Perth & Kinross civic reception marks Trust double success

Trust honoured to be given Civic Reception by Perth & Kinross council to mark Award and campaigning achievements

The Trust was honoured to be given a Civic Reception by Perth and Kinross council to mark two recent milestone achievements: the delivery of 100,000 John Muir Awards in Scotland; and topping a UK-wide online poll to win the prestigious UK-wide TGO Outdoor Campaigner of the Year 2014 Award.

Addressing the reception in the Trust’s Wild Space Visitor Centre, Provost Liz Grant and local MSP John Swinney praised the role of the Trust in standing up for wild places and getting people involved with nature. Mr Swinney (pictured right) said: “I’ve always been proud that the charity which looks after some of Scotland’s most magnificent landscapes – not least Schiehallion in Perthshire – is based in the heart of my own constituency.”

Other guests at the ceremony in the Trust’s Wild Space Visitor Centre in Pitlochry included local MP Pete Wishart, regional list MSPs Jayne Baxter and Richard Simpson, and local councillor Kate Howie, as well as representatives from Education Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, and Scotland’s two national park authorities.

Staff and students from Pitlochry High School also attend the event to celebrate their commitment to the John Muir Award scheme, which includes regular active outdoor journeys and conservation volunteering activities such as tree planting, footpath maintenance and building nest boxes.

Liz Grant, Provost of Perth and Kinross said: “The John Muir Trust has a long history of working in Perth and Kinross to raise awareness and help protect our areas of outstanding beauty. It is only right that their campaigning work has achieved national recognition in this way.

“I was in particular pleased to be able to acknowledge the efforts of the Trust in supporting over 100,000 people to achieve a John Muir Award certificate. This approach to engaging people from across Scotland to take an active role in protecting their nature and wide places is to be encouraged.”

Closing the reception, Trust Chair Peter Pearson welcomed the Scottish Government’s move last year to incorporate the SNH Wild Land Areas map into national planning policy.

However, he stressed that the Trust would continue to stand up for wild land whenever it comes under threat, and urged the Scottish Government to reject three large wild land wind farms that are awaiting a decision – Allt Duine, on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park, and Glencassley and Sallachy in Sutherland.