Three days, three trees, three countries.

The weather finally cleared last weekend, not only for the finale of the Cowal Highland Gathering, but also for Ardentinny’s chance of getting in the record books!

Simon Penfold and Phil Dye from Gloucestershire were on a mission to climb and measure the tallest trees in Scotland, England and Wales over three consecutive days in aid of Cancer Research. Starting last Friday, and with the climbs at Dunster Estate, Somerset and Powys, Wales successfully completed, the lads headed north for Ardentinny.

The Douglas Fir at the Lairds Grave had already been measured using laser by Forestry Commission Scotland. However, for the height to be validated, the conifer would need to be measured by analogue means, i.e. a measuring tape.

Under surprisingly ideal conditions early on Sunday morning, the two tree surgeons, who operate a recreational tree climbing centre in Gloucestershire, started their ascent. With the aid of the measure, a 3 metre pole and a quadcopter, Simon and Phil completed the flawless climb in exactly two hours.

Simon said afterwards “there was quite a bit of deadwood up there, but also a good amount alive. It was a phenomenal view of the loch. It’s now the tallest tree I’ve ever climbed. The only struggle we had was getting the whisky off the tree!” He was referring to a mystery package left by previous climbers some 60 meters up! It contained three miniature bottles of Campbeltown Loch whisky with the message “Great what you are doing. Here’s some Scottish hospitality”.

Simon and Phil with their mystery Campbeltown Loch whisky

Charitable donations in support of Simon and Phil’s weekend climbs have already exceeded their £2000 target for Cancer Research. If you would also like to contribute, click here for their Just Giving page.

So, can Ardentinny claim to have the tallest tree in Scotland, UK or Europe? Watch the video and find out!


Glenfinart Walled Garden at Kirn Gala

The sun shone last Wednesday evening for the annual Kirn Gala. Glenfinart Walled Garden’s team of Lynn, David and Phyllis were in attendance selling the garden’s organic vegetables, herbs and beautiful bunches of freshly picked flowers. The event raised over £136.

Don’t forget the next big event at Glenfinart Walled Garden – The Harvest Fair on Sunday 17 September. More details soon!



Ardentinny charity climb to establish Europe record

Ardentinny may be home to the UK’s tallest tree and Europe’s tallest conifer, something which could be officially confirmed later this month by arboriculturalists and charity tree climbers Phyl Dye and Simon Penfold, when they scale and measure the suspect Douglas fir near the Laird’s grave in Ardentinny.

On the last weekend of August, Phyl from Wotton-under-edge and Simon from Malmesbury plan to climb the tallest trees in England, Wales and Scotland over a challenging three day period in aid of Cancer Research UK.

The first climb on Friday the 25th will be a Douglas fir in Dunster Estate, England which measured 60.05 metres in 2009; the second will be in Lake Vyrnwy in Powys, thought to be around 60.62 metres; and their final challenge will be in Ardentinny on the Sunday, hoping to confirm the laser measurement of 68 metres when they will accurately measure it by tape during their climb.

Through this taxing endeavour, they hope to raise £2,000 for Cancer Research. If you would like to help them achieve or indeed supersede that goal, you can chip in on their Just Giving page.

You can also follow their progress on their Twitter page,  Instagram and we’ll have live updates at and on our Facebook page.

Main photo courtesy Liz Owen.


Bubbles and Bubbly at the Big Picnic

Sunday’s Big Picnic at Glenfinart Walled Garden was another resounding success.

What began as a one-off a couple of years ago, having proved so popular, Ardentinny Community Trust has since made it an annual event. This year the Trust provided a free bus from and back to Dunoon, picking up along the regular 489 route.

Families and groups of all ages came along with their picnics and enjoyed the additional goodies and refreshments on offer. Many sang along and danced to the live music, provided by The Elderly Brothers and their guest singers and the children found plenty to amuse them in the kids’ garden while the adults relaxed in the orchard and sensory garden.

Trust funds were augmented by donations at the plant and flower stall and Kilmun surgery hosted a stall which raised £100.This was part of a reciprocal arrangement whereby the Trust’s stall at the Riverbank Surgery’s Saturday event in the Uig Hall raised £140 for the Walled Garden.

Click any image to enlarge.

David with the Trust’s stall at the Uig Hall event on Saturday.





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