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Wester Ross garden of delights plays its part in keeping Scotland beautiful

By Hector MacKenzie

The Sitooterie observation garden has become a visitor attraction thanks to a community effort.
The Sitooterie observation garden has become a visitor attraction thanks to a community effort.

A WESTER Ross wasteland transformed into a popular attraction for visitors and locals alike is again flying the flag for the area in a Keep Scotland Beautiful award scheme.

Dubbed The Sitooterie, the coastal strip of land in Gairloch was given a dramatic facelift thanks to a determined community effort.

The Pier Road area, once overgrown, has been tamed to provide a wheelchair-accessible recreation area that encourages visitors to sit and take in the stunning natural beauty looking out across Gairloch Bay.

The Sitooterie has been accepted again as a participant in Keep Scotland Beautiful’s It’s Your Neighbourhood award scheme for 2019.

Last year, the wildlife viewing garden, in only its third year, was awarded a highly commended “thriving” award by the campaign – just two points short of the highest “outstanding” award.

The garden was one of only three in the whole Highland area to receive such an accolade.

Sitooterie co-ordinator David Carruthers said he was delighted with this recent development.

He said: “The local support for this project has been just amazing. So much practical and financial support over the past few months has been extraordinary. I am so grateful that the Sitooterie is receiving such encouragement to continue its community improvements to the area”.”

The Sitooterie, created along a stretch of road heading towards the Wester Ross village’s pier, features benches offering a pleasant outlook across the water.

Last year’s assessment said locals had taken the area to their hearts since the first bench was located there and hailed the community effort behind it.

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