Heritage Week gets back to nature

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SEVERAL events will highlight the natural heritage of Angus which has played such an important role in shaping the people, history and traditions of the county during Angus Heritage Week, which runs from September 7 to 14.

One of the first events during this unique festival will be a day studying the garden and landscape heritage of Angus on September 8, starting at Enterprise Business Centre, Brechin.

This event, which costs £10 and includes a buffet lunch and tea or coffee, starts at 10 a.m. with presentations by Marilyn Brown of the Royal Commission for the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland, landscape architect Vanessa Stephens and members of the Angus Landscape Survey Group about how to ‘read’ the stories gardens and landscapes can tell us.

After lunch, the location switches to a nearby private garden and then the gardens at House of Dun, where several of the themes discussed in the morning will be in evidence.

On Sunday, September 9, the Countryside Ranger will lead a free guided walk around Forfar Loch and, as well as identifying wildlife, will describe how this stretch of land has changed over the centuries.

On the same day, a family guided walk at Montrose Basin Wildlife Centre will provide lots of opportunities to spot the wildlife which lives there or likes to pop in for something to eat, including mute swans, oystercatchers and the occasional bird of prey (the usual entrance fees apply).

There’s a chance to explore and learn about the history of one of the most beautiful, tranquil glens in Angus on Wednesday, September 12, with a guided walk into the wilderness of Glen Doll.

As part of this three-hour outing, participants will walk along a stretch of Jock’s Road, following in the footsteps of the caterans, the cattle rustlers who used the ancient drovers’ roads to lead the cattle they’d stolen to pastures new. This free guided walk begins at the Glen Doll Ranger Base at 1 p.m. – stout shoes and warm clothing required.

On September 14, there’s a two-hour guided walk with the Countryside Ranger around the Victorian Reservoir at Crombie Park (free but car parking charges apply). That evening, as darkness falls, the Ranger at Montrose Basin Wildlife Centre will reveal how night-time wildlife surveys are undertaken (adults £3, children £2, members free).

Councillor Mairi Evans, Angus Council tourism spokesperson, commented: “We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful part of Scotland which is rich in wildlife of all shapes and sizes.

“Angus Heritage Week will provide a range of opportunities for people who live locally to explore the natural heritage that’s on their doorstep. In addition, it will encourage people from outwith the Angus area to spend time here so they can experience at first-hand the wonderful, unspoilt Angus countryside, the fabulous landscape - which goes from high mountains to wave-lashed shores - and its wealth of wildlife, birds, flora and fauna.”