow Trumpet Plant. It’s named for its tall flowers with pendulous, bright yellow petals – that happen to smell like male cat pee!”
Originally from North America and South America, these exotic species are an exciting addition to the garden which is famous for its amazing collection of international plants. Garden founder Osgood Mackenzie was a pioneering plantsman, collecting specimens from all over the world to grow at the garden he created from scratch, on a peninsula of bare rock.
“Inverewe features plant species from all over the world, which thrive here thanks to our mild and protected climate. However, some species still need extra help so we have an Edwardian-style Wardian case within the garden, enabling us to grow and display carnivorous plants which cannot survive out-of-doors without protection.”
Another plant featuring in the garden is the Cobra Plant (Darlingtonia californica). With its bulbous green heads, twisted red tongues and long tubular pitchers, the Cobra Plant is suitably named. The team have built up a stock of this plant over a number of years and it is now ready to make a debut in the garden.
The Savage Garden is the latest new development at Inverewe Garden. The National Trust for Scotland is currently undertaking a conservation and restoration project at Inverewe House. The £1.5 million project will see the house open to visitors for the first time in summer 2016 providing a significant improvement to the interpretation and visitors’ experience of this unique garden. A new glasshouse is also being installed this year. The new facilities will ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the rare and exotic plants for which the garden is so well-known.
Inverewe Garden is a lush oasis perched on a peninsula at the edge of Loch Ewe amid the rugged landscape of Wester Ross. This world-famous historic garden is one of Scotland’s most popular botanical attractions. Inverewe’s diverse plants flourish here, despite the northerly latitude, thanks to the warm currents of the Gulf Stream and the foresight of its founder, Osgood Mackenzie, who planted over 100 acres of woodland to shelter the garden.
This fun dog show will have a wide range of categories from Best Junior Handler to Waggiest Tail. Entry costs £1 per category and all funds raised will support the Trust work at the Battle of Bannockburn site.
Sponsored by Bruceview Vets of Bannockburn and Apex Vets of Denny and supported by Stirling Council the event will have competitions for dogs of all shapes and sizes and a variety of canine-themed stalls from which to shop and learn.
Event organiser Rosie Milne said:
“Every day we see lots of dogs stretching their legs at Bannockburn, so we’ve decided to host a special event to celebrate our canine visitors. The focus is very much on fun for man’s best friend, and their two-legged companions.”
The event will run from 12pm-4pm and throughout the afternoon The Battle of Bannockburn café will be open with delicious cakes and refreshments available.
The Battle of Bannockburn is a multi-award-winning visitor centre, funded by the Scottish Government and the Heritage Lottery Fund. With cutting edge 3D technology, this new Battle of Bannockburn experience puts visitors at the heart of the action in a fully immersive game.
The landscape and parkland allow visitors to appreciate the site believed to be Bruce’s campsite before the battle, and its restored commemorative monuments including the iconic statue of Robert the Bruce. You can book your Battle of Bannockburn experience now online at www.battleofbannockburn.com
Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution (SSE PD) had opened up a second stage of consultation on its plans to construct the pylons as part of the Beauly-Blackhillock-Kintore Reinforcement Project.
The new consultation was necessary because of amendments made to the “preferred” route as was originally consulted upon in 2015.
The amended boundary would mean that pylons would be constructed in close proximity to Culloden Battlefield and the nearby 4,000 year-old Clava Cairns, Castle Fraser and Leith Hall.
In his 4 May letter to SSE PD, our Chief Executive, Simon Skinner wrote:
“Our own research has found that overhead powerlines are identified by both our members and the wider public as one of the most significant factors in degrading valued landscapes.
"It is therefore imperative that the careful siting and, where appropriate, undergrounding of power cables is followed.
"Without these protections, the enjoyment of our nationally and internationally valued landscapes will be damaged, with all the consequences that follow.
“It is unacceptable, for example, that in the case of Culloden, if this project goes ahead there will be no less than three large overhead lines passing through this glen within a mile or so of each other. This is not something we can support.”
The Trust was one of the original objectors to the Beauly to Denny power line and has since expressed concern about its impact on wild landscapes, moves to incorporate new infrastructure and to make the access tracks used for its construction permanent.
Speaking about the Trust’s concerns, Mr Skinner added:
“I completely understand that the country needs to upgrade its capacity to transmit electricity. What disappoints me with this scheme is that SSE seems to be coming up with the cheapest, least imaginative and most damaging options possible.
“Scotland is a country rich in history and natural heritage and these help define us internationally and sustain a significant part of our economy through tourism.
"SSE should not be putting forward proposals that jeopardise this.
“SSE made over half a billion pounds of profit last year, much of it coming from levies that have been applied to the energy bills of ordinary Scots.
"At the very least they have an obligation to minimise the impact of their proposals on the nation’s cherished places.”
You can raise your objection with SSE direct by writing to SSE PO Box 7506, Perth PH1 3QR
The 200 year old tower is currently completely covered in scaffolding to enable the £170,000 project to take place.
Funding has come from Historic Environment Scotland, the National Trust for Scotland’s Canadian Foundation and generous individual donors who contributed to the conservation charity’s call for support.
Masonry and Lime Ltd from Elgin will lead on the work, making repairs to masonry on the monument and boundary wall, replacing lime pointing as needed, renewing the roof, installing a more accessible hatch at the top of the monument and a new handrail to help visitors climb the 62 steps. The commemorative plaques will also be cleaned, repaired and re-lettered, and the landscaping repaired.
Property Manager Kirsteen Nielsen said:
“The Glenfinnan Monument is one of Scotland’s most photographed locations, and after 200 years in this exposed location, it’s in need of some TLC to make sure it still stands tall for generations to come.”
Surveys by the National Trust for Scotland show that the monument currently leans by about 260 millimetres to west. New equipment to aid the conservation charity in monitoring the movement of the tower is also being installed as part of the project.
Trust Surveyor Glyn Young said:
“We’re installing a new system to help us monitor movement of the monument more accurately. Laser survey points are being put in place at the top and bottom of the 18 metre structure, and fixed ground survey points are being put in place too with the agreement of our neighbour. This will mean that we can be confident that the information about the position of the tower is completely consistent, which makes it easier to spot patterns, telling us, for example, if the movement is linked to the seasons or to the water table.”
The project is expected to complete in early July.
The Glenfinnan Monument marks the beginning of the 1745 raising. On 19 August 1745, Charles Edward Stuart rallied the Highland Clans, raised his standard, and began a campaign that aimed to secure the Scottish throne for the exiled Stuarts – this ended in a bloody defeat less than a year later at Culloden.
The monument was built in 1815 by Alexander MacDonald of Glenaladale to honour his ancestors and the fallen Jacobites. For 200 years, tourists from all over the world have come to visit the monument, and enjoy the dramatic Highland view, and reflect on the events of the 18th century.
The contrasting exhibition called Northern Lights shines a light on key works on loan from the city gallery while it remains closed for refurbishment.
And it’s hoped that Northern Lights will contribute to another dazzling year for the National Trust for Scotland property which saw visitor numbers grow by a quarter after launching its gallery space last year.
Dr Alison Burke, property manager of Drum Castle, says: “I am delighted that the partnership between Aberdeen Art Gallery and the National Trust for Scotland has resulted in a second exhibition at Drum Castle. It is an honour to welcome this fascinating exhibition that includes four centuries of art within the historic environment of Drum Castle.
“Last year we did exceptionally well and saw a 24% increase in visitor numbers which means an increase in our income to help us conserve the castle and the estate, but it’s also about more people coming to Drum and finding out about Aberdeenshire’s oldest castle.
“Many visitors said they felt closer to the art in a domestic setting; they felt they could get up close and personal with the works. Other feedback was they liked the juxtaposition of viewing a contemporary collection in an historic location.
“The 2016 exhibition includes some of the most iconic works of Aberdeen Art Gallery and is called Northern Lights, themed around light and I think there is something for everybody.
“From historic art, we move on to influential art from the 20th Century, iconic works by Turner, McIntosh, DVD installations and scultpture; Drum is helping play a part in keeping these iconic works accessible to the public while Aberdeen Art Gallery is being refurbished.”
There are more than 30 paintings, sculptures and digital video including a new addition to the collection, Watercolour by Elizabeth Blackadder and works by Joseph Farquharson, Joan Eardley, John Byrne, John Bellany, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and SJ Peploe and the challenging performance work Gralloch by Henry Coombes.
Its launch comes as some of the castle’s own important art is back in place after undergoing restoration. The Irvine family were staunch supporters of the Stuart cause, and the Jacobite portrait painter Cosmo Alexander collection at Drum has undergone a refurbishment, revealing a fresh face of ‘The Hidden Laird’’ who hid in the tower to evade Government forces.
Alexander Irvine of Drum fought alongside Bonnie Prince Charlie at the Battle of Culloden, retreating to the castle after the battle and was hidden in the secret room within the walls of the ancient Tower by his sister Mary Irvine for three years.
Aberdeen Art Gallery is due to reopen following a major refurbishment in the winter of 2017 and has shared its collections with venues across city and shire to ensure the public can continue to enjoy the works.
Northern Lights showcases many of the Gallery’s iconic paintings in addition to challenging, cutting-edge pieces of the 21st century, side by said, says Olga Ferguson, fine art curator at Aberdeen Art Gallery.
“The overarching theme is Scottish art and artists but each room has its own theme,” says Olga. “A breadth of art is shown, both works by Scottish artists and those with a Scottish connection, in a display where modern art mingles with earlier, traditional paintings. Each room has its own individual variation upon a theme, subject or style which offers a snapshot of the story of art in Scotland.
“There are 30 works of art and the contemporary pieces in particular contrast with what one would normally expect to find in a National Trust for Scotland castle.”
Deputy Leader of Aberdeen City Council Councillor Marie Boulton added: “It’s wonderful that while Aberdeen Art Gallery is closed as part of a multi-million pound redevelopment we continue to offer a programme of art and music to residents and visitors to the city, and indeed across the UK and abroad. By working in partnership with the National Trust for Scotland we are able to offer visitors to Drum Castle the opportunity to see a selection of some of our most popular artwork in a wonderful new setting.”
Last year’s collaboration, an exhibition entitled Human Presence, helped generate increased footfall, with the castle welcoming 33,500 visitors.
The new curated exhibition continues at Drum until 31 March 2017.
Drum Castle is located 10 miles west of Aberdeen off the A93. The castle is set in extensive grounds with walks, picnic area, an historic rose garden, adventure play area, tearoom and shop. Normal castle admission charges apply.
Titled Future/Past, the free exhibition will go on show to the public this week (from 9 April) and is hosted within St Ronan’s Wells Visitor Centre.
The exhibition gives a unique insight into the history of Robert Smail’s Printing Works over the past 150 years as told through items from their extensive archive of printed materials, personal records, belongings and old shop goods. It also has a fascinating photography element called “Images of Old and New Innerleithen” that contrasts views of the town and surrounding area taken over a century ago by Robert Cowan Smail (the middle son of Robert Smail) and local photographer Thomas Hughes Milner Colledge, with modern day equivalents photographed by the school children.
Robert Smail’s Printing Works has been operating on the same site in Innerleithen for 150 years and was run by three generations of the Smail family, before being taken over by the National Trust for Scotland in 1986. Relentless hoarding by the Smail family throughout their tenure led to the accumulation of a vast and unique archive of material. This includes copies of every single item printed at Smail’s being retained in special bound volumes called Guardbooks, resulting in an extensive and exceptional catalogue of printed work from the 1870s to the present day.
The Printing Works now operates as a combined visitor attraction and is the longest continually operational commercial letterpress printers in Scotland. The Future/Past exhibition, curated by Rachel Mays, Senior Assistant at Robert Smail’s, brings together never before seen items from the Printing Works’ archives and collections. The exhibition expands on the foundation of the Printing Works and the enterprises that ensured its survival for three generations. Themed displays include personal family records and belongings, photographs, items sold in the original shop, and a section devoted to ephemera (the minor transient documents from everyday life) produced for the local community. Amongst some of the rarest items on display will be Smail’s Peeblesshire Almanac, a publication from 1880 that was only discovered during a recent inventory project and books and photographs produced by Thomas Smail of Jedburgh, Robert’s older brother.
Rachel Mays, the exhibition curator said: “This exhibition is a great opportunity for Smail’s to celebrate its 150 years. Through three generations, two world wars, the rise and fall of the textile industry and all the many changes in communication, Smail’s has survived. When the property was acquired by the National Trust for Scotland in 1986, the conservation charity was astounded not only by the working Victorian equipment and presses, but by this vast and diverse archive piled on every shelf. The exhibition shows some of our really special and interesting pieces."
Future/Past does not only focus on Smail’s role in history but also showcases fascinating work from recent projects undertaken by the Printing Works. This includes the collaborative “Images of Old and New Innerleithen” photography project undertaken by primary 6 pupils from St Ronan’s Primary School with the Innerleithen Community Trust and Graham Riddell Photography.
The exhibition also features work by Smail’s first ever artist in residence, Theresa Easton. As part of the 150th anniversary celebrations Theresa, who is based in Newcastle, was given the unique opportunity to spend the last six months using the Printing Works’ archive as an inspiration for her work. She has designed and printed beautiful new works including Chapbooks - small booklets - and Broadsides – typographical prints. The final pieces have been inspired by stories that she discovered in old copies of The St Ronan's Standard, the weekly newspaper printed on Smail’s Wharfedale Reliance Press until 1916. The chapbooks include tales of famous suffragist, Ethel Moorhead, who visited Traquair House in disguise with the intent to cause disruption! The Broadsides touch on the story of Thomas Turnbull, a dyer from Caerlee Mill in Innerleithen, who was the first to use Wode and Indigo in the dying process. Other pieces of Theresa’s work are inspired by Tales from Smail’s which are snippets of conversations and oral histories that Theresa has gathered from Smail’s staff and customers, past and present and is a great chance to find out about people’s personal connections with the Printing Works
Rachel continued: “The collections at Smail’s continue to develop through our community outreach projects such as the Artist in Residence and Images of Old and New Innerleithen. We still have customers chapping the door to place their orders for ‘jobbing’ work and are continually adding to our collection of Guardbooks to create an archive for the future. Every aspect of community life, from huge industry to minor events, was recorded in some way in our archives and collections, and it is wonderful that we continue to do so today.”
The team at Robert Smail’s Printing Works is also keenly encouraging local people and visitors to view the Future/Past exhibition in conjunction with a tour of the Printing Works itself. The exhibition features many items from the not-so-distant past. Locals may remember some of the dances, concerts and events that the Smail’s printed tickets for!
Gen Harrison, Property Manager/Compositor at Robert Smail’s Printing Works concluded: ”Visiting Smail’s brings the technology and craft of letterpress printing to life and gives visitors the opportunity to see the old presses in action. The Future/Past exhibition shows the important role the Printing Works has played in the day-to-day life of local people over the last 150 years. In combination, the two offer not only an interesting and entertaining day out but also give an insight into the social history of this wonderful town.”
The Future/Past exhibition will be open from 9 April to 31 October, Monday – Friday 10 – 1 and then 2 – 5 and Saturdays and Sundays from 2 – 5. The exhibition is accompanied by a series of talks, workshops and outreach events. For more information on visit www.nts.org.uk?property?Robert-Smails-Printing-Works/Events.
Newhailes in Musselburgh will host a range of work by students, staff members and graduates from Edinburgh College of Art (ECA). The show runs from 7 April - 30 October.
In partnership with National Trust Scotland (NTS), ECA artists have carefully researched the building and its history. They will draw inspiration from its colour palette, inscriptions, existing paintings and the lives of previous residents.
The Georgian estate has been carefully conserved by NTS, giving the impression it has been left untouched since it was a working house.
Sculpture student Rachel McLennan’s mirror-clad pyramids will be placed throughout the house to represent traditional hierarchies in stately homes.
A T. Rex skeleton created by Kenny Hunter, Director of the ECA Sculpture Programme, has been made in a deliberately unthreatening pose – its prehistoric menace diminished by extinction. Student Katie Strachan’s work gives the illusion that a colourful ball pit has spilled into the formal setting.
A number of artists have been inspired by people that once inhabited the historic building. Student Anna Vesaluoma’s decorative screen depicts scenes of servants working.
David Moore, ECA tutor, and artist Kate Davis were inspired by former Lady of the Manor, Christian Dalrymple. In 1792, she was one of the few women to inherit a whole estate in her own right, yet there are no known portraits of Miss Dalrymple. She allegedly thought herself unattractive. Only a silhouette survives.
David and Kate have created three life-size silhouettes of her and placed them around the house’s exterior to give the impression that Miss Dalrymple is gazing out at visitors.
Student Jessica Gasson’s artwork is also situated on the grounds. Her huge lawn stencil – drawn with paint used to line football fields – mirrors decorative patterns from inside Newhailes House.
Jo Edwardson’s yellow egg-shaped sculpture provides a flash of neon in the dressing room. Meanwhile, Keiran Mitchell’s piece plays with the idea of collecting in Newhailes’ now empty library – once home to one of the UK’s largest private book collection – which he has partially substituted with plants and bottles.
Further artworks on show include modern portraits painted on aluminium by student Lana Svirejeva and an interactive audio tour by recent ECA graduate, David Haslam.
Kenny Hunter, project manager and ECA Director of the Sculpture Programme, said: “I am delighted with the wide variety and high quality of work our students from the School of Art have produced. This productive partnership with National Trust for Scotland has given us the unique opportunity to create site-specific work within a remarkable space – left largely untouched since the family left. It’s highly decorative surfaces and fixtures are a complete contrast from the minimalist white cube setting we are used to working in.”
Mark McLean, National Trust Scotland Learning Officer, said: “This is a marvellous opportunity to show off our amazing property and to engage with our visitors in a completely fresh and creative way. The imaginative insights these artists have brought to Newhailes have allowed us reflect more fully on what we hold in trust for the people of Scotland. Newhailes was, from its inception, at the cutting edge of art and design and “working through art” with ECA has been a fascinating new chapter in that story.”
Allied Antagonists is open to view by guided tour at Newhailes House Thursday to Monday from 12.30-3.30pm every day from 7 April - 30 October, and seven days a week in July and August. Tours can be booked via the Newhailes House website or telephone: 0131 653 5599. Tickets are free for NTS members and between £9 and £12.50 for the general public.
We've shared our ‘manifesto’ with party candidates – A better Scotland, for all of Scotland – which is based on 85 years of experience in managing some of the nation’s most significant buildings and landscapes.
The National Trust for Scotland, which has more than 330,000 members and caters for over 2 million visitors each year, invited political parties and their candidates to find ways to:
Among the proposals in the manifesto are:
The National Trust for Scotland’s Head of Policy, Diarmid Hearns said:
“Almost exactly 85 years ago, when the first, practical steps were taken to establish a National Trust for Scotland, the vision was to enable permanent protection of important lands and buildings for the benefit of the nation.
“This was a far-reaching ideal, which has just as much resonance today as it did between the two world wars.
“However, we now know that places like those we care for can offer much more than simple enjoyment – they can have positive benefits for our economic, cultural and social wellbeing, as well as our health and fitness. That is why we are calling on all party political candidates to pay attention to these and consider innovative ways in which our rich heritage can be harnessed for the good of this and future generations.”
Read the full manifesto here.
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