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Explore a spectacular Highland garden and support the RNLI this Sunday


By Louise Glen

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Glenkyllachy Garden will be open in aid of the RNLI.
Glenkyllachy Garden will be open in aid of the RNLI.

This Sunday, August 8, the glorious gardens of Glenkyllachy at Tomatin, will be open to the public to support the lifesaving work of the charity lifeboat at RNLI North Kessock.

Visitors can enjoy afternoon teas with home baking in the tranquil surroundings, and wander round the extensive landscaped grounds, admiring the original sculptures, waterfall feature and the arboretum.

This is the first physical fundraising event since the pandemic for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the Inverness and North Kessock Branch RNLI are very grateful to Cathie Simpson of Tomatin who has once again been a huge support with all the arrangements.

Ms Simpson was born on Lewis in a croft looking out to the sea and has never lost that maritime connection.

"I lost my grandfather who perished when the Iolaire went down off Stornoway harbour in January 1919, and that’s why I support the lifeboat charity. It was a very sad day for the Islands," she said.

Alison Marr, chairwoman of the Inverness and North Kessock fundraising branch said: “Since March 2019 we have not had the opportunity to host an event and this return to Glenkyllachy is so appreciated, especially as it is such a fabulous location.

"The lifeboat is entirely funded by public donations and this year our local lifeboat crew at Kessock have been very busy.”

A spokesperson on behalf of Kessock Lifeboat said: “Our crew is made up of local people who contribute to our lifesaving in many ways: we have the seagoing personnel who are often seen as the public face in their yellow suits and wellies, a shore based crew and a small army of volunteer crew members who literally keep the charity going with their fundraising.

"We are so grateful to have this opportunity to all come together as one crew after Covid forced us all to be apart.

"It is truly an experience not to be missed and the gardens will be open to the public with kind permission of owners Mr & Mrs Philip and Emma Mackenzie.

"Visitors can explore the magnificent displays of herbaceous plants, rhododendrons and trees with spectacular views down the Findhorn River."

Visitors to Glenkyllachy can browse the plant and craft stalls, a lifeboat stall with souvenirs and enjoy delicious homemade afternoon teas. The garden is open from 2pm – 5pm, entry is a suggested donation of £5 – and all proceeds will go to RNLI Kessock.

Directions: Turn off the A9 at Tomatin and take the Coignafearn/Garbole single-track road down the north side of the River Findhorn. Follow the signs to Glenkyllachy.

READ: Be cautious! Plea to anyone in open waters in the Highlands and Islands


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