District News, August 6 2021

Achamore Gardens, the Isle of Gigha.

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GIGHA:

Gigha garden to flourish with design plan grant

Gigha’s Achamore Gardens is one of the latest projects to benefit from funding from Historic Environment Scotland (HES).

The Isle of Gigha Heritage Trust (IGHT) has been awarded £5,000 to help develop a design plan for the 54-acre gardens, home to many notable and unusual plants and trees from around the world which flourish in the island’s warm microclimate.

The funding will also support overall restoration plans and the development of a long-term strategy that recognises the garden’s historic and cultural value, the changing needs of visitors and the ongoing maintenance requirements.

An IGHT spokesperson told the Courier the trust was delighted to secure the funding to support the initial design development at Achamore Gardens.

Improving the condition of Achamore Gardens' walled garden is one of Bryony's top priorities.
Improving the condition of Achamore Gardens’ walled garden is one of Bryony’s top priorities.

‘The funding will support the production of a garden design and development strategy which will identify priority areas for development along with a 10-year plan for implementation and maintenance to ensure the vision for Achamore is sustainable,’ the spokesperson said.

‘The strategy will also support future funding bids which will be crucial in delivering our plans for restoring this significant heritage and community asset.

‘It will be developed by Rankin Fraser Landscape Architecture who we are looking forward to working with later this year.’

The Historic Environment Support Fund is used to support various one-off, heritage-related projects in Scotland and has been running since 2016, with more than £1 million distributed since it was launched.

Funding is awarded to projects which use the historic environment to make a positive difference to their local area, supporting local economies, inspiring and engaging communities with the rich heritage on their doorstep, and ensuring that the historic buildings that give places their distinct character are protected and managed for future generations.

The next application deadline for funding is Tuesday November 30 2021. For more information, visit https://www.historicenvironment.scot/grants-and-funding/our-grants/historic-environment-support-fund/

JURA:

Underwater artists celebrate Sound of Jura

Four members of the Society of Wildlife Artists have snorkelled, sketched and explored the waters around Danna, Tayvallich and Carsaig as part of an underwater art project.

The unusual artist residency was organised to celebrate the Sound of Jura’s designation as an international Hope Spot, part of a global network of world-class waters recognised for their richness and diversity.

Wildlife Artist Chris Rose dives for inspiration in the waters off Danna

The week-long event culminated in an artists’ meet and greet at Tayvallich recently at which locals and visitors were able to see the art produced and discuss it and its inspiration with the creators.

Wildlife painters John Threlfall, Esther Tyson and Chris Rose drew underwater with pencil on heavy paper and then applied paint when they got back to dry land.

They were joined by welder Harriet Mead, who collected donations of scrap steel and unwanted tools from locals to create intricate sculptures inspired by her swims in the Sound.

Sculptor Harriet Mead works on her new piece inspired by the Sound of Jura

‘The visiting artists were amazed at the richness of the marine life in the Hope Spot,’ said event organiser and Tayvallich resident Jane Smith.

‘They were lucky with the weather because the sunlight made the orange sponges and pink corals glow under water.

‘The surface of the sea looks quite uniform, but when you put your head under the water there is such variety – so many shapes and colours of seaweed, shoals of fish, anemones, crabs and sometimes bizarre creatures that we had never encountered before and had no idea what they were.’