Scotland the brave!
Gardens to share in £60 million Trust investment
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
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The fountain court at Culzean Castle W ik ic o m m on s