New pres­i­dent for NTS

... and award for path cham­pion Paul

The Arran Banner - - News -

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.

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