The Loch Earn Tourism Initiative (LETI) is capitalizing on the current themed year for Scotland – Year of Natural Scotland 2013 – and running a number of events to coincide with Scottish Natural Heritage’s (SNH) events.
The first of these is the announcement of LETI’s own ‘Big Five’ iconic wildlife species, following that of SNH’s announcement last month. Alan Sneddon, Chairman of LETI said, “Our members have voted the following wild animals as our own “Big Five”: Golden Eagle, Red Deer, Red Squirrel, Osprey and Otter. We are very pleased to be participating in Year of Natural Scotland 2013 as part of the drive to promote the LETI area which has some of Scotland’s most impressive and awe-inspiring scenery and is also the natural home of these beautiful and sometimes rare species.”
As part of its campaign for Year of Natural Scotland 2013, LETI has also joined Wild Scotland, the Scottish Wildlife and Adventure Tourism Association which affords additional support and exposure to wildlife tourism businesses.
LETI villages: Lochearnhead, Balquhidder, Strathyre and St Fillans surrounding the four beautiful lochs, Loch Earn, Loch Voil, Loch Doin, and Loch Lubnaig fall within Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. These four villages work actively together to promote the area and share a vibrant community spirit offering the best of Scotland’s outdoor activities including wildlife watching and safaris, walking and water-sports and a wide range accommodation and restaurants in what is undoubtedly some of Scotland’s most impressive scenery.
Some activities on the LETI agenda for Year of Natural Scotland 2013 are:
1. LETI’s Big Five – Following SNH’s invitation to join the debate on what wild animals should be in Scotland’s Top Five, LETI members have announced theirs.
2. Factsheet for Visitors - Available online, the Factsheet will list some of the area’s wildlife species with photo's and a brief overview of the individual species and where you are likely to be able to see them in the LETI area. It will also highlight events and activities with their details.
3. Events - 5th May Stuc a Chroin Hill Race - Monachyle Mhor's, annual festival is planned for the week-end 25th & 26th May. Strathyre Music Festival -1st & 2nd June 2013 in various venues round Strathyre including the Strathyre Outdoor Centre.
Natural Trossachs is running a second Bushcraft Weekend at the Strathyre Outdoor Centre on 17th, 18th and 19th May as the earlier one on 4th and 5th May weekend is sold out. There is also a Tracking and Wildlife weekend on 19th & 20th October 2013.
It is not only the scenery and wildlife that makes LETI so special. Another key ingredient is that the area still has a strong hill farming community (some 3rd and 4th generation) which has diversified into accommodation, wildlife watching or activity providers in order to keep their businesses viable and remain working on the land.