"The Atholl Palace is one of my favourite places where each year we meet up with good friends and have fun. It's the perfect place to stay in a perfect setting with lovely people looking after us. What more could a person want?"
The last month has seen frantic activity in the Palace grounds with some corners looking more like a building site, rather than the peaceful woodland setting we aim for. The reason for all this upheaval is the practical work involved in our recently agreed forestry management plan.
A major component of the plan agreed with Forest Enterprise was a complete upgrade of all the old Victorian woodland paths to a standard which would make them more accessible and enjoyable to those who wish to use them. To this end we are upgrading 700m of paths to pedestrian level and a further 400m to full wheelchair access level. Initially the finish of these paths may look a little “brash” as we have used the local quarry dust to provide a firm,level surface but experience has shown that very quickly the tone dies down and the paths blend back into their woodland context.
The naming of the new paths has caused some, little, debate but we have settled on Chestnut avenue , Dougal’s walk and Snowdrop walk and new signage should be in place before too long to encourage you to explore and enjoy the newly opened up woodlands. Another commitment we had was to renovate the old step system branching off the main drive. This we have done and , to our amazement, we found that there were 39 steps originally. No coincidence surely. So enjoy the recently finished “39 steps” to the hotel. Having finally finished this project we were interested to see our first “customer” emerging at the top of the sharp incline. Puffing slightly he informed us that “ there are only 36 steps by the way”. A brief moment of doubt followed by a hasty check up reassured us but we never did see the gentleman again to ask if he had been joking.
As with much of our work in the grounds we utilise help when required, usually someone with a little more skill than Kenny and I when it comes to joinery or major excavations. For our forestry upgrade we have been hugely helped by the nerveless, perfectionist that is Ivan on digger, dumper and roller and Mr. Watson and Jimmy on the path handrails. Many thanks to them for adding that “extra touch” which makes it all worthwhile. Innes
Innes finished in 04:41:34 and came 1987 out of 4117 who completed the race. A fabulous achievement!
Thank You to all sponsors.