On Friday, members of the gardening group set out to Glamis castle for a much deserved day out. Having spent an inordinate number of hours on our own gardens and heritage areas this year it was refreshing and inspiring to see the wonderful work carried out at Glamis. As one of our volunteers, Sandie, also works in the castle gardens we were treated to a guided tour and a look at some of the areas not normally seen by the public. It was a real privilege to see the late Queen Mother's garden and the beautiful Italian gardens. Also the old walled garden and the ancient apple trees named after local places, the castle and people. After a lovely lunch we rounded off the day with a tour of the castle itself, led by one of the well informed guides who was extremely interesting and engaging. A lovely day with many special memories.
The big day finally arrived on Friday when Britain in Bloom judges, Richard Budge, David Jamieson and Dale Hector arrived to learn more about the work which has been undertaken in East Haven. Many people still believe that the Britain in Bloom competition is all about pretty flowers and perfectly manicured lawns. It’s certainly true that grass care and colourful flowers are part of it but the judges were keen to see that we are using native perennials to provide all year round colour and plants which are good for pollinators. Of equal importance, is environmental responsibility and the way in which we manage the SSSI, recycle rain water and use recycled materials whenever we can. The judges were delighted to meet many people along the way, such as, representatives from the Airedale Terrier Club of Scotland, Woodlands Primary School and members of the community. What could have been a stressful day was quite the opposite as it turned out. Richard, David and Dale put everybody at their ease and made it a really enjoyable occasion which culminated with a community lunch at the Bothy.
So much has happened in July that we have hardly had a minute to draw breath. Some of you will have seen East Haven's Britain in Bloom brochure which was widely circulated in hard copy for visitors to the Open Golf championship. For those of you who haven't seen it, we hope that you have been following our Britain in Bloom journey on this web-site. The competition is based around the three pillars of Horticultural Practice, Environmental Responsibility and Community Participation. We have had no trouble whatsoever, demonstrating all year round activity across these three areas. It's fair to say that other than Christmas Day we didn't actually stop between last years work for Beautiful Scotland and commencement on Britain in Bloom. For those of you who think we might be getting a rest after the judges visit on Friday, think again! We have lots planned including a village outing to see the gardens at Glamis and also more work on marine littering initiatives. For the moment though, we need to keep focused and ensure that we remember to show the judges all the work which has been undertaken over the last year and ensure that they go away with fond memories of their trip to Angus.
What a fantastic response we have had to our ‘Don’t Let Go’ of balloons campaign which was initiated by the Marine Conservation Society in 2015. Many members of the public do not realise that releasing balloons causes incalculable damage to wildlife and the environment. Farm animals often mistake the balloons for food whilst many birds and marine animals become entangled in them, to say nothing of the increased risk of fire across moorland, woodland and coastal grasses, especially after the recent heatwave. In some high profile events over the last year, balloons have been released to commemorate deaths and tragic events, as well as weddings. East Haven Together used today's beach clean to raise awareness and help people to find more positive ways of remembering loved ones. More about alternatives to balloons can be found on the ACE web-site www.aceangus.co.uk
It was all go in East Haven on Friday morning with the long awaited arrival of a wooden sculpture depicting East Haven’s maritime heritage. Funded by Sustrans and carved by Iain Chalmers of Culbockie, the wood carving weighs more than one and a half tons. We were therefore very grateful for technical and mechanical support from James Porter of East Scryne farm. James lifted it off the transporter and gently manoeuvred it into position. It was a major operation but after weeks of preparation in readiness for it’s arrival it was a great relief to see the sculpture in it’s home at the head of the boat park. A formal celebration and cutting of the ribbon will take place on 5th July 2018 at 12 noon.