Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Beware Factors Bearing Gifts

A decade ago Angus Council came up with an initiative to boost local rural economies and encourage the public (yes, you!) to take some exercise. The Angus Glens Walking Festival was born.

At the news of the birth, the three wise men of Dalhousie Estates (the laird, the factor and the Head Gamekeeper) offered a gift.  That gift was a Glenesk resident who could help guide the walkers..... and maybe also the organisers. A Trudgin' Horse!

Since being volunteered that first year, I've been back every year bar 1. And I've grown to enjoy sharing my office with these visitors. I also enjoy the opportunity to tell them a little bit about the balancing act that is the management of a highland estate.

I was at it again just a couple of days ago and set out to demonstrate what it takes to get close enough to deer to shoot them. On reflection it was a rather tall order - and I'm not referring to the 1,000ft of climbing here. Rather, it was due to fact that there were 30 of them (plus 2 other leaders) and they were dressed in their most rustly clothes in colours that could be seen from space.

As you would expect, all the 'rare' stuff (sea eagles, golden eagles, hen harriers, adders, merlin, wildcat and otter marks etc) remained stubbornly out of sight. But we did get close to deer and we did see a good variety of 'other stuff'. And whenever I wasn't working their legs, I was working their ears.

They were very polite and gave me some very positive feedback. Personally, I considered it a bonus I survived the day at all after finding out that a couple of them were vegans. Although one chap likened me to Bear Grylls, I'm sure there were others who considered

me an arse.

We're needing a marketing 'hook' for our new wildlife tours. So I've decided to call myself Bear Arse.



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  2. Hi andy I was one of the people who were out with you at the weekend and I have to say it was a brilliant day and it was a privilege to see your magnificent outdoor office,couldn't get a chance to thank you at the 'retreat'...ps I was the person who nipped your head about peregrines, golden eagles,merlins....thanks again