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Support for Abriachan roundhouse rebuilding project


By Val Sweeney

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William Owen (centre), of Glen Urquhart Highland Games, presents £1000 to Marco Baglioni and Roni Smith of Abriachan Forest Trust.
William Owen (centre), of Glen Urquhart Highland Games, presents £1000 to Marco Baglioni and Roni Smith of Abriachan Forest Trust.

A restoration fund to rebuild a roundhouse destroyed by fire in community-owned woodland above Loch Ness has received a £1000 boost.

The Abriachan Forest Trust, a charity and social enterprise, launched a £10,750 crowdfunding campaign earlier this month following the blaze, thought to have been caused by a carelessly discarded cigarette.

In less than a week, online donations pushed it to about £4000 but now the local Glenurquhart Highland Gathering and Games committee has also backed the campaign to rebuild the timber and thatched structure.

The gathering, which would have been celebrating its 75th anniversary next month, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Russell Fraser, chairman of the games, said the roundhouse project deserved support.

“Abriachan Forest Trust has been very good in terms of helping with the games and providing us with materials in the past,” he said.

“It is only appropriate for a fellow community organisation to give something back.

“An awful lot of people get enjoyment from the forest trails at Abriachan.”

The donation is from the legacy fund for the annual games held at Blairbeg Park in Drumnadrochit.

Mr Fraser said it was disappointing they were not taking place this year, but people’s health and safety was paramount. He also said many charities and local organisations also relied on the event – which attracts 3000 spectators including locals plus international and domestic visitors – for fundraising.

Efforts are being made to mark the anniversary in a virtual format next month while preparations are also beginning i to create a special celebration for next year’s event on August 28.

You can donate here

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