Friday, August 25 2017
Members of the public have donated an impressive £4,000 in a 15-month period to help maintain the very popular Tom Weir’s Rest site in Balmaha on Loch Lomondside.
Generous visitors to the Loch Lomondside picnic area, which has hosted the statue of the broadcaster known as Scotland’s most-loved mountain man since December 2014, have been placing money in the three posts since May 2016 when they were put in place. As well as the statue, the site also plays host to a mountain garden, which was officially opened at the same time as the donation posts arrived.
The fantastic sum raised is enough to ensure that Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, the independent conservation and heritage charity for the National Park, can meet the annual costs of site insurance and maintenance, along with any other necessary work needed to keep the site beautiful and secure.
James Fraser, Chairman of Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, said: “When we put the donation posts in place at the Tom Weir’s Rest site, we had no specific fundraising targets in mind, but to raise £4,000 in 15 months is hugely encouraging and speaks volumes about the generosity of visitors to this site. It also shows just what high regard Tom was held in, with so many people keen to ensure that his statue remains a legacy for years to come.
“We would like to thank all those who have donated, who no doubt come from all corners of the globe, and assure them that every penny they have contributed will be used for the upkeep of this special site in Scotland’s first National Park.”
Sandy Fraser, owner and proprietor of the neighbouring Oak Tree Inn, has been responsible for the maintenance of the statue site since it was first established.
He said: “It has been a pleasure, but no surprise, to see this statue site being so popular, and all those involved in the process of ensuring the site could become a reality are very grateful for the financial support given through these donation posts. Without the support of the public, it would be more difficult to maintain the site to a high standard, so huge thanks go to everybody who has contributed.”
Susan Taylor, Administrator of the Tom Weir Memorial Fund said:’’ We were worried about how we would maintain the site without our small band of volunteers having to organise endless fundraising events. However, our fears have been unfounded with the generosity of many visitors to the site clearly appreciating our efforts to provide a high quality statue and picnic site in memory of Tom on the banks of Loch Lomond for them to enjoy.’’