The Scottish Thistle Award finals are referred to in the industry as the "Tourism Oscars". I am delighted that our four village tourism business group was able to compete on the big stage with larger companies and organisations who have healthy marketing budgets and dedicated experts working full time. We represented Central (and Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park) and emerged as winners amongst entrants from Fife, Tayside. Lothians, Borders, West, Highlands and Islands, Aberdeen City, and Aberdeenshire.
Two of the sculptures Drover's Bho and Ewen Westies of Craggan were made by TV personality artist blacksmith Kev Paxton paid for with a Sustrans Scotland ArtRoots grant.
The sculptures mark the entrance to National Cycle Route 7 in Strathyre and Lochearnhead and it is possible to cycle from one to the other passing the BLiSS trail "Cockerel" Mile Marker by Iain McColl, on route.
Drover's Bho is a steel cow sculpture acknowledging the hard working drovers who gathered in Strathyre on their way to the Falkirk Tryst.
"Ewen Westies of Craggan" is named after a local tourism hero - Ewen Cameron OBE - who kick started water sports on Loch Earn in 1955, revived the BLS Highland games in Lochearnhead and so much more. The west highland terrier dog sculpture also marks Sustrans Cycle Route 7 from the grounds of St Angus Church in the Craggan Road where they were once bred by the honorable Torfreda Rollo (sister of Lady MacGregor of MacGregor) in Lochearnhead.
LETi finished the themed year by launching the BLiSS history map full of interesting facts surrounding the four villages in its constitution
LETi is now working on Year of Young People 2018 promotions