New president for NTS
... and award for path champion Paul
Archaeologist, TV presenter and author Neil Oliver has said he would be delighted to come to Arran in his new role as president of Scotland’s largest conservation charity, the National Trust for Scotland.
Members of the charity confirmed his appointment at its annual general meeting in Dundee’s Caird Hall last Saturday. He takes takes over from Lord Lindsay, who has held the role since 2012 when he succeeded the Duke of Buccleuch.
The meeting also heard that the £2 million being spent on fire prevention works which have closed Brodick Castle is still on schedule with the castle due to re-open next Easter.
NTS chairman Sir Moir Lockhead said: ‘Neil has championed Scotland and its heritage throughout his career – unearthing new insights into its stories, sharing our stunning scenery and fascinating audiences all over the world. We are very excited about the energy, enthusiasm and opportunities for more engagement that he will bring to our charity as we work to protect Scotland’s heritage, and share and celebrate all that we have to offer with more people.’
On taking up his appointment, Neil said: ‘The National Trust for Scotland protects so much of what makes Scotland special. Over the years I have dug up some of its places, visited many more and been completely inspired by it all. I can’t wait to get more involved and I’ll be encouraging others to do the same.’
The Ayrshire and Arran regional NTS team, led by general manager Stuart Maxwell, provided all of the displays at the AGM this year, including a stand devoted to Brodick and an- other devoted to the Arran Ranger Service, who welcomed Neil to the stand and heard of his wish to come to Arran.
And the team were delighted that Dave Hector, who has led upland footpath Thistle Camps for years on Arran and elsewhere, was awarded the George Waterston Memorial Award for his tireless commitment to leading volunteers repairing the paths.
NTS chief executive Simon Skinner also gave an update on the work at Brodick Castle at the AGM. He said: ‘Brodick Castle, Garden and Country Park is the second of Ayrshire and Arran’s priority projects this year, the other being Culzean.
‘The castle is currently closed allow for extensive fitting of new fire protection systems and these are well on schedule to allow the castle to re-open again at Easter 2018.
‘In the meantime, an amazing new play area, Isle to Wild, themed around the natural environment of Arran, opened to great acclaim and popularity.
‘The property’s cafe will also be refurbished and there will be new trails and wayfinding and, overall, £2 million is being invested.’
New president Neil Oliver at the Arran Ranger Service stand.
Path champion Dave Hector.