Scot­land the brave!

Gar­dens to share in £60 mil­lion Trust in­vest­ment

Garden News (UK) - - News - Words Ian Hodg­son

Some of Scot­land’s most iconic gar­dens are to ben­e­fit from a mas­sive five-year in­vest­ment by in­de­pen­dent con­ser­va­tion char­ity Na­tional Trust for Scot­land (NTS). The NTS plans to in­vest £2.2m over the next three years to im­prove hor­ti­cul­tural stan­dards in its gar­den venues and plant col­lec­tions, in­clud­ing ac­tive con­ser­va­tion of their her­itage, all part of an over­all £60m her­itage boost north of the bor­der.

Train­ing staff is seen as key, and a Her­itage Gar­dener Ap­pren­tice­ship will be in­tro­duced to cre­ate a ‘pool of prop­erly trained gar­den­ers’. NTS also wants to im­prove the various ways its gar­dens are ex­pe­ri­enced to im­prove pub­lic ap­peal.

The ter­raced gar­dens at In­verewe in Wester Ross, which re­cently more than dou­bled its visi­tor num­bers to 192,000 af­ter refurbishment, will see a dra­matic new land­scape fea­ture in­tro­duced to unite the up­per and lower gar­dens. Cur­rently un­der con­sid­er­a­tion is a tower, pro­vid­ing views over Loch Ewe, on whose shores the gar­den sits.

The North Walled Gar­den at Culzean Cas­tle on the Firth of Clyde is also be­ing re­vamped, with the in­tro­duc­tion of a brew­ing gar­den and a tea plan­ta­tion, which could one day pro­vide Culzean with its own brand of tea. The fa­mous 18th cen­tury yew hedges at Crathes Cas­tle in Aberdeen­shire have just had a hor­ti­cul­tural over­haul and health check, while the Vic­to­rian green­houses have just had an 11-year restoration pro­gramme com­pleted.

In what has been de­scribed as its ‘most am­bi­tious pro­gramme’, the char­ity aims to in­crease its mem­ber­ship from 375,000 to 490,000, which will in­crease its an­nual do­na­tions to more than £10m. It also wants to cre­ate ac­tive learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ences for 100,000 peo­ple each year.

“This five-year plan sets out how we can make the Trust fit for the fu­ture, through in­vest­ment in ev­ery as­pect of our or­gan­i­sa­tion – our peo­ple, our places, and de­liv­er­ing the tech­nol­ogy that both of them need in an ever-chang­ing world,” said NTS chief ex­ec­u­tive Simon Skin­ner. l Visit www.nts.org.uk.

The pro­posed tower fea­ture at In­verewe Loch Ewe pro­vides a stun­ning back­drop to the gar­dens at In­verewe Crathes Cas­tle, Aberdeen­shire e w re ve In / TS N

Sh u er st oc k

The foun­tain court at Culzean Cas­tle W ik ic o m m on s

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