Last week the Scottish Rural Network (SRN) hosted a visit from a group of 10 Danish Local Action Group (LAG) members from the Jammerbugt-Vesthimmerland region who wanted to visit LEADER funded projects in Scotland. They were specifically interested in the food development and sustainable growth fields and wanted an insight into projects that have been successful in this area, in particular any challenges they have faced and any learning or networking they could glean from this experience.
SRN hosted a welcome dinner for the group in Perth on the night of their arrival which gave the opportunity for some networking and to get to know everyone before embarking on two exciting days of project visits.
The first day saw the group travel to 4 projects in the Rural Perth and Kinross area; Cultybraggan Camp, Crieff Food Company, Loch Leven’s Larder and Loch Leven Brewery. Lorraine and Alan from SRN accompanied the group along with Iain Matheson and Laura Martin from Rural Perth and Kinross LAG.
Phil Mestecky at Cultybraggan gave a tour round the former prisoner of war camp and the various businesses who have now set up there, including Beetroot and Chocolate Caterers, Strathearn Cheese Company, Wild Thyme Bakery and also a walk around the community orchard. He explained about the long term vision for the camp including the restoration of one of the old Nissen huts using historic photographs, in order to replicate how it looked when it was originally in use. Comrie Development Trust have used LEADER funding here to fund a Heritage Manager post with a view to developing the site into a tourist attraction. A truly fascinating place.