Garden launch marks completion of Balmaha tourist attraction

THE SKIES cleared and sun shone on Balmaha for this afternoon’s (Saturday 30 April) formal opening of Tom and Rhona’s Mountain Garden beside the East Loch Lomond village’s Tom Weir statue.

Actor, US National Park ambassador and John Muir impersonator Lee Stetson, and Scots Magazine editor Richard Wright opened the garden with Tom Weir’s widow Rhona.

The garden – designed by landscape specialist and Scottish Campaign for National Parks Chairman, Ross Anderson – completes a £130,000 project which has transformed the former picnic site into Tom Weir’s Rest, already a popular tourist attraction in the area.

The garden is home to a range of typical mountain plants, as well as a selection of stones and rocks collected near the Highland Boundary Fault which runs through Loch Lomond in close proximity to Balmaha. Feature stones include white quartz from Ben Lomond, and state slabs especially engraved by one of Historic Environment Scotland’s apprentice stonemasons Lara Townsend displaying Tom Weir quotes  about the wonders of Loch Lomond.

The fifth and final storyboard at the statue site was also unveiled during the event – the other four having been launched earlier this month.

James Fraser, Chairman of Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs tells G63: “This event is an integral part of a visit by Lee Stetson as part of the centenary celebrations of the US National Parks Service, and also another opportunity to remind everybody of how Tom Weir became Scotland’s most loved mountain man.

“It’s is also a fitting way to mark the completion of work at the Tom Weir’s Rest site which has become firmly established in a relatively short period of time as one of Loch Lomond’s top visitor attractions with over 100,000 visitors so far.”

• Click the pictures below to see larger images and scroll through our gallery of photos from the launch event.

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Author: editor

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