Bonfire Night Fundraiser

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Apart from the Winter chill it was like a still Summer’s evening at Ardentinny Beach on Bonfire Night. The bonfire roared away lighting up the beach, while children and adults enjoyed the warmth and goodies on sale in aid of village hall funds.

There were toffee apples, cakes and toffee with Hot Chocolate, Bovril and  Spiced Apple drinks to keep you warm on the inside. Cleverly designed natural braziers added extra warmth and provided a safe way to toast the marshmallows on sale.

Lynn Kerr

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Bowling Club – Terror on the Turf

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Once again Maryjane, Linda and their hard working team excelled themselves with eerie walks, amazing decorations and delicious chilli supper at the annual Ardentinny Bowling Club Halloween Party. There was a Horror Film Quiz with clever cryptic clues and a ‘Guess Who’s Buried in the Graveyard?’ quiz as well as ‘Guess how many Eyeballs in the Jar’.

Pumpkins lined the path to the clubhouse and there were laughing Ghouls, screeching Witches and flashing Skeletons to scare the unsuspecting guiser approaching the club house. The best costume was won by the very convincing caveman. There was music and dancing and a good time was had by all.

Lynn Kerr

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Walled Garden summer season culminates with Harvest Fair

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Glenfinart Walled Garden’s open season culminated once again with a successful fund-raising Harvest Fair. The warm sunny day showcased the garden’s autumn hues and there was a raft of things to savour and enjoy. Carefully tended organic vegetables provided rich vegetable soup while apples from the hundred-year-old tree and its younger neighbours supplied crumble, flapjacks and delicious juice.

Live music kept the atmosphere upbeat as visitors took in stalls of Fair Trade goods; arts and crafts; fresh produce; face painting; and kids’ activities. The event raised invaluable revenue to further fund greater infrastructure which in turn extends the garden’s outreach to individuals and communities with varied and specific needs and aspirations.

The garden is now officially closed to visitors until Easter. However, gardener/volunteers’ coordinator, Simon, normally works in the garden with volunteers on Mondays and Thursdays and visitors are welcome to wander around if the gate is open. The garden is also open on the second and last Saturday of the month 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.  to accommodate National Park volunteers. Similarly, others are also welcome. Wherever possible, groups requesting to visit the garden on a specific date will also be made welcome.

Those interested in volunteering call Simon on 07962086474 or Lynn (secretary) 07464485380. Tea, coffee and refreshments are provided.

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Cowal Open Studios artist draws record numbers in garden setting

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Anthea with some of her paintings

Artist Anthea Gage held her Cowal Open Studios exhibition in Glenfinart Walled Garden recently. Despite the most atrocious weather, 145 visitors braved torrential rain and followed the brightly coloured streamers down the river road to the garden entrance to view and enjoy Anthea’s fun and colourful paintings, prints and cards.

Anthea Gage RSW taught Art and Design in Edinburgh for over thirty years and has since moved to Cowal. She works in gouache and watercolour and takes her inspiriration from the fun and colour of her surroundings and from lyrics and poetry, examples of which can be seen on her website. She can be contacted by email antheagage@btinternet.com.

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Community Trust reviews another successful year

On 8 September 2016 Ardentinny Commuity Trust (ACT) held its AGM. Trust Convenor, Anna Williamson, welcomed the attendees and invited them to take time to read the previous AGM’s Minutes and the Treasurer’s Report prior to reporting on the progress of the Trust’s Glenfinart Walled Garden Project.

The year saw the appointment of gardener/horticulturalist, Franziska Schmidt, who not only oversaw the planting and further development of the garden but also produced an informative monthly issue of ‘Gardener’s Blether’ and ran a series of excellent Masterclasses throughout the year. New Trustees, Jean Rowland and Jim Urquhart joined the committee; and from May 2015 the garden opened to the public to coincide with the monthly Soup and Sandwich event in the village hall.

Events

At what has become something of a tradition, Glenfinart Walled Garden held its spring opening day in conjunction with Forestry Commission Scotland’s Easter Monday Eggstravaganza. In July the garden was the venue for the wedding of local girl, Claire Tierney and was also enjoyed by many Ardentinny residents.The Big Picnic in August coincided with one of the few dry days and was well attended and a great success. The Garden’s open season culminated with the Harvest Fair in October which coincided with Cowalfest’s visit.

Fundraising and Outreach

A National Park grant enabled trees and shrubs to be removed from the back wall to facilitate access. The resulting logs were sold on to augment garden funds. The Garden had a fundraising stall at Dunoon Dazzle and the Village Hall’s Michaelmas Fair.

Visitors

In addition to individual visits by locals and those from farther afield, the garden welcomed a variety of groups throughout the year. In May there was a visit from Inner Wheel. Two college tutors plus 6 students from Dunoon Grammar came along to gather information for a PowerPoint for their horticultural group. The Federation of City Farms visited in June and provided lots of helpful information. Students from Dunoon Grammar and Primary learning centres spent enjoyable days out in the garden. Cowal Open Studios held a picnic on a very wet day in July; and approximately 40 art students from Glasgow, who were attending Ardentinny Outdoor Centre, spent much of their week in the garden building up their portfolios. There were also visits by a Church of Scotland Group and Tighnabruaich Rural.

Volunteer and Community support

Throughout the year there was regular and much appreciated support from the following:

Individual volunteers and Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park groups of volunteers

Carr Gomm

Community Payback

ISS Cowal & Bute Team

The Convenor concluded by thanking everyone who had donated their time, funds, energy, goods, and expertise, all of which was greatly appreciated.

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Hydro Schemes in Ardentinny

Hydro pipework being installed in June this year

Hydro pipework being installed at Baron Turner in June this year

Chair of Ardentinny Renewables Trust, Dougie Menzies, provided the following update on the hydro schemes currently in progress: ‘The two hydro schemes being built up at Baron Turner are progressing well and the company (Hydrover) have completed all the pipework and built the turbine house. The final part is the connection to the grid and Scottish Hydro are awaiting the transformer to enable this to happen. Hopefully this will be in the next few weeks. The transformer is coming from Australia and was ordered in January.’

Dougie also informed that a new constitution has been drawn up to enable the Trust to be registered as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO), and is ready to be submitted.

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Glenfinart Walled Garden welcomes Tullochan Futures Group

IMG_1271-3On one of the coldest days of spring, Glenfinart Walled Garden welcomed Steven Kenny from Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and a group of young adults and two of their trainers from Tullochan Futures.

Despite the snow and rain, the group potted on vegetable seedlings which they had grown. Later, they enjoyed soup made exclusively from produce from the garden’s polytunnel. There were also pancakes, biscuits and hot drinks on offer and a thank you gift of a strawberry plant to take home. 

Another group will visit in July but it is hoped that as many as possible from the April group can return to enjoy the garden in better weather and also check on the progress of their efforts. 

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Masterclass series concludes as Franziska moves on

Franziska discusses a point with some of the Masterclass participants

Franziska discusses a point with some of the Masterclass participants

On 17th April regular (and other) attendees of Glenfinart Walled Garden’s Masterclasses bade resident expert gardener and horticulturalist, Franziska Schmidt, a regrettable but very fond farewell.

The final class of the series covered medicinal and healing plants and, as ever, was expertly resourced and delivered. Content ranged from identifying a number of relevant plants to how to collect and prepare herbs for teas, poultices, infusions, balms, and tinctures and their potential uses and precautions.

The relaxed and friendly group participation has been a trademark of the series and it was with a degree of sadness that goodbyes were said and thanks expressed along with lots of good wishes to Franziska for her personal and professional future.

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Ardentinny’s bygone sports day

We’re indebted to Jim Robinson who has been rummaging through his photo album and has come up with these gems from probably the 1980’s.

They are possibly of the Ardentinny School sports day held in the ‘football field’ behind the Swedish Houses. If you have any recollection of when this took place or who is in the photographs, please comment below or let us know.

Click image to enlarge.

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The ‘football field’ today.

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Ardentinny Renewables Status

Ardentinny Renewables Trust (ART) is not yet a Trust, according to the group’s secretary, Neil Robinson. At the April Ardentinny Community Council meeting he reported that slight changes were to be made to the Constitution which may require a solicitor’s stamp. It was also thought that the group might become a SCIO, i.e., Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation ‘which is a legal form unique to Scottish charities’ (http://www.oscr.org.uk/charities/becoming-a-charity). He said that members will be emailed with the relevant information.

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This work by ardentinny.org is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 UK: Scotland.