Great work and optimism at Tarbert Castle

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With the ninth Tarbert Castle Trust AGM set to be held remotely next month, papers issued ahead of the event offer a glimpse into the trust’s achievements and ambitions.

The group, which voluntarily looks after the community-owned Tarbert Castle ruins and the adjacent woodland and orchard, now has a membership of 160.

In her report to trustees, chair Sheila Campbell hails the 2019 big community archaeological dig as ‘a great success’, adding: ‘We have received consents from Historic Environment Scotland to leave the western entrance discovery visible to the public, to carry out a small dig to locate entrance at eastern end of site and construct a new interpretation area.

‘All the above work is in hand in addition to our normal maintenance programme observing Covid rules and recommendations.’

She added: ‘We have worked with an excellent Rural Skills group from Tarbert Academy this year. The group have been very helpful in keeping our maintenance programme up-to-date.’

Secretary and treasurer Robert McPhail adds thanks to archaeologist Roddy Regan for his advice and help for volunteers, and to the volunteers themselves and all who have supported the trust.

The 2019/20 trust accounts show an income of £27,930, expenditure of £23,936 and a surplus of just under £4,000, most of which is grants still to be expended.

The trust has £30,000 in restricted funds invested for care of the monument.

On the impact of the pandemic, Mr McPhail says: ‘Income will go down due to Covid, but we will survive and are taking action by Colin Hunter who looks after the website establishing a dedicated donations page and we are investigating the possibility of a contactless donations unit on site.’

Tarbert Castle Trust AGM will be held via Zoom on Wednesday November 11.