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Nessie's Loch Ness Times

The Friendliest NewsPaper on the WWW

Established December 3rd, 1996
         Saturday 15th January 2000
Issue No162

Plans for the Future of Glencoe Heard

The National Trust for Scotland has written to every householder in the Glencoe area to reassure locals about its management plans for the area.

Trust director Trevor Croft's letter relates to a number of issues, all of which have been subject to recent speculation. These include the relocation of the visitor centre, plans for the visitor centre and employment relating to it. It also covers the footpath link with the village, purchase of the Inverigan campsite, the trust's management plan for Glencoe and Dalness, the Millennium Forest for Scotland plan and farming in the glen. Mr Croft explains that plans for the new visitor centre have been scaled down since public consultation began and they have been open for scrutiny at the public meetings that have taken place. He also points out that plans for the cafe show seating for 66 people, as per the architect's brief, and unchanged from the planning permission application granted in 1997. Mr Croft adds that the principle of a footpath alongside the A82 has been agreed and the trust is now in discussion with the Trunk Roads Authority and Highland Council to develop the footpath. The letter explains that the Millennium Forest for Scotland project will see a gradual and slight change in the glen as natural regeneration and planting has the effect of bringing native woodland back to the glen. The trust insists that the total area being fenced for this purpose is little more than 3% of the total area of the property. Access will be maintained at the current levels in all areas by erecting stiles and incorporating gates where appropriate along the fencing. The letter enclosed a list of all formal consultation carried out over the past 10 years in connection with the issue of visitor management in the glen. Work is due to be completed by April 2001.

19th Century Spa to Re-Open

An ambitious project to restore the Victorian relics at the heart of a Highland village should begin within months. It is part of a wider bid to revamp historic buildings and gardens in Strathpeffer in a bid to counter years of neglect and attract more visitors. Highland Council, which owns the spa gardens and pump room, near the square in Strathpeffer, has now secured the necessary funding after a number of successful bids to different organisations. Councillor for Strathpeffer Douglas Briggs was delighted that the project was ready to go after several years of planning: "The whole site has been an eyesore in the centre of Strathpeffer for a number of years. It was latterly neglected very much by a hotel chain who owned it. "At last we're seeing the start of the restoration work at the garden and pump room. We hope to complete it with the pavilion." Wealthy Victorians used to visit the village because the sulphur rich waters were renowned for their benefits to health.

Clan Museum

Consultants have been appointed to look into the viability of creating a museum in Oban to house a unique folk life collection. John Finlay Associates of Edinburgh will carry out a feasibility study into housing the MacDougall Collection at Dunollie House. The late Hope MacDougall of MacDougall of Ganavan House, Oban, gathered the collection together over a lifetime. It was put into storage following her death last Christmas while local trustees and members of a working group searched for a home for it. A spokesman for the MacDougall Trust said: "The days when museums were publicly funded have largely gone and we have to find a way of making the museum both financially viable and accessible to all. It won't be easy and it may not even be possible but we will do our best."

Old Soldiers Join Fight

War veterans in the Highlands say plans for a superdump near a memorial site are an insult to their fallen comrades. Shanks Waste Services Ltd is expected to lodge planning permission in February for a huge landfill site in part of the working Balblair Quarry. But members of Beauly and District British Legion say the smell, rats and increased traffic in the area would not only show disrespect for those who died but could prevent elderly servicemen from paying their respects at the memorial in future. Chairman of the branch Bob Coburn said: "We just don't think it should be there next to what is like a gravestone. We just think it would be terrible. "It shows disrespect for the fallen as far as I'm concerned. No one wants an eyesore next to it. The last thing we want is rubbish flying about when you're trying to have a memorial service."

Bid to Save Dog

A trio of north east fund raisers told recently how their sponsored walk for their village play group turned into a mission to save a dog in blizzard conditions. Host at the Broadstraik Inn, Westhill Andy Robinson, carried pet Corrie inside his rucksack after she collapsed in wind driven sleet and snow showers sweeping the remote Lairig Ghru pass between Deeside and Aviemore. While Andy struggled on carrying his hefty cross bred collie for 15 freezing miles through mountains, with the wind chill factor reducing temperatures to -30 degrees for a time, fellow fundraisers Grant Bell and Andrew Duncan shared out Andy's kit into their already laden backpacks. W"We were around half-way when the weather closed in," said Mr Bell. "It was so bad at one stage that Andy and I thought of holing up and staying put with Corrie while Andrew went ahead to get help. There was no way Andy was going to leave Corrie, so he determined to beat the blizzard and carry the dog through. If she hadn't fitted into the rucksack, we would have been in real difficulties. But Andy just got her as cosy and comfortable as he could and ploughed on. It was a magnificent effort."

Warmest Welcome in Skye

Skye's largest arts centre, a hotel and a restaurant are among five winners of the annual Talisker Awards for quality in customer care. The winners, who received their prizes from John Farquhar Munro MSP in a ceremony held recently in the Talisker Distillery in Carbost, Skye, were The Aros Centre, The Isles restaurant in Portree, Skye Batiks and Island Outdoor, Glendin Tours and the Sligachan Hotel. All received specially commissioned plaques designed by woodcarver Mandy Silver of Breakish Skye.

Roots Mapped Out

An Inverness-Shire man is using new technology to capitalise on the growing interest in family and local history. Ian Ramsden's Internet based cartography business specialises in producing clan maps tailored to individual customers' origins and background. They include family crests and clan details. For Mr Ramsden the venture is an opportunity to build on what has been a long standing interest. He also has a detailed knowledge of the Highlands and a useful network of contacts including photographers, designers and computer experts. Mr Ramsden said: "My business idea draws together hobbies and interests developed over a number of years along with skills and contacts I have built up in my professional Life. "After three months in business everything is going to plan."

Charity Event

A TV, video recorder and hi-fi system was donated to Beechwood House in Inverness recently. The gift for residents came from Barmac workers in Nigg under the Elgin Alliance which operates a site safety recognition scheme in which the safety record is assessed each month. A safety target is set and each time the workforce exceeds it, the company puts money into a fund used to benefit local good causes. It currently stands at 14,000.

Political Roundup

Highland Forum

The Scottish Executive has confirmed its commitment to a forum dedicated to discussing Highlands and Islands affairs. Responding to a call by backbench Liberal Democrat MSPs the executive said the Highlands and Islands Convention - which has not met since the Scottish Parliament started work - is still active. "Ministers are considering the best way to carry the convention forward and are willing to listen to any proposals on its future," said a spokesman recently.

Highland Weather Forecast

Saturday Afternoon
Some rain in the West a.m. Bright in the East. Locally heavy rain later. Wind light to moderate South Easterly. Temperature 12c to 16c.
Saturday Night
Locally heavy rain. Misty. Winds moderate to strong Easterly. Temperature 8c to 12c.
Bands of showers across the region. Bright with sunny spells. Moderate North Westerly winds. Fairly mild.
Mainly dry. Fairly cloudy with limited sunshine. Light Southerly breeze. Mild temperatures.

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This is Caledonia ( Caley for short ) A Ness-Scape family member and mascot. She is a White German Shepherd. Caley has decided to take over the editing of Nessie's Loch Ness Times, and she's sure she'll make a good job of it. What do you think?

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