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News from Scotland
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 Scottish

News

This page contains News from Scotland that is likely to be of interest to members. It concentrates mainly on the area around Glenshee. At the foot of the page there are also links to other sources of Scottish news. News relating to Nature and Wildlife in Scotland now appears in our new Wildlife News section.
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To see previous news please click here.


Glenshee tops the BBC News

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The wintery weather across the UK topped BBC News reports on Friday 13th Jauary 2017. Rather surprisingly the closure of the A93 road between Braemar and the Spittal of Glenshee led one of the travel news reports on BBC Radio 5 Live - normally the regular closures of this route are ignored by the media.

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Having looked at one of the Perth & Kinross Council webcams showing the conditions in the area (right) it is easy to see why the road was closed.

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Added 13/01/2017  


Scotland in Top Ten Destinations

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The travel website, Rough Guides, has published a list of the ten best countries to visit in 2017. Scotland is on the list, second only to India. Perhaps this will encourage more visitors in this year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

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For further information and a link to the Rough Guides website please click here.

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Added 02/01/2017 


Traffic In Glenshee

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As storm Barbara approaches Scotland one has to have some sympathy with those trying to use the A93 through Glenshee. On Friday 23rd December the A93 Twitter feed announced that the snowgates at the Spittal of Glenshee and Braemar would be closed "Indefinitely".

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The image from the webcam at the Braemar gates does suggest that the authorities seem to be working to resolve the issue.

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Added 23/12/2016   


Winter Reaches Glenshee
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Wintery weather arrived in Scotland on 5th November and Traffic Scotland reported that the snowgates on the A93 between the Spittal of Glenshee and Braemar were shut to traffic for the first time this season. That is some 24 days earlier than last year.
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Sadly the webcam at the Braemar gates was broken and the new webcam at the Spittal of Glenshee is not currently on-line - so your webmaster has had to use an old photograph to illustrate this news item.
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Information about such closures can now be found on the A93's own Twitter feed. 

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Added 08/11/2016


More A93 Road Closures                                                                    !!! New !!!

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Clansfolk planning to visit the Glenshee area during October 2016 should be warned that the A93 will be closed between Bridge of Cally and Middleton from 10th October to 28th October. There is a twelve mile diversion via Kirkmichael using the A924 and the B950.

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There is considerable disquiet in the area because the works will take place during the busy school half-term holiday period. It appears that no attempt was made to consult local businesses in the extended area, who very much rely on passing traffic.

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An Update

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We understand that after complaints from local businesses and the involvement of local councillors this closure was postponed. People power at work!

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Added 08/10/2016

Updated 08/11/2017 


Is it Really Summer?                                                                        

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On Sunday 7th August 2016 the BBC weather forecaster reported that gusts of wind exceeding 100mph (160kph) has been recorded at the weather station at the Cairnwell at the top of Glenshee. Even stronger winds had been recorded at other points in the Cairngorms.

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One really must feel sorry for holiday makers camping in the area. It is after all mid summer here in the UK! 

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Added 07/08/2016


Strathardle Sheep Dog Trials                                                          !!! New !!!

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Members living in or visiting Scotland may be interested in attending the Strathardle Sheepdog, Trials which take place on Glenfernate Estate near Enochdhu on 30th July 2016 by kind permission of the Amoury family. There will be trials, a confined shearing competition and refreshments available on the field.

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To get to the Glenfernate Estate take the A924 at Bridge of Cally and follow it up the Glen for approximately 11 miles, passing through Ballintuim, Kirkmichael and Enochdhu. The Estate is on the right.
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Added 24/07/2015


Wildlife News                                                                                            !!! New !!!

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News about Nature and Wildlife in Scotland will, in future, appear in our new Wildlife News section, which can be viewed from left hand menu.

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We hope that you enjoy this new feature.

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Added 25/07/2016 


Cairngorms Big 9 Plan

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The Clan land at Clach na Coileach in Glenshee lies within the southern boundary of the Cairngorm National Park (map). The Park are currently consulting on the Big 9 key issues to be addressed in the National Park Partnership Plan for 2017 to 2022. The final plan will be the basis of the management of the Park for these years. Grant Moir, the CEO of the Park Authority encouraged “as many people as possible” to take part in the consultation.

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For further information please click here.

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Added 19/07/2016


Weather Warning

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The vagaries of the weather in Highland Scotland never cease to amaze and we have become used to receiving regular “Weather Warnings” during the winter months. But it was rather surprising to receive such a warning on what was forecast to be the warmest day of summer to date – a pessimist might suggest the only day of summer. The source of the warning was also a little unusual – the local Community Watch on the advice of the Scottish police.

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To read more about the background to the warning please click
here. All will become clear - although our image does give a little clue.

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Added 18/07/2016 


Bus to the Cockstane?

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Members who have visited the Cockstane will know how rural the area is. They may therefore be surprised to know that during summer months it is served by a bus service. From 4th July until 14th August the number 501 bus runs twice daily from Ballater to Blairgowrie and back. The buses operate as a "Hail and Stop" service, so will pick up and drop off anywhere along the route, where it is safe to do so.

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At other times of year the area is served by the route 71 which is much less regular and only runs from Blairgowrie to the Ski Centre at the Cairnwell.

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Please use the links that follow to view the timetables and routes: (501) and (71).

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Added 06/07/2016


Wind Turbines in Glenisla

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In December 2014 we reported that Planning applications had been submitted to both Angus and Perth & Kinross councils to construct a windfarm comprising forteen 115 metre high turbines on a site called "Saddle Hill" just to the South of Kirton of Glenisla. There was subsequently considerable local opposition to the applications. There was particular concern about disturbance to Wildcats and the other wildlife that frequent the area.

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Members may be interested to know that applications have now been turned down by both councils. At this stage it is not known if the applicant intends to appeal.

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Added 02/07/2016


Road Works in September

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Members visiting the Glenshee area in September 2016 may wish to know that the A924 road between Bridge of Cally and Kirkmichael will be closed or restricted between the 5th and 24th of the month.

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The published diversion is A93/B950/A924 or the reverse. We will be sure to give updates here - the Webmaster will probably in the area at that time and may be staying on the A924!

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Added 02/07/2016


Perthshire Archaeology Month 2016

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It has been announced announced that June 2016 is Archaeology Month in Perthshire. The Month is organised by The Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust and they have published details of planned activities that include guided walks, tours and workshops. Please click here to read a leaflet describing the various events.
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For the fifth year running the Trust have organised further excavation of the early 'Pitcarmick-type building' at the Lair in Glenshee - very close to the Clan's land at the Cockstane (Clach na Coileach). This will take place on various dates between 21st June and 2nd Julyduring the month. Members should be aware that the participants will probably using our car park at times. 
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Added 06/06/2016
 


Clach na Haggis - an Update.

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Almost exactly a year ago we reported that a Geocache had been found on our land at Clach na Coileach in Glenshee. Investigation has shown that it forms part of a chain of caches located on what is known by Geocachers as the Haggis Highway - perhaps their name for the A93. Our cache has been christened Clach na Haggis and is one of well over two thousand set across the highlands by a person answering to the pen name Highland Haggi.
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We can now report that Clach na Haggis has been found nearly 140 times since it was installed late in 2012 - several this spring. In that time four seekers have visited but failed to find it.  
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For further information please click here. We should warn that the description is a little tongue in cheek!

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Added 06/06/2016


Road Works of the A93 at Glenshee

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Clansfolk planning to visit Perthshire in the coming months may be interested to know that the A93 North of the Spittal of Glenshee will be closed to all traffic between 8:00pm and 6:00am from 20th June to 4th July 2016 for carriageway replacement. The road will remain open on Friday and Saturday nights.

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We will try to advise here if there are any changes to this schedule.

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Added 31/05/2016


Into the Wild

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In the new BBC Television "Into the Wild" series presenter and wildlife camerman Gordon Buchanan takes so called 'household names' on wildlife adventures in the UK countryside. In the episode aired on the 16th April 2016 Gordon and BBC Foreign Editor, John Simpson, seek out various animals and birds in the beautiful Cairngorms National Park. They visit the Angus Glens seeking out the ever elusive Scottish Wildcat. 

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We will not spoil the surprise by reporting their findings here. However the film of their adventures can be viewed on the BBC i-player for the next month by clicking here. Please enjoy.

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Added 17/04/2016    


Still Waiting                                                                                        

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We have learnt that people in North Perthshire are still suffering as a result of the bad weather earlier in the Scottish Winter. Some residents in the village of Ballintuim, mid way between Bridge of Cally and Kirkmichael, have been without telephone and broadband connections for well over a month. The local MSP  has now taken the matter up with top management at the service provider and a fix is promised. Better late than never - it can be a hard life in such remote areas.

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Added 01/03/2016


Gertrude hits the Highlands                                                          !! Updated !!

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Storm  Gertrude, the latest weather system to be named by the UK Met Office, hit the UK on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th January 2016 and there was a fair amount of chaos across Scotland. In the Glenshee area there were strong winds and snow and the A93 road between the Spittal and Braemar was closed for much of the Saturday. By Sunday it was possible for some winter sports to take place at the Glenshee Ski centre.

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For a more detailed story with updates and photographs please click here.

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Added 31/01/2016

Linked Page Updated 01/02/2016


Winterwatch - An Update.
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The first episode of the 2016 series of the BBC "Winterwatch" programme was broadcast live on 26th January. Martin Hughes-Games reported from the hills in Glenshee on the life of the Mountain Hare, Lepus Timidus.

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There was also a report on the efforts to conserve the pure Scottish Wildcat, Felis silvestris, which is in danger because it has been breeding with the domestic cat. It was stated that the pure Scottish Wildcat is arguably the rarest mammal on the planet. We were promised that there would be more about the Wildcat in future episodes.
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The programme can now be watched on the BBC i-player (link).
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Added 26/01/2016

UK National Park of the Year Awards
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The Clan land at Clach na Coileach, Glenshee, lies within the beautiful Cairngorms National Park. The park as a whole has recently been shortlisted for BBC Countryfile Magazine's "National Park of the Year" award. This is just one of the magazine's annual awards which celebrate the best of the UK countryside, from Britain's greatest nature reserve to the landmark of the year.
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If you have enjoyed your visit to the Cairngorms why not support them with your vote? To do this or to find more information about the awards please click
here.
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Added 25/01/2016


Winterwatch is Back!

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For the third year running the BBC 2 television nature programme, "Winterwatch", is coming from the Highlands. The production team will be based at the Mar Lodge Estate near Braemar, just over the 'hill' from Glenshee. The programme content will no doubt be influenced by the floods that recently affected the area.
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The programme will as usual presented by Michaela Strachan, Chris Packham and Martin Hughes-Games and will be 'aired' every night between 26th and 29th January 2016. There is extended "Unsprung" coverage and lots more information on the website, where previews and recordings can also be viewed.
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To find out more and to watch the programme on-line please click
here.

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Added 25/01/2016


Glenshee Winter Games

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It has been announced that the Glenshee Winter Games, which are organised at the by Snowsport Scotland, will take place at the Glenshee Ski Centre on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th February 2016. The Games form part of the Alpine Series of events, which are held at various centres across the Scottish Highlands.

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For further information please visit the Snowport Scotland Website or their Facebook page.

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Added 24/01/2016


Ski-ing - An Update

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As predicted in an earlier news item a number of runs on the slopes at Glenshee were open for ski-ing and other snowsports on 12th January 2016. By the following weekend up to 15 lifts were open for business.  Most runs were said to be complete with pisted packed snow. It was reported that on piste conditions were good with cold temperatures and plenty of free riding available.

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On 14th January the early evening news on STV reported live from the slopes of Glenshee. Please click here to view the report.

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Added 17/01/2016


Ski-ing in Glenshee

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It has now been snowing for several days in the hills above Glenshee, and we are delighted to report that the Ski Centre will be open for sport for the first time this winter on Tuesday 12th January 2016. To start with there will be limited activity, but the forecast is for colder weather and it is hoped that it will be possible to open further runs shortly. Please remember that travel to the Centre from the North is not possible because of the full closure of the A93 East of Braemar due to flood damage.

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For further information please visit the Ski Centre website or facebook page.

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Added 11/01/2016


World Snow Day - Postponed in Glenshee

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Across the globe World Snow Day will be celebrat

ed on Sunday 17th January. However in Glenshee things will be a little different. Aberdeen Snowsport Club and the Glenshee Ski Centre have decided to postpone the events in Glenshee until the Scottish Snow Festival on the weekend of March 20th/21st. The reason for the delay is the closure of the main A93 road from the North following damage to a bridge during the recent floods. The fact that there is not yet any reasonable snow on the slopes may have been a contributory factor!

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Added 06/01/2016


A Wet December

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Provisional figures issued by the UK MET Office show that December 2015 was the wettest is Scotland since their records began in 1910. A total of 333.1 mm of rain fell in the first 29 days of the month, beating the previous record of 301mm. Mean temperatures across the month were 2.6 degrees centigrade above the average from 1981 to 2010.

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The wet weather has continued into 2016.

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Added 04/1/2016 


Storms hit Scotland                                                                                 

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Storm "Frank" hit Scotland with a vengeance on the night of the 29th to 30th of December and caused considerable flooding across the country. Part of the A93 road was washed away by the river Dee between Braemar and Ballater just over the "hill" from Glenshee - please click here to view drone footage of the substantial damage on the BBC website. The road from Blairgowrie to the old Dalrulzion Hotel south of Glenshee was closed for a time due to flooding. At Bleaton Hallet, just off the A93 between Glenshee and Bridge of Cally, a temporary bridge over the river Blackwater partially collapsed into the gorge just after a JCB digger had passed over it. Locals report that the 'so called' temporary bridge had been in place for 45 years! Life can be hard in the Highlands.

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Added 31/12/2015


Glenshee on BBC Landward

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The

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BBC

Landward

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Ski Centre at Glenshee featured on the BBC Landward programme which was first broadcast on 11th December at 19:30 GMT. Landward is the BBC Scotland's countryside magazine.
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The programme can be watched on the BBC i-player for the next month. Just look for Landward episode 24 - the piece about Glenshee starts after about 18 minutes 40 seconds. Alternatively please click here.
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Added 14/12/2015


Motoring Misery in Scotland

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The Forth Road Bridge, which links Edinburgh with the North of Scotland, has been closed until at least the New Year following the discovery of structural faults in the steel which supports the bridge deck. The sixty thousand vehicles that use the bridge every day are having to find an alternative route and the official diversion that is some fifty miles long has been clogged with traffic.

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BBC Report      The FRB Website      

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A replacement bridge is under construction but will not be ready until the end of 2016.

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Added 05/12/2015


Winter Arrives in Glenshee

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A wintery blast arrived in Scotland on 29th November and Traffic Scotland reported that the snowgates on the A93 between the Spittal of Glenshee and Braemar were firmly shut all day.

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Sadly the webcam at the Braemar gates is currently broken and the new webcam at the Spittal of Glenshee gates has yet to be fully installed - so your webmaster has had to use a historic photograph to illustrate this news item.

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According to reports on Facebook on the same the Braemar Mountain Rescue team were training in the snow at the Glenshee Ski Centre.

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Added 29/11/2015  


Abilgail Comes and Goes

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Weather forecasters in the United Kingdom have started giving names to the storms that hit the country. And so it was that storm Abigail hit Scotland on 12th and 13th November 2015. There were winds of up to 84 mph, heavy rain and the first snow of the winter in parts of the Highlands. In the NW of Scotland  power cuts affected up to 20,000 homes and many schools were forced to close for the day. By the next day the storm had gone and calmer weather returned. Barney comes next!

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Added 16/11/2015 


Spittal of Glenshee Project Update

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We are regularly asked what is happening about the Spittal of Glenshee site following the fire at the Hotel in August 2014. We can only report that the feasibility study organised by the local Community is continuing.

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A video promoting the Community Project has recently been made available and can be viewed here. Members of a sensitive disposition are warned that the video includes pictures of the hotel in its burnt out state. 

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Added 15/11/2015


New Sandi Thom Single & Tour

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It has been announced that  Sandi Thom's new single, Earthquake, will be released on 13th November 2015. Just click on the photograph of the cover (right) to hear a short extract from the single.

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The single can be pre-ordered by clicking here.

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Clan Society member, Sandi, will be touring the UK and a few locations in continental Europe during November and early December. Please click here for details. 

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Added 01/11/2015  


New Web-cam in Glenshee                                                            !! New !!

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Plans are in hand to install an additional Web-cam at the Spittal of Glenshee. The camera will provide a view of the snowgates on the A93 just North on MacThomas Bridge and will allow local residents and visitors alike to see whether the road is open without a wasted journey. There is of course already a camera at the snowgates on A93 on the outskirts of Braemar, but there are occasions when one set of gates is open and the other closed. 

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This is a community project and funding for the installation and initial running costs have been obtained from the Cairngorms National Park Authority, SSE Drumderg Community Fund, Perth & Kinross Council, Glenshee Ski Centre and the Glenshee Tourist Association. Events are being organised to fund the substantial running costs in future years.

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It is hoped that the web-cam will be operational in mid November well before the snow arrives in the Glen. Please watch our "Travel in Scotland" page for further updates.

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Added 23/10/2015 


Madness on the A93                                                                             

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The A93 is the road that runs alongside the Clan land at the Cockstane in Glenshee.

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We regularly receive information from the police team responsible for Perthshire. This week’s Commander's bulletin advised that the Trunk Road Policing Group had reported a 21 year old male to the Procurator Fiscal, Perth, having detected him driving a motorcycle at 130mph on the A93 at the Spittal of Glenshee. That is well over twice the speed limit.

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Your Webmaster knows the condition of this road well and is shocked by such stupidity.

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Update.

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It has been reported that when the motorcyclist appeared in court at the end of November he was fined £450 and banned from driving for 8 months - link.  

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Added 11/09/2015

Last updated 11/12/2015


Strathardle Sheep Dog Trials                                                          

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Members in Scotland may be interested in attending the Strathardle Sheepdog Trials which take place on Glenfernate Estate near Enochdhu on 25th July 2015 by kind permission of the Amoury family. There will be trials, a shearing competition and refreshments available on the field. A day out for all the family!

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To get to the Glenfernate Estate take the A924 at Bridge of Cally and follow it up the Glen for approximately 11 miles, passing through Ballintuim, Kirkmichael and Enochdhu.The Estate is on the right.
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Added 24/07/2015


Is it really Summer?                                                                     

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The weather is Scotland this year has been extremely variable. For example "The Open" golf at St Andrew's has been suspended as a result rain on the 17th July and excessive wind (Gusts of 40mph) on the 18th July.
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And on the 17th July the village of Alyth, less than 12 miles as the crow flies from the Clan land at the Cockstane (further by road!), has been devastated by flooding following heavy overnight rain. Please click here to view a report and film about the situation on the Courier website. It was reported that all available fire-fighters from the area, including the volunteers from Glenshee, were attending flooding incidents.
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Sympathy to residents and visitors. Let's hope that things improve soon.

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Added 18/07/2015


Fire in the Scottish Countryside

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The Scottish Fire Service has issued a warning about the dangers of fire in the countryside during the summer months.

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Members planning to visit Scotland this year are encouraged to click here to read their warning. Please take care.

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Added 05/07/2015


A93 Roadworks at Rochallie - Update                                !!! Changed !!!

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Further to the news item further down this page, it has now been confirmed that the roadworks on the A93 at Rochallie, just south of Bridge of Cally, have been delayed again and that the road will be closed to all traffic during the day (9:00am until 4:00pm) on Wednesday 1st July, Thursday 2nd July and Friday 3rd July. The road will continue to be closed at night (7:00pm until 7:00am) until Friday 3rd July 2015.

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The contractors apologise for any inconvenience caused. Members visiting the area should be aware.

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Added 22/06/2015

Updated 25/06/2015 


Spittal of Glenshee Hotel Community Project                    !!! New !!!

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It was previously reported that much of the Spittal of Glenshee Hotel was destroyed by fire in August 2014. The community in area is currently carrying out a study into possible uses for the derelict Spittal site. They are keen to know what visitors to the area think of the various options that have been suggested by consultants. Members who have visited Glenshee or may be so in the future are asked to complete a survey by clicking here. Thank you for your help.

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More information about this community project will be added to this website soon.

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Added 06/06/2015

Updated 15/06/2015


Perthshire Archaeology Month 2015
                                        !!! New !!!
 
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The Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust have announced that June is Archaeology Month in Perthshire and have published details of planned events which include guided walks, talks and demonstrations. Please click 
here to read a leaflet describing the various activities.

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One of the events that may be of particular interest to members will be the continuation of excavations of the early 'Pitcarmick-type building' at the Lair in Glenshee - very close to the Clan's land at the Cockstane (Clach na Coileach). This will take place on various dates during the month. Members should be aware that we have as usual given permission for the participants to use our car park.  

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Added 04/06/2015


Clach na Haggis                                                                                     !!! New !!!

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Geocaching seems to be becoming more popular with visitors to Scotland. Clach na Haggis is the name assigned to a cache located on the Clan land at Clach na Coileach in Glenshee. Your webmaster located the cache just inside the entrance gate when he visited in0 June 2014. The cache appears to form one of of chain which are located on what is known to Geocachers as the Haggis Highway -possibly along the A93. The cache was created by Highland Haggi who appears set over 1000 across the Highlands. We know that several geocachers have found this cache during the spring months of 2015.

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For further information please click here. Please do not take the description too seriously!

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Added 31/05/2015  


A long way to vote!
                                                                         !!! New !!!

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Many of us may dream of living in the Highlands of Scotland. We may not however appreciate how difficult activities that we take for granted can become. For example your Webmaster had to walk just a hundred yards to vote in the UK General Election. If he lived at the Spittal of Glenshee then he would have had a round trip of some 15 miles to the nearest polling station at the Blackwater Hall (right).

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There is another significant difference. Just 176 people are registered to vote at the Blackwater Hall. Compare this with the figure or more than 1900 at the Webmaster's local polling station.  

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Added 02/05/2015

Updated 31/05/2015 


What's On? in Blairgowrie                                                          !!! New !!!

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Blairgowrie is the nearest town to our Clan lands in Glenshee and became the largest town in Perthshire when Perth was granted City status in March 2012. A website has recently been launched to promote activities in the town. There are sections for visitors and for the community. You can also sign up for a monthly newsletter.

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Please click here to visit the Discover Blairgowrie website.

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Added 01/05/2015 


Tartan Day 2015

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April 6th has been designated Tartan Day in various places across the world. The day marks the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320 at Arbroath Abbey. It is said that this historical occasion sowed the seeds of modern day democracy and was used as a basis for the American Declaration of Independence. Tartan Day was inspired by this historical occasion to celebrate all that is good about Scotland - its people, its heritage, its history, its culture and its amazing legacy to the world.

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Please use the links below to read more about the events:

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Tartan Day in Scotland* Tartan Day in New York

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Added 06/04/2015


A93 Roadworks at Rochallie

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Regular visitors to Glenshee will know that, as the result of a landslip, there have been temporary traffic lights on the A93 at Rochallie, just Soth East of Bridge of Cally, for the last three years.The local council report that repairs have been delayed because of technical issues.

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The design for the repair is complete and it is expected that a contract will be awarded in the next few weeks.

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Members planning to visit the area during 2014 should note that the repairs are scheduled to take place between 11th May and 19th June. It is expected that during this period the A93 will be completely closed to traffic overnight between 7:00pm and 7:00am . It is also possible that there may also be a limited number of daytime closures for resurfacing. Please watch this space for updates.

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Added 25/02/2015 


Archaeology  in Glenshee

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This page has previously featured reports on the Archaeology Project that takes place each summer just south of the Clan land in Glenshee.

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The team working on the project has recently launched a new website reporting on their activities and findings. Please click here to visit the site.

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Clansfolk may find the new research report on the "Placenames of Glenshee" of particular interest.

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Added 23/02/2015    


Drumderg Awards

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Much has been written about the adverse effect of wind farms on the landscape in Scotland. However there can be benefits. Since the Drumderg Wind Farm was built some seven years ago over half a million pounds has been awarded in grants to community projects in the Mount Blair (Glenshee and Strathardle) and Alyth areas of Eastern Perthshire.

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To read about the latest awards please click
here.

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Added 06/02/2015


Winterwatch back in the Highlands

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For the second rear running the BBC 2 television nature programme, "Winterwatch", is this year coming from the Mar Lodge Estate near Braemar, just over the 'hill' from Glenshee. Some members may recall that we visited Mar Lodge as part of the Society's Golden Jubilee Gathering in 2004.

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The programme, again presented by Michaela Strachan, Chris Packham and Martin Hughes-Games, will be 'aired' every night between 19th and 22rd January 2015. There is extended "Unsprung" coverage and lots more information on the website, where previous episodes can also be viewed. 

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To find out more and to watch the programme on-line please click here.

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Added 21/01/2015


Good News for Skiers in Glenshee

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We are pleased to report that the ski slopes at Glenshee opened for business for the first time in 2015 on 16th January. There was sufficient snow to permit skiing on a number of the runs and the A93 road to the Ski Centre was open for the first time in several days. This is particularly good news because Sunday 18th January has been designated World Snow Day.

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Please click here to visit the Ski Centre website which gives access to the webcams and reports on the facilities that are open.

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Added 17/01/2015


Community Action on the Spittal

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This column reported in August 2014 that much of the Spittal Hotel in Glenshee had been destroyed by fire. Many members who attended the Clan Diamond Jubilee Gathering visited the site and saw the devastation. It was susequently reported that the hotel was not insured.

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Many of the Community organisations in the area are now coming together to consider proposals for the site which is thought to be vital to the future of the tourism in the area. A public meeting to discuss the situation is being held on Saturday 17th January at the Blackwater Hall. The Community groups will be joined by local Council representitives and others with an interest in the site.

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Please click here to read a report from the Courier Newspaper.

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Added 17/01/2015 


Wind Turbines in Glenisla

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Planning applications have been submitted to Angus and Perth & Kinross councils to construct a windfarm comprising forteen 115 metre high turbines on a site called "Saddle Hill" just to the South of Kirton of Glenisla. It is understood that a number of the turbines will be visible from our Clan land at Clach na Coileach.

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There is a good deal of opposition to this development locally and also from those who regularly visit this beautiful area. There is particular concern about disturbance to Wildcats and the other wildlife that frequent the glen.

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For futher information and links to relevant websites please click here.

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Added 29/12/2014     


Year of Food and Drink 2015

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2015 has been designated the "Year of Food and Drink" is Scotland. This is intended to be is a chance to spotlight, celebrate and promote Scotland’s natural larder and quality produce to its people and visitors. The event is to be be supported by EventScotland.

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For further information about the year and the individual activities taking place please click here to visit the Scotland Food and Drink Website. Other links will be added in due course.

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Added 04/01/2015  


Skiing in Glenshee 

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It is sad report that the weather conditions this winter have meant that very little skiing or snowboarding has taken place on the slopes in Glenshee. There have been occasional sightings of youngsters on sledges.

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For updates on the situation why not click here to visit the rebuilt Ski Centre website - very modern with access to all the webcams and reports on the facilities that are open.

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Let us hope that there is some heavy snowfall before the World Snow Day events on 18th January 2015.

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Added 04/10/2015


Good News for Wildcats

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We are delighted to report that 'Widcat Action', a group of organisations striving to conserve Wildcats in Scotland, has been awarded a grant of £973,000 by the UK Heritage Lottery Fund.

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To read a BBC report giving further details of the award please click here.

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One of the areas which had been designated as a priority area for conservation is the Angus Glens which are close to the Cairngorms and our Clan land is Glenshee.

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Added 17/12/2014 


Winter is back in Glenshee

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We know that winter has arrived in Glenshee when we hear or read reports that the A93 is closed between MacThomas Bridge at the Spittal of Glenshee and Braemar. As far as we know the first such report for the 2014/15 winter season came on 10th November 2014 - somewhat later than last winter. A quick look at the webcam at the Braemar end of this stretch of road, (right), showed that the snowgates were firmly shut.

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Avid readers of this website will know that the webcam can be accessed from our "Travel in Scotland" page - link.

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Added 10/12/2014  


Apples for Pigs!

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Members may have wondered how your webmaster obtains all the local news for Glenshee and the surrounding villages which he publishes on this page. One useful source is the local News Group which sends e-mails on an almost daily basis.

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Much of the 'news' is clearly not relevant to Clansfolk. For example there was one just today that appealed for windfall apples which could be fed to three Oxford Sandy & Black rare bread pigs. For some reason your webmaster found this amusing - for a townie it is interesting to see how things are done in the countryside.

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Added 24/09/2014


Fire at Spittal of Glenshee Hotel

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It is sad to report that a serious fire at the Spittal of Glenshee Hotel during the night of 17th to 18th August damaged some thirty per cent of the building. Fortunately the hotel was unoccupied having been closed for refurbishment for the last six weeks. Some 50 firefighters, many retained or volunteers, attended the scene but were unable to prevent the destruction of the main building.

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The hotel was of course the location for Clan MacThomas Gatherings for many years.

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To watch an STV report about the fire please click here.

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Added 18/08/2014  


Edinburgh Trams

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Several years ago we reported on the saga behind the building of the new tram system in Scotland's capital. The good news is that the network is complete and that Edinburgh's trams have been running for a few months now.

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Members arriving at Edinburgh airport for the Clan Gathering in August may wish to consider using the trams to get to the centre of the City and the railway stations.

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For further information please click here.

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Added 28/07/2014    


Clansfolk at the Commonwealth Games

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With the 20th Commonwealth Games about to start in Glasgow, Scotland your webmaster has been trawling the competitors list to see if he can find any clansfolk who are participating. As usual there are several Thompsons and numerous Thomases from Wales.

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He has however found a possibility. There is 59 year old gentleman called David Thomas who is competing for Scotland in the Lawn Bowls mixed pairs for disabled athletes (B2/B3). He was however born in southern England. Keep looking!

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Added 23/07/2014    


Walking Festival - September 2014
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The annual Blairgowrie & East Perthshire Walking Festival will take place this year between Friday 12th and Sunday 14th of September. Although the Festival is based in Blairgowrie several of the events will take place in and around our Clan areas. This year's flagship is a rarely walked ancient right of way from Inverey to Glenshee, taking in the munro Beinn lutharn Mor. The walks range from moderate to extremely strenuous and each is led by an experienced and qualified guide.
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Please click here for further information.

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Added 15/07/2014


What's On in the Cairngorms

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Visitors to Scotland may be interested in the "Whats On" magazine that is published monthly by the Visit Cairngorms organisation. The magazine can be picked up locally or, if you prefer, downloaded or read by clicking here. The same link provides access to an Online Calendar of events in the Cairngorms area.

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The Clan land at Clach na Coileach lies within the boundary of the Cairgorms National Park and we have been assured that details of our Gathering on 23rd August 2014 will appear in the magazine which will be published shortly. The event can already be found in the Online Calendar.

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Added 20/07/2014


Highland Games in Scotland

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Visit Scotland have recently published a booklet entitled "Your Guide to Scotland's Epic Highland Games". It is subtitled "History & Tradition : Power & Passion : Colour & Spectacle".

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The booklet includes a guide to many of the Games scheduled to be held in 2014 -including the Strathardle Highland Games which will form part of Clan MacThomas's Diamond Jubilee Gathering in August.

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To read the booklet please click here.

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Added 14/07/2014   


Cateran Yomp 2014

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The Yomp has been promoted as an epic adventure challenge. Teams of between 3 and 6 people will attempt to cover 22, 36.5 or the full 54 miles in just 24 hours. The route takes participants around parts of the Cateran Trail through some of the remotest parts of the Perthshire and Angus glens. The terrain should test the physical and mental endurance of the toughest athletes whilst raising vital funds to support ABF, the Soldiers’ Charity.
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This year's event takes place on 28th and 29th June and starts in Blairgowrie. Please click here for a map of the route and links to websites offering further information.

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Added 14/06/2014 


Glenisla Kirk Update

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McComie Mor, the 7th Chief of Clan MacThomas, is reputed to be buried in the churchyard of Glenisla Kirk. We mentioned earlier in this column that the Church of Scotland had deconsecrated the Kirk and put the building up for sale.
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We are now delighted to be able to report that the building has been purchased on behalf of the Glenisla community and will in future be managed and maintained by local people.
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Although still deconsecrated the Kirk can still be used for most types of service and ministers of the Church of Scotland can be invited to preside when required. A re-opening service took place on 27th April 2014 and monthly "Songs of Praise" recommenced on 1st June.
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Added 14/06/2014


Queen's Baton Relay

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The Queen's Baton Relay for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow has at last reached Scotland. Since Her Majesty inserted her message into the baton (right) outside Buckingham Palace in London in October 2013 it has travelled over 118,000 miles and visited some 70 Commonwealth nations and territories.

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Between 14th June and 23rd July the baton will travel the length and breadth of Scotland before being opened and the message read out during the Games opening ceremony in Glasgow. Sadly the baton will not visit Glenshee but it can be seen in Angus on 28th June and in Pitlochry & Blairgowrie on 4th July.

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For further information please click here (BBC) or here (Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games website).

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Added 14/06/2013


Perthshire Archaeology Month 2014 
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The Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust have confirmed that June is Archaeology Month in Perthshire and have published details of planned events which include guided walks, talks and demonstrations. Please click 
here to read a leaflet describing the various activities. 

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As we mentioned earlier in this column, one of the events that may be of particular interest to members will be the continuation of excavations of the early 'Pitcarmick-type building' at the Lair in Glenshee - very close to the Clan's land at the Cockstane (Clach na Coileach). This will take place over the weekend of 6th to 9th June and also between 23rd and 30th June. Visitors to the site will be given a brief tour.  

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Added 11/06/2014


Woodland in Scotland

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The Forestry Commission in Scotland have recently published the results of their Native Woodland Survey of Scotland; the project was supported by Scottish Natural Heritage. The resulting inventory of Scotland's native woods will be a baseline for monitoring future changes.

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As far as we can see the newly planted trees at Clach Na Coileach were not surveyed.

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For further information and links to various reports please click here.

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Added 20/04/2014 


Scotland's Big 5 - The Results

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A year ago we reported that, as part ot the Year of Natural Scotland 2013, VisitScotland has joined forces with Scottish Natural Heritage to showcase some of Scotland's best loved wildlife. Visitors were encouraged to admire the Country's natural beauty and wonderful wildlife and to vote for their favourite from a list which included Red Squirrels, Golden Eagles and Red Deer. Sadly the Scottish Wildcat was not on the list.  
Some 12,000 people took the time to vote and the Golden Eagle came top with almost twice as may votes as the Red Squirrel which was second. The full results are given in the chart above.
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For more information about the Golden Eagle please click
here.
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Added 20/04/2013


Archaeology in Glenshee

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The Glenshee Archaeology Project website has announced that volunteers will again be excavating the site around the early 'Pitcarmick-type building' at the Lair in Glenshee - very close to the Clan's land at the Cockstane (Clach na Coileach). The 2014 dig will take place between the 6th and 9th June and also between the 23rd and 30th June. The event will be organised by the Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust in association with Northlight Heritage. Please click here to visit the project website.

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During these periods it is likely that some volunteers will, with permission, be parking their evehicles in the Clan car park at the Cockstane.

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It is hoped that during our 2014 Gathering there will be time to take a short tour of the Archaeology site.

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Added 02/04/2014     


Lady is back!                                                           !! Updated Again!!

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Lady, the osprey, who is thought to be the UK's oldest breeding female, has returned to the Loch of the Lowes nature reserve in Dunkeld for the 24th year. The reserve, which is run by the Scottish Wildlife trust, is just a few miles south south east of Pitlochry where we will be holding our Gathering in August. Lady arrived on 31st March to join her mate, know as Laddie, who had arrived ten days earlier. She is believed to be about 28 years old and has laid at least 68 eggs in her lifetime. Simply astonishing! Members may wish to consider visiting the reserve whilst in Scotland although Lady herself is likely to depart for warmer climes in early August.

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To find out the latest situation please click here to read the Scottish Wildlife Trust(SWT) blogg or here to view the webcam that is trained on Lady's nest.

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Update 3

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We are delighted to report that Lady laid her 69th egg by moonlight on 13th April. At 2.00am on 16th April she laid her 70th egg - what a wonderful way to celebrate the SWT's 50th anniversary. And at 11:30pm on 19th April a 71st egg appeared. We are told that three eggs is the normal clutch for an osprey - however in 2013 Lady produced four.

 

Final Update

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Sadly all Lady's 2014 eggs proved to be infertile and hence no chicks were produced. 

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Added 02/04/2014

Last updated 15/07/2014


Clan Homecoming Celebrations

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The Scottish Government has announced that over £26,000 in funding has been offered to support Clan events as part of Homecoming Scotland celebrations during 2014. Awards have been made to ten Clans, including Clan MacThomas who will receive support for marketing their Diamond Jubilee Gathering in August.

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Please click here for further information.

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Added 14/02/2014 


Clansfolk at the Winter Olympics

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With the Winter Olympics at Sochi now in full swing, your webmaster has been trying to spot competitors with a Clan sept name. Sadly to date he has not had too much success. The best that he can find is young man from Canada called Benjamin Thomsen who is competing in the alpine skiing. Pity about the spelling! Clearly our Clansmen are not very athletic.

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The sennachie and webmaster would still like find Clan participants at previous Olympics but have yet to find a suitable source of information. If you know of one then please contact them.

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Added 15/02/2014


Winter Sports in Glenshee                                                !!Event Postponed!! 

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Snow has returned to the Glenshee Ski Centre and The Glenshee Winter Games are expected to go ahead on Saturday & Sunday - 1st & 2nd February.

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On Saturday they will hold the "Highlander Slopestyle" Competition and on both days there be racing including the Glenshee Open Alpine Race.

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Please click here to visit the event Facebook page.

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Added 29/01/2014   


Winterwatch from the Highlands

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The BBC television nature programme,"Winterwatch", will this year come from the Mar Lodge Estate near Braemar, just over the 'hill' from Glenshee. Some members may recall that we visited Mar Lodge as part of the Society's Golden Jubilee Gathering in 2004.

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The programme, presented by Michaela Strachan, Chris Packham and Martin Hughes-Games, will be 'aired' every night between 2oth and 23rd January 2014. There will also be extended coverage "Winterwatch Extra". 

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To find out more and to watch the programme on-line please click here.

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Added 20/01/2014 


Skiing in Glenshee                                                                          !!! New !!!

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The Glenshee Ski Centre website has announced  that snow has been falling and they hope to open for the season on Boxing Day, 26th December 2013. The only issue may be getting there - the A93 between Braemar at the North and MacThomas Bridge at the South has been closed for the last couple of days.  

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Members dreaming of participating in winter sports in the Scottish Highlands, but not being lucky enough to be there, are reminded that they can view what is happening on the slopes of Glenshee via the panoramic webcam on the Ski Centre website. Please click here for the experience. The picture is updated several times an hour.

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Update on Boxing Day

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A check by your webmaster on Boxing Day showed that the road was open, the car parks at the Ski Centre almost full, six lifts operating and plenty of people on the slopes enjoying themselves.

 

Added 24/12/2013

Last Updated 26/12/2013


World Ski Day                                                                                    !!! New !!!

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It has been announced that World Ski Day at the Glenshee Ski Centre will take place on Sunday 19th January 2014. There will be ski demonstrations, ski and snowboard taster sessions, an Olympic fancy dress fun race, a snow sculpture competion, tubing and an Olympic snowball coconut shy. The Scottish Charity Air Ambulance will be on show.

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For further information please click here.

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Added 24/12/2013


Winter Arrives in Glenshee                                                        

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One sure sign that winter has arrived in Glenshee is the reports on the BBC that the A93 is closed between the Spittal of Glenshee and Braemar. The first such report for the 2013/14 winter season came on the morning of 21st November 2013. Sure enough, a quick look at the webcam at the Braemar end of this stretch of road, (right), showed that the snowgates were firmly shut.

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Regular readers of this column will know that the webcam can be viewed from the "Travel in Scotland" page on this website - link. Be warned that the clock on the webcam is currently about 30 minutes fast!

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Added 21/11/2013


Nominated for Tree of the Year                                              

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An ancient oak just outside Dunkeld in Perthshire has been entered into the 2014 European Tree of the Year contest. Niel Gow's Oak sits on the bank of the River Tay. It is reputed that many of Scotland's most famous fiddle tunes were composed under the tree, including those of Niel Gow who was one of Scotland's most famous 18th Century fiddlers.

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Please click here to read more about the tree, Niel Gow and the competition on the Courier website.

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Added 08/11/2013


Sandi Thom in Perthshire                                                          

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It is reported that singer-songwriter and Clan member, Sandi Thom, will be heading the bill at the Strathearn Festival which will be held at Bachilton Farm near Methven in Perthshire on Saturday 17th May 2014. The festival is being described as family-friendly and is expected to attract some 3000 music lovers.

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Added 07/11/2013   


Triathlon in Highland Scotland                                                  

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It has been announced that the 2014 British middle distance triathlon will be held in Aberfeldy, Perthshire on Saturday 17th August - just a few miles from where the Clan gathering will be held the following weekend. The event will comprise a 1900m swim, a 90km bike ride and a 21km run.

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More energetic Clan members could, perhaps, enter the triathlon, spend the rest of week recovering and then arrive at the Gathering ready to go! 

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Added 06/11/2013    


New Release from Sandi Thom                                                   

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It has been announced that Sandi Thom's new Album, "The Covers Collection", will be released on 11th November 2013. It is said to be a compilation of stunning covers including a beautiful rendition of Led Zepellin's "The Rain Song" and the wonderfully original classic "November Rain" by Guns 'n' Roses. It features material that has played a significant part in Clan Member Sandi's musical journey growing up.

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Please click here to preview the tracks in iTunes.

 

Added 31/10/2013 


Wildcat Kittens give hope                                                         

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Two rare Scottish wildcats kittens that were born late in the season at the Highland Wildlife Park near Kingussie in Scotland have just started to explore outside their den. Both kittens are female and have been named Ness and Einich.

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As we have previously reported on this website the Scottish wildcat is under great threat and it is hoped that Ness and Einich will play a significant role in the conservation breeding programme, as part of the new Scottish Wildcat Conservation Action Plan.

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There is an article about the wildcat in this year's edition of Clach Extra. Please click here to read more about the new kittens on the BBC website.

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Added 24/10/2013
 


Pulling Together in Glenshee                                            

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It can be expensive living in a remote area like Glenshee. The Mount Blair Community Development Trust has recently set up a "Community Bulk Oil Purchase Scheme" which helps residents and businesses in the area to buy their heating oil at a rate that is cheaper than that which is available to individuals. The first deliveries under the scheme will take place before the end of October and thereafter participants can receive supplies on a monthly basis.

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Added 24/10/2013  


Glenisla Kirk for Sale                                                         

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It is believed that seventh Chief of Clan MacThomas, Ian Mor, was buried in the kirkyard at Glenisla alongside his sons, John and Robert, who were killed in the Drumgley Skirmish. Sadly the graves are not marked.

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Glenisla Kirk, which was built in 1821 and lies alongside the kirkyard, is currently being sold by the Church of Scotland. The price seems reasonable at £45,000 - but the building comes with very little land and be warned that there is no water supply or drainage. The kirkyard is owned by the local authority and is not included in the sale. Please click here to read the sale brochure. 

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Added 20/10/2013   


Flodden Commemoration                                                   

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The latest edition of  the Clach Na Coileach magazine reported on the service that was held in Saint Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh on 9th September 2013 to commemorate the 500th anniverary of the Battle of Flodden and 500 years of the Scottish Soldier. During the battle in 1513 King James IV and some sixty Clan chiefs were killed. The service was organised by the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs and Clan MacThomas was represented by our 19th Chief, Andrew MacThomas of Finegand. The photograph shows all the Chiefs who attended the event.

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Please click here to read a full report on the event in the Courier newspaper

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Added 05/11/2013   


Mount Blair Community Archive                                

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The Mount Blair Community Archive aims to capture the history of Glenshee and Strathardle. The organisers have been collecting material since the beginning of the year and they now plan to launch a new Website during November 2013. In the meantime information about the project is being published via Twitter.

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Please click here to learn more about this interesting project and for links to the website and Archive's Twitter page.

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Added 06/10/2013  


Kindrogan Field Studies                                                 

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Members looking for an excuse to spend more time in the Highlands of Scotland may be interested in the Kindrogan Centre in Enochdhu, just outside Kirkmichael, and only a few miles from the Clan land in Glenshee. The Centre is referred to as Scotland’s national centre for excellence in field studies and biodiversity training. Run by the Field Studies Council (FSC) it offers courses for both individuals and families in topics including Art and Natural History. They offer something to suit all ages and accomodation is available on site. There is even a bar! Their brochures for 2014 are due to be published in October 2013. Maybe there will be a course to teach us how to look after the trees at the Cockstane!

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Please click here to visit their website which also gives details of the FSC's courses at other locations around the UK.

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Added 06/10/2013    


Sandi Thom on Tour in UK

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It has recently been announced that Clan member and singer-songwriter, Sandi Thom, will be performing across the UK during April 2014.

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The venues range from Dorset in the South of England to Aberdeen in the North of Scotland.

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Please click
here for further information.

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Added 19/09/2013


New Website for Sandi Thom                                                 

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Sandi Thom has recently launched an exciting new look for her website. Please click here to view it.

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Singer and Songwriter Sandi has been a member of the Clan MacThomas Society for a number of years. She features as one of the "Notable Clansfolk" on this website.

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Added 08/08/2013


Top Gear in Glenshee                                                                   !! New !!

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More observant members who have watched recent editions of the BBC Top Gear programme may have felt that some of the scenary looked familiar. Despite Jeremy Clarkson's on air claims that they were filmed in Hertfordshire, it appears that many of the road tests actually took place in Scotland on the roads around Glenshee. Your webmaster is convinced that he spotted Finegand Farm on the episode boadcast in the UK on 4th August 2013 -(Series 20, Episode 6).

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Please click here to view the programme on the BBC iPlayer. The Glenshee segment starts after about 40 minutes. 

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Added 06/08/2013 


Horizon near Glenshee                                                                   !! New !!

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Part of the BBC Horizon programme shown on 2nd August 2013 came from the Heather Hills Farm in Bridge of Cally near Glenshee. Presenter, Bill Turbull, reported on falls in the bee population throughout the UK and the causes and possible effects. Mark Noonan, the farmer at Heather Hills, reported that less than half his 1300 hives contain bees this year and showed how he was importing bees from Italy to remedy the situation. Many of the hives and their bees spend the summer on the hills around Glenshee producing high quality heather honey.

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Please click here to view the Horizon programme on the BBC iPlayer or here to visit the Heather Hills website.

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Added 03/08/2013  


A93 Roadworks

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It has been announced the works to improve the junction of the A93 and the B951, just south of the Clan land in Glenshee, will start on 1st July 2013 and will take some 24 weeks. As part of the work Lair Bridge on the A93 will be rebuilt. It is expected that the B951 through Cray will be closed for the duration of the works and that there will be traffic controls on the A93 at times. 

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For further information please look at our earlier news item or click here.

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Added 18/06/2013      


Perthshire Archaeology Month 2013 

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The Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust have announced that June 2013 is Archaeology Month in Perthshire and have published details of planned events which include guided walks, talks and demonstrations. Please click here to read a leaflet describing the various activities.  

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One of the events that may be of particular interest to members will be the continuation of the excavations of the early 'Pitcarmick-type building' at the Lair in Glenshee - very close to the Clan's land at the Cockstane (Clach na Coileach). This will take place on various dates in June. For further details about this particular event please click here.

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Members may recall that the Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust were one of the organisations that kindly sponsored the redevelopment of the Cockstane area.

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Added 08/06/2013


A93 Improvements

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Members who visit Glenshee on a regular basis will have encountered the junction of the A93 and the B951 road to Cray - just south of the Clan lands at the Cockstane. Turning from the B951 onto the A93 has always been a bit of a gamble. Plans are now being considered to improve the junction. It is reported that the project has become a priority because Lair Bridge, which crosses the Allt Na Lair Burn yards south of the junction is structurally failing and is now supported by props.

 

Please click here to view a plan of the proposed new road layout and here to read a recent report in the Courier newspaper.

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Added 17/05/2013


New Website for Glenshee

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The Glenshee Tourist Association (GTA) has recently launched an improved website describing the delights of Glenshee and the surrounding areas. Please click on the Glen of the Fairies logo to visit the site - there is a Clan MacThomas page under the history menu.

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The site is particularly useful for clansfolk wishing to book accomodation in the Glen. The Clan MacThomas Society has been a member of the GTA for a couple of years and display our promotional material in the visitor centre at the Glenshee Pottery. 

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Added 15/04/2013 


Cateran Trail GeoTour Update

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In the past month full details have been published about the new GeoTour based on the Cateran Trail, which starts and finishes in Blairgowrie and winds its way through the beautiful countryside around Glenshee, Glenisla and Strathardle.

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Please click here to read a recent article reproduced from the Perthshire Advertiser and for links to more information about the Tour and Geocaching.

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Added 10/04/2013


Cairngorms National Park

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The Clan lands at Glenshee are located within the boundaries of the Cairngorms National Park. The Park celebrates the 10th Anniversary of its formation in 2013, the year of natural Scotland. In recognition "Visit Scotland" are giving everyone the opportunity to win a natural break in the Scottish National Parks. Please click here to enter the prize draw. Good luck.

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Please click here for more information about the Cairngorms Park.

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Added 07/04/2013    


Scotland's Big 5

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As part of the Year of Natural Scotland 2013, VisitScotland has joined forces with Scottish Natural Heritage to showcase some of the country’s best loved wildlife.

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Scotland's Big 5 celebrates the fascinating red squirrel, red deer, golden eagle, otter and harbour seal,
and is aimed at encouraging people across Scotland to enjoy these wonderful animals in their natural
habitats. Sadly the Scottish wildcat does not feature on the list.
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Visitors are encouraged to come and admire Scotland’s natural beauty and wonderful wildlife throughout 2013 and to see how many of the Big 5 they can spot.

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Please click here for further information or here to vote for your favourite or to win a trip to see the Big 5.

Added 03/04/2013


Tartan Day 2013

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April 6th has been designated Tartan Day in various places across the world. The day marks the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320 at Arbroath Abbey. It is said that this historical occasion sowed the seeds of modern day democracy and was used as a basis for the American Declaration of Independence. Tartan Day was inspired by this historical occasion to celebrate all that is good about Scotland - its people, its heritage, its history, its culture and its amazing legacy to the world.

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Please use the links below to read more about the events:

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Tartan Day in Scotland   Tartan Day in New York

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Added 02/04/2013


Lady Returns

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An osprey which is thought to be the UK's oldest breeding female has returned to the Loch of the Lowes nature reserve in Dunkeld for the 23rd year. The reserve, which is run by the Scottish Wildlife trust, is just a few miles west of Blairgowrie in Perthshire. Lady, as she is know, arrived on Easter Saturday from her winter home in West Africa. She is believed to be about 27 years old and has laid more than 60 eggs in her lifetime. Simply remarkable!

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To find out the latest situation please click here to read the Scottish Wildlife Trust blogg or here to view the webcam that is trained on Lady's nest.

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Added 03/04/2013 


Still No Spring!

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The BBC has reported that March has been the coldest month in Britain for almost 50 years. The temperature in Braemar in Scotland, just over the hill from Glenshee, in the early hours of Easter Sunday morning fell to about minus 12.5oC (9.5oF). It has been suggested that Easter 2013 has been the coldest ever recorded. (BBC news item)

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To really add insult to injury British Summer Time started on Easter Day. The weather forecast shows the cold weather continuing - but surely Spring must start soon. Meanwhile brrrrr!

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Added 31/03/2013


Policing the Glens

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Since 1975 our clan lands in Glenshee have been overseen by officers from Tayside Police. With effect from 1st April 2013, all the 8 police forces in Scotland will be merged together to form a single force called "Police Scotland". It is claimed that the public will see little difference.

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A similar merger is taking place for Fire & Rescue services throughout Scotland. Glenshee fire station will now form part of the North area of Scottish Fire and Rescue.

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Added 31/03/2013


Fame at Last!

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Early on the 20th March the following message appeared on the traffic page on the BBC Website:

Severe

A93A93 Glenshee Road Braemar, both ways between School Road

and MacThomas Bridge

A93 Aberdeenshire - A93 Glenshee Road closed between the School Road junction in Braemar and the MacThomas Bridge junction in Spittal of Glenshee, because of snow earlier.

This is the first time that your webmaster has seen a reference to "our" bridge on such a report.

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We can report that, despite heavy snow, the road opened again at 10.00am and a majority of the lifts at the Glenshee Ski centre were opening. And it really is Spring by any measure!! - see below.

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Update: It did not last long - on 22nd and 23rd March the were blizzards and the road was closed again. (Photographs).

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Added 20/03/2013

Last updated 23/03/2013


Where has Spring Gone?

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As your webmaster writes this on the 19th March, there has been heavy overnight snow in the Highlands and the snowgates on the A93 between Glenshee and Braemar are again closed. There is some debate in the UK as to when Spring actually starts. The UK Met Office say the 1st March whilst others prefer the historical equinox date of 20th March. (BBC Report). Nevertheless surely we should not be having heavy snow this late in the month?

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The weather in this part of Scotland can now be viewed live via the camera at the Braemar snowgate - click here.

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The good news is, of course, that this late snow is likely to extend the ski season and bring valuable additional business to the slopes at the Glenshee Ski Centre - if only the was not a blizzard and people could actually get there!

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Added 19/03/2013


Cateran Trail on GeoTour
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It has been reported that the Cateran Trail is to feature in a new initiative aimed at cashing-in on the Geocaching craze which has over five million registered players worldwide in the 12 years since its inception. The Trail passes close to the Clan lands in Glenshee.

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To read the report and find out more about Geocaching please click here.

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Added 22/03/2013


Grant for Community Archive

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The heritage lottery fund has awarded a £22,300 grant to the Mount Blair Community Archive Project. The money will be used create a digital archive of local community's heritage in the Mount Blair area, which includes Glenshee, Kirkmichael, Bridge of Cally and the surrounding countryside. The project will focus on gathering oral and photographic records about life in the area over the past few centuries and sharing information with the local community. Results will be displayed and a dedicated website and a digital archive will be created.

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The project forms one of the themes in the Mount Blair Community action plan - for further details please see an earlier news item below.

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Added 31/03/2013


New Minister for Glenshee Kirk

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Glenshee Kirk is part of the Church of Scotland parish of Kirkmichael, Straloch & Glenshee linked with Rattray. We can report that the Rev Linda Stewart was inducted as the new minister for the whole linked parish late in 2012.

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There are services in Glenshee on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month and the Kirk is regularly used for weddings. The Clan MacThomas Society held a service there in 2004 to celebrate its golden jubilee.

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To learn more about the parish and Glenshee Kirk please click here.

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Added 24/03/2013


Elementary My Dear Walk - Again

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Members visiting the Glenshee area in March 2013 may be interested in another of the series of "Reading the Landscapes" walks which are being organised by the Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust.

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The "Elementary My Dear" 7km long walk will take place on the 10th March starting at 10.00am from the Spittal of Glenshee. The walk explores the geology and folklore of Glenshee. Be warned that there will be some hills to negotiate.

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Please click here for further details.

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Added 28/02/2013


Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust

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The Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust (PKCT) is a registered environmental charity that provides, improves and promotes access to the countryside for walkers, cyclists, horseriders and canoeists in Perth & Kinross. Members may recall that they were one of the organisations that financed the replanting of the area around the Clan MacThomas Cockstane in Glenshee.

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Please click here to read their latest newsletter, "Tracking", to read about their current activities. Alternatively you can visit their website by clicking here.

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Added 28/02/2013


Snow Reaches Glenshee

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For some time it seemed that Glenshee would unusually be spared the snow that has swept across the UK from the South. It was not to be! On 22nd January 2013 the BBC reported that the A93 closed between Spittal of Glenshee and Ballater in the Bridge of Gairn because of the snow.

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Added 22/01/2013


Technology to the Rescue

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Regular watchers on this website will know that during the winter months the A93 road between Spittal of Glenshee and Braemar over the Cairnwell is regularly blocked by snowdrifts. When this happens the police close the snowgates at either end of the route. Until recently local residents had to rely of various traffic websites to find out whether the road was open. These have not proved to be too reliable. Now a CCTV camera has be installed pointing at the Braemar gates and a quick look at a webpage shows the locals the situation.

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Members can click here to see the current status.

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Added 22/01/2013


Great British Railway Journeys in Scotland

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Railway 'buffs' amongst our worldwide members may be interested to know that the BBC Programme "Great British Railway Journeys" is, this week, featuring the Highlands of Scotland. The programmes are based on Bradshaw's Guides which were published in the 1860's. In the episode shown on 22nd January the host, Michael Portillo, visited a preserved jute processing facility in Dundee where the historic weaving process was demonstrated by a lady named Lily Thomson - one of our Clansfolk?

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Please click hereto watch these episodes on the BBC i-Player.

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Added 23/01/2013


Skiing at Glenshee

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Members dreaming of of participating in winter sports in the Scottish Highlands, but not being lucky enough to be there, are reminded that they can view what is happening on the slopes of Glenshee via the panoramic webcam on the Ski Centre website. Please click herefor the experience. The picture is updated several times an hour.

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Added 23/01/2013

Updated 24/01/2013


World Snow Day

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The twentieth of January 2013 has been designated World Snow Day. The events planned in Glenshee to celebrate the day have been cancelled because there is insufficient snow on the ground - although recent weather forecasts for the UK have suggested that there could be heavy snowfall across Scotland on the eighteenth. The mild weather has meant that this has not been a good winter sports season for the various centres in Scotland.

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However members can click hereto get a three dimensional view of the full Glenshee ski are with snow on the ground.

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Added 16/01/2013


Mount Blair Launches Plan

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Mount Blair is the term used locally to decribe the area of Perthshire which includes Glenshee, Kirkmichael, Bridge of Cally and the surrounding countryside.

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The Mount Blair Development Trust has been set up to improve the quality of life for all sectors of the community living, working or visiting within the Mount Blair Area. The trust has recently launched its Community Action Plan for 2013 - 2018 and this can be read by clicking here. The Clan MacThomas gathering place (The Cockstane) gets a mention.

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For further information about the Trust please click here.

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Added 03/12/2012


Wildcat Calendar

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Wildcat fans amongst our membership may be interested to know that The Scottish Wildcat 2013 Calendar has recently been published. Some of the proceeds of the sale of each calendar will be given to the "Highland Tiger" organisation which supports the conservation of the wildcat in Cairngorms National Park. Please use the links below to view and purchase the calendar or to find out more about the Highland Tiger Cairngorms project.

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View Calendar   Buy Calendar   Cairngorms Wildcat Project

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Added 19/11/2012


Glenshee in Autumn

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The TourScotland organisation has recently been filming in the Glenshee area. Please click hereto view a couple of Clan related videos - they may bring back happy memories or simply increase your desire to visit the area.

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Added 17/11/2012


Wildcats on Autumn Watch 2012

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The BBC Autumnwatch programme this year is coming from the Highlands of Scotland. The episode on the 31st October (Halloween) featured a short segment about Scottish Wildcats being bred in captivity for release back into the wild.

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All the episodes can be viewed can be viewed on the BBC iPlayer - just click hereto go to the menu. A hint for impatient members - the wildcat feature occurs after 42 minutes of episode two.

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Members in the UK can watch Autumnwatch live on BBC2 on several evenings during October and November.

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Added 01/11/2012


Highland Rescue

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Avid watchers in the UK of the Channel 5 television programme "Highland Rescue" may have noticed that the edition aired at 20:30 on 23rd October 2012 featured a rescue from the hills above Glenshee. A group of schoolgirls completing an event for their Duke of Edinburgh's Gold award were stranded and one of their number had fallen into a river. RAF Rescue 137 from Lossiemouth was called in to help. The weather was, to say the least, inclement!

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If you missed the programme then you can watch it again by clicking here.

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Added 24/10/2012


Chilly Scotland

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Winter seems to have arrived early in Scotland. The temperature in Braemar on the night of 16th October fell to

-8oC (that is 17.6oF). Braemar is just over the "hill" from the Clan lands in Glenshee. The weather forecast on the 17th mentioned snow on the mountains across the Highlands.

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Added 17/10/2012


Scotland in 2014

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Members thinking about visiting Scotland in 2014, perhaps to attend the next Clan MacThomas Gathering, have been asking what other events are happening during the year.

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To respond to these enquiries we have added a special page to this website with links to further information about each of the key events. Please click here to view this page.

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Information about the Clan MacThomas Gathering in 2014 will appear under Society/Clan News and Events in due course.

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Added 15/10/2012

Updated 27/10/2012


Sandi Thom on Tour

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The dates for the European leg of Sandi Thom's World Tour have been announced. Clan Society member, Sandi, is using the tour to promote her latest album "Flesh and Blood" which was released in August 2012. Please click here for details of the dates and venues.

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The album was produced by Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes and features a duet with Buffy Saint-Marie.

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The final leg of the tour takes place in Australia and there is news about that in the Australian News section of the website.

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Added 22/10/2012


Elementary My Dear Walk

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Members visiting the Glenshee area in October 2012 may be interested in a series of "Reading the Landscapes" walks which are being organised by the Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust.

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The "Elementary My Dear" walk takes place on the 27th October starting at 10.00am from the Spittal of Glenshee. The walk explores the geology and folklore of Glenshee and plans to explain the surprisingly obvious signs of how the area became beautiful.

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Please click herefor further details.

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Added 28/09/2012


Rare Opportunity to Purchase Historic House in Glenshee

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The lawsuit, fines and loss of land that followed the murder of two of McComie Mor's sons by Farquharson of Broughdearg at Drumgley in 1673 devastated the Clan MacThomas. Broughdearg Farmhouse, a mile north of Finegand, was lived in until a few years ago but is now derelict. It has just come up for sale at a price of around £220,000 (US$350k). It would probably cost £130,000 to restore it. So for a total of approximately £350,000 (US$560k), the Clan has an opportunity to "enact revenge" by purchasing Broughdearg's old land. Is anyone interested in buying this historic property or help the Clan do so? If so please urgently contact the Treasurer by clicking here.

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To find out more about the property please click here.

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Added 06/07/2012


Natural Scotland

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Clan Members planning to visit Scotland next year may be interested to know that 2013 has been designated as the "Year of Natural Scotland".

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Scotland's breathtaking scenery is renowned the world over. In 2013 events will be held to help visitors to celebrate the outstanding landscapes - from the unexpected delights of its rustic larder to the relics of its ancient history, castles and mysterious standing stones.

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To find out more please click here.

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Added 13/09/2012


Perthshire Open Studios

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Members visiting Scotland may be interested in the Perthshire Open Studios event which this year takes place between the 1st and 9th of September.

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Some 180 artists will exhibit their work in more than one hundred venues across Perthshire and the neighbouring counties - most often in the artist's own studios. Over nine days visitors will be able to view paintings, drawings, photographs, textiles, jewellery, sculptures, ceramics and much more.

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Please click here for further details.

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Added 01/09/2012


Clansfolk at the Paralympics

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Following his failure to find competitors with Clan sept names participating at the Olympics, your Webmaster has recently been scouring the lists for the Paralmypics which are currently taking place in London.

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He is delighted to be able to that he discovered that Curtis Thom from Canada is competing in various T54 athletics events in the Olympic stadium. There are also several Thomases but they could have Welsh origins.

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Added 02/09/2012


Clansfolk at the Olympics

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As the 2012 London Olympics approaches, your webmaster has been eagerly seeking out competitors with a Clan sept name. Sadly to date he has not had too much success. There are number of Thomases but they could all have Welsh origins. The best that he can find is young man from Canada called Jason Mccoombs who is competing in the canoe sprint. Pity about the spelling though!!

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The sennachie and webmaster would like find Clan participants at previous Olympics but have yet to find a suitable source of information. If you know of one then please contact them.

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Added 23/07/2012


Volunteers Required

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The Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust (PHCT) is working in partnership with Scottish Natural Heritage to give young people an opportunity to learn a whole range of conservation skills. They are seeking young volunteers between the ages of 14 and 25 to learn new skills such as drystone walling and path building whist working in stunning surroundings on the long distance Cateran Trail. The project will take place in August and September led by a skilled upland path builder and a leader from the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers Leader.

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Please click herefor further infomation about the project.

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Members may recall that PHCT was one of the organisations who kindly gave financial support for the refurbishment of the Clan's Cockstane area in Glenshee.

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Added 26/07/2012


When Will it end?

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Whilst members in parts of the US swelter under record temperatures, we in the UK are not so lucky. In parts of central Scotland on 18th July 2012 an amazing 55 mms (over 2 inches) of rain fell in 24 hours. When will Summer arrive?

Added 19/07/2012


Walking Festival - September 2012

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The annual Blairgowrie & East Perthshire Walking Festival will take place this year between Thursday 13th and Sunday 16th of September. Although the Festival is based in Blairgowrie several of the events will take place in and around our Clan areas. As in past years some of the walks will use parts of the Cateran Trail and others will take take in Munros, Corbetts, and long distance trails including Jock's Road - one of the highest drove roads in Britain. The walks range from gentle to strenuous and each is led by an experienced and qualified guide supported by an assistant.

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Please click here for further information.

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Added 18/07/2012


Love to Eat in The Glen Day

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As part of the 2012 Glenshee Heather Festival there will be a "Love to Eat" event at Blackwater Hall on Monday 11th August. This is advertised as a foodie fun day with cookery demonstrations, workshops by leading local chefs, tastings, local food producer stalls and food events for children. Admission is free.

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Your webmaster will be in the Glen that week, but sadly will arrive too late to attend this event. Judging by some of the photographs in the publicity material, some might say that this is a very good thing!!!

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Please click here for further information.

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Added 18/07/2012


Glenshee Heather Festival

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The 2012 Glenshee Heather Festival is scheduled to take place between Saturday 11th and Sunday 19th August 2012. It is hoped to publish more details here soon.

Meantime please keep watching the Festival Facebook page (link).

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Added 16/07/2012


Road Works near Glenshee

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Perth & Kinross Council have announced that work will start on 9th July to demolish and rebuild Cray Bridge on the B951 just east of its junction with the A93 at Lair - just a few hundred yards south of our land at the Cockstane. The project is expected to take some 20 weeks. Will any members who are visiting the area over the summer please note that the B951 will be completely shut in this area and there will be a tortuous diversion to travel from Glenshee to Fortar Castle and Glen Isla.

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Please click here for more information together with a map of the area and a picture of the bridge in its current state.

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There is no news at this stage of the proposed improvements at the A93/B951 junction.

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Added 01/07/2012


Sandi Thom - Flesh and Blood

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Sandi Thom's fourth album, "Flesh and Blood", is scheduled to be released in August 2012. It can be pre-ordered now on various websites. The album, produced by Rich Robinson of the 'Black Crowes', features a guest performance from Buffy Sainte-Marie.

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Prior to release Sandi will be travelling across Europe doing a 'host' of TV, radio and press interviews. During October and November she will be performing at a number of Venues accroos the UK and Europe
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Sandi is, of course, a member of the Clan Society and features in our Notable Clansfolk section.

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Added 07/07/2012


Another Musical Member

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Longstanding Clan Society Member, Jeremy Thoms, is a founder member of the post-punk band, "The Cathode Ray", which was formed in 2006 and is based in Edinburgh. Jeremy performs lead vocals and plays guitar.

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The band released its fourth single, "Dispersal", in June 2012 and this can be downloaded from various websites. Their first album "The Cathode Ray" was released earlier in 2012.

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To learn more about the band please use one of the links below:

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Wikepedia  Facebook   MySpace

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Added 07/07/2012


Grant for Blackwater Hall

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The Scottish Hydro Drumberg Community Fund gives financial support to projects in the Mount Blair and Alyth areas of Perthshire. The fund is provided by the developers of the Drumderg Wind Farm. The latest round of grants includes a significant award for refurbishment at the Blackwater Public Hall near Glenshee, which is used for all kinds of events in the area. Members may recall that we used the hall for dance practice during our 2011 Gathering.

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For further information please use the following links:

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The FundThe HallThe Grants

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Added 08/07/2012


Interesting Connection

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Some twenty miles south west of Glenshee in Perthshire lies the hamlet of Dull - it is hardly large enough to be called a village. It has recently been paired with the town of Boring in Oregon, USA. The BBC reports that the sign illustrated has now been erected to mark this connection.

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To read more about the pairing please click here.

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Added 26/03/2012


Olympic Torch Relay

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The Olympic torch relay has now reached Scotland. Sadly the route does not pass directly by the Clan lands in Glenshee. However members in the immediate area can make the relatively short journey to the A94 in Meige or Coupar Angus where it will process shortly after midday on Tuesday 12th June. Your webmaster would be delighted to publish photographs of the event on this website.

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For further details please click here.

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Added 08/06/2012


Diamond Jubilee Beacons

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Members who are going to be in the Glenshee area over the Queen's Diamond Jubilee weekend may be interested to know that a celebration beacon will be lit at North Hill Soilzarie just three miles south down the A93 road from our Clan land at the Cockstane. Like all the other beacons across the UK it will lit between 10:00pm and 10:30pm on Monday 4th June. Her Majesty the Queen will light the National Beacon in London at 10:30pm.

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For more information and an interactive map of all the beacons please click here.

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Added 27/05/2012


Glenshee Diamond Jubilee Celebrations

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The Glenshee Tourist Association have now announced full details of the Glensheee Community Street Party and Fun Day which will be held on the Dalmunzie Estate on Tuesday 5th June 2012. Please click here to read further details.

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The Clan Society are members of the Association and any members who are in the area on the day will be most welcome at the Party.

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Added 21/05/2012


Perthshire Archaeology Month

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June is Archaeology Month in Perthshire and full details of the planned events have now been published. Please click here to read the leaflet that has been published by the Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust.

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One of the events that may be of particular interest to members is the excavation of an early 'Pitcarmick-type building' at the Lair in Glenshee - very close to the Clan's land at the Cockstane (Clach na Coileach). This will take place between 18th and 30th June 2012. For further details about this event please click here.

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Members may recall that the Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust were one of the organisations that kindly sponsored the redevelopment of the Cockstane area. We have therefore agreed that volunteers at the dig can leave their vehicles in our car park.

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Added 21/05/2012


What a difference
........

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What a difference a week makes. Just seven days after we published the report below about record high temperatures, the Traffic Scotland website has reported that the snow gates on the A93 between the Spittal of Glenshee and Braemar were closed due to "adverse weather conditions". Apparantly several inches of snow had fallen overnight.

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As your webmaster commented previously "it could not last"!

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Added 03/04/2012


Warm in Scotland

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Just over a year ago we were reporting that snow had returned to Glenshee in March and that the road was closed at the Spittal. What a different a year makes! Yesterday, 27th March, it was reported that the temperature at Aboyne, a little way (44 miles) up the A93 in Aberdeenshire, had reached the highest figure ever recorded in Scotland in March - 23.6oC or 74.5oF. Sadly it will not last.

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BBC Report

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Added 28/03/2012


Diamond Jubilee

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Members who are planning to be in Scotland in June 2012 may be interested to know that the Glenshee Tourist Association, of which he Society are members, will be organising a Community Street Party and Fun Day on Tuesday 5th June on the Dalmunzie Estate, Spittal of Glenshee. Members of the Society are welcome to attend.

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Further details of the event will be published on this website in due course.

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Added 20/03/2012


Improvement Scheme Unveiled

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Members who regularly visit Glenshee will have encountered the hazardous junction where the A93 meets the B951 just South of the Clach na Coileach.

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On the 20th January 2012, Perth and Kinross Council unveiled a plan to spend £2.5 million realigning the junction and replacing Lair and Cray Bridges neither of which meet current regulations.

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The improvement of this junction has been under discussion since 1984 so it cannot come a moment too soon.

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Please click here for further information.

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Added 27/01/2012


Sandi Thom wins Awards

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We are delighted to report that Clan and Society member, Sandi Thom, collected two awards at Scottish Music Awards 2011 which were held in Glasgow on 4th September. Sandi was named as "Best Artist" and was also recognised for the "Blues/Jazz Recording Of the Year". The second award was for her album "Merchant and Thieves".

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Thanks to any Clan members who voted for Sandi.

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Added 06/09/2011


Glenshee Outdoor Activity Guide

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A new guide detailing 22 great walking and cycling trails in the glorious countryside at the gateway to the Cairngorms National Park has recently been published by the Glenshee Tourist Association.

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Copies can be downloaded from the "Glen of the Fairies" website or a hard copy can be requested by e-mailing your details to GTA@girlfridayadmin.com.

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Alternatively please contact the Webmaster who has a few spare copies.

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Added 23/03/2011


Warnings to Walkers

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Following two recent incidents in Highland Perthshire & Angus, the Tayside Police have warned walkers of the dangers of walking in the hills as the winter approaches. Two men and a woman became lost in the Glen Isla area and were eventually rescued after a five hour search. A day earlier a full scale hunt had been launched by mountain rescue teams after a couple lost their way near the summit of Schiehallion - some ten miles west of Pitlochry.

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Courier Report

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Added 12/10/2010


Glenshee Visitor Centre Opens

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The MSP for North Tayside, Mr John Swinney, has officially opened a new visitor centre in Glenshee. The centre is based within the Glenshee Pottery just off the A93 a few hundred yards south of the Clan MacThomas land at the Cockstane.

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The centre will be run by the Glenshee Tourist Association which hopes to persuade people to break their journey, make them aware of what is on offer in the area and encourage them to stay longer and return for future visits.

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The association's aim is to develop the picturesque Glenshee area into a year-round visitor destination.

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Courier Report

Blairgowrie Advertiser Report

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Added 06/08/2010


Fire-fighters Wanted

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Members may be interested to know that Glenshee has its own Fire Station - it is just down the A93 road from Finegand Farm. The station has a fully equipped Water Tender and is manned by a team of volunteer fire-fighters who are nearly all members of the local community.
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Tayside Fire and Rescue are always keen to recruit new volunteers to ensure that a full establishment is maintained.
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Added 15/07/2010


Broadband Improvements

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Many of us these days take a fast and reliable Broadband service for granted. However it is not so easy for those in rural areas.
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A scheme has been launched to bring state-of-the-art digital technology to the more remote parts of Scotland. The Strathardle broadband exchange is one of the first of 29 high-tech hubs that will be able to offer an enhanced internet connection following a multi-million pound upgrade sanctioned by BT and the Scottish Government. This will bring relief to residents and businesses in the Kirkmichael area where the system has been running at full capacity for some two years.
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The Blairgowrie Advertiser reports that residents have "expressed delight". Please click here for a fuller report.
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Added 09/07/2010

Midges in the Highlands

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Back in March it was suggested that the harsh winter might have killed off a proportion of the trillions of midges (Culicoides impunctatus) that cause misery to visitors to the Scottish Highlands. The BBC has now reported that this does not appear to have been the case and that the midges have now returned with a vengeance.
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Please click here to view the latest BBC report or here for more about midges.
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Added 17/06/2010
Updated 18/06/2010

Scottish Woodland Survey
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A six year study into the native forests in Scotland has just published its first reports. Surveyors are conducting research in about 730,000 hectares of woodland across the whole of the country. The research is being conducted by the Forestry Commission Scotland, with support from Scottish Natural Heritage.

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Reports on the woodlands in Perthshire are scheduled to be published in 2011 or 2012.

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It will be interesting to see what they make of the new planting on the Clan MacThomas Society's land at the Cockstane.

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For more information please use the following links:

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BBC Report

Forestry Commission

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Links to Scottish News Websites:

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BBC News in Scotland

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Scottish TV News

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The Scotsman News