Rural Businesses – Scotland’s Tonic!

We’re great believers in recognising rural success. There are many award programmes ‘out there’. One we’ve been highlighting this year is the #HelpingItHappen2018 awards that showcase exceptional work in a wide range of categories. Nominations for this year’s awards are now closed – and the judges have created their shortlists. We take a look at the businesses and organisations who are really helping to make a positive difference across Scotland …

In at the deep end …

Summer camps, activity days and more: as each holiday comes and goes, more and more ideas pop up to help keep children and families entertained. None more so than an outdoor activity centre overlooking the Isle of May. Our youngest contributor yet, Martha (12) spent a day with them this summer. Here’s her Blog …

Home is where the heart is …

Mention the word ‘home’ and very different images will come to mind. What everybody seems to agree on is that we don’t have enough houses being built to create homes. Back in the day – in the post-war era – more than 40,000 new homes were built each year, clearing slums in the brave new world. Since those days, house building has been a roller-coaster. The most up to date figures show work starting on just over 18,000 homes in 2017. But what kind of homes are being built? To quote Malvina Reynolds … Little Boxes? We’ve been on the road to take a look at how Scottish architects, builders and land owners are breaking new ground …

Behind the scenes at Balmoral

Cairngorms Nature BIG Weekend 2018 delivered an amazing 60 events as “a celebration of the fantastic natural heritage of the Cairngorms National Park“, providing a flavour of what the Park has to offer. We took time out to visit just one event at Balmoral, basing ourselves at nearby Ballater and exploring more that Royal Deeside has to offer.

From little acorns …

Since 1931, Scotland’s Garden Scheme has been raising money for charities – big and small – through opening gardens of horticultural interest across Scotland.   Many of the gardens are privately owned and would otherwise be inaccessible to the garden-loving public – so the project is a real winner for those gree-fingered enthusiasts as well as those who just love to walk and gaze at the work of gardeners across the country.

We were delighted to attend their recent Annual Conference and learn more about how this amazing scheme helps to support so many charities across Scotland …

Choose Live … Scotland 2018

This summer sees an incredible collection of live events across the country that are showcasing Scotland’s countryside as never before. The following provides a snapshot – some big, some small – with links to the events for you to find more.

Luss – helping it happen!

A visit to Luss is a great day out – a lovely village sitting on the banks of Loch Lomond with spectacular views over to Ben Lomond.  A popular destination too – with over 260,000 people each week visiting.   A very happy problem to have and it was very interesting to visit last month (March 2018) to find out more … all that is going on behind the scenes.

Scotland’s Gardens Scheme 2018 – Open for Charity

Scotland’s Garden Scheme is a chance to explore Scotland’s private green spaces.  And in 2018, families, wildlife lovers, plantaholics and grow-your-own newbies are in for a treat during 2019 when over 450 gardens open to the public for Scotland’s Gardens Scheme to raise money for charity.

Being a good spokesperson!

Ride a bike around your lawn and you’ll soon see how your grass churns up. Multiply that by hundreds – sometimes thousands – and it is easy to see how unofficial bike tracks can cause real damage in the countryside – and that’s just to the land. We’re blessed that we have a right to enjoy responsible access across Scotland’s countryside – but that doesn’t extend to riding roughshod wherever we choose – not least of all because some riders try to create their own trails and obstacles, damaging property, endangering livestock and threatening the habitat of some endangered flora and fauna. We’re not being killjoys here. Luckily, we have what many claim to be the world’s best mountain bike trails – there to be discovered and enjoyed year round – without endangering any one or any thing. There are some crackers that grab the headlines: we take a look off the beaten track to discover some of the best …

Scotland’s Brewing Up A Storm

Hands up who likes a tipple? Beer? Gin? Whisky? Scotland is leading the way in drink innovation for home and overseas markets. We take a look at one area that has become the focus for many an imbiber …