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18 Oct 2023

Why we love the Hermitage

Why we love the Hermitage


8 voices: Karen Clark; Louise Medine; two visitors; Munro Kerr; Emily Hull, Ruth Alexander; Lisa Bryson

My name is Karen Clark; I'm the Visitor Services Manager for the National Trust for Scotland for North Perthshire, and one of the properties that we look after is where we are today, which is the Hermitage.
No matter what your mood is, I think every time you come into the Hermitage, I mean, look around you today, with the sunlight dappling through the leaves; it is just beautiful.
I think everybody that comes here agrees -- your troubles just melt away. Now, whether that's the psychological effect of the greenery, the oxygen-rich water from the waterfall or just the combination of it all, it's just the most beautiful place.
No matter what time of year, it's always showing you something; the Hermitage has always got something to give.
I think most of our visitors today, they enjoy the colours, particularly in autumn; red squirrels; we have salmon that should be coming up those falls at the moment; the sound of the falls; and just basically enjoying being in nature, which is amazing here.
What I would say I love most about the Hermitage is the trees.
One of my favourites here is a Cedar of Lebanon; it's actually the oldest tree in the Hermitage. It's over 275 years old. If you look at it carefully, you'll see that the bridge, which was built in 1774, was built around it. So, it's the last remnant that we have of the original wilderness garden ... and it's just beautiful.

I'm Louise Medine. I'm one of the rangers that covers the North Perthshire properties, and today we are down in the lovely woodlands of the Hermitage.
I love the Hermitage ... it's hard and I can't pick just one reason why I love this place.
It's got something for everybody, I think. I've been working here 15 years now and I'm still never bored coming to this place. There's always something different to see throughout the seasons that changes.
You're just away suddenly from the busy-ness of that A9 to a completely different world.
You've got the history and the nature, which I think is quite unusual in places. You can walk where people have been walking for over 250 years in this landscape, and see how it's changed and you still see pockets of that history hidden in the woods here as well.
But it's still somewhere that you can come and do your bird watching, look for those squirrels -- so, there's just something for everybody here I think, and it's just a lovely place to come.

I love the Hermitage because it's so accessible; it's so close to where we live and it reminds me of my childhood -- it's really nostalgic.
It's a good place to bring the dog and you meet such great folk. They're all here to experience the same thing.
I love this place because I love the sounds, the smells, and yeah that iconic waterfall.
It just always feels so special being here.

My name is Munro and I'm the seasonal ranger and estate worker here in the Hermitage.
I love the Hermitage especially as a place of work due to the variety of conservation efforts we have here.
We have places like Ossian's Hall and the Hermitage bridge, which are listed buildings and that's the kind of cultural heritage that we have here.
Our towering Douglas firs are also part of that cultural heritage because they are not a native species, but we preserve them all the same because of their cultural importance that they have.
Even hidden behind these towering trees, we have these fantastic native habitats, which are at the far end of the Hermitage, and they're just home to so many amazing rare species that we also survey.
We monitor daily, just to make sure that these places are also thriving.

My name is Emily and I'm the seasonal ranger for North Perthshire, National Trust for Scotland.
I love the Hermitage for so many reasons. It's such a great place, well, to be and to work.
My favourite spot is the viewpoint just beyond the hall. As you look back over the bridge and the hall, and especially if it's been raining quite a lot, you get the mist of the waterfall and you get the sun through the mist, and it is just the most amazing view.
I think the other thing that makes this place so good is the knowledge in the North Perthshire team.
It's amazing to meet so many people with so much different information that is all relevant to this place in different ways.

My name is Ruth and I'm a ranger with the National Trust for Scotland, and I've worked for the Trust since 2021.
I love the Hermitage because I think that this place ... I mean, the concept of forest bathing is quite well understood now: that if you spend time in trees, then it lowers your blood pressure, it makes you calmer.
The process of walking is good for you. Being near water they say, just for any length of time, can really calm you down -- so I think this place has it all: it's a perfect spot.

I am Lisa Bryson. I am the Events Supervisor at the Hermitage.
I love the Hermitage because there's a John Muir quote, which is:
'Into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.'
And that to me sums up the Hermitage perfectly.
You leave the daily demands of life at the railway arches and come into the forest, and it's a sanctuary for your senses, which is what I love about it.

Hear from members of our North Perthshire team and some visitors about why they love the Hermitage, a very special forest in our care.

Big Tree Country = big joy!

Lying just off the A9 outside Dunkeld, leave your troubles behind as you stroll along the woodland paths. Take a moment and close your eyes; this place was designed for all senses. Enjoy the peaceful sounds of birdsong, waterfalls and wind through the branches. Perhaps the most spectacular time to visit the Hermitage is in autumn, when the tree colours are truly breathtaking.

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