Stunning addition to popular trail in Dunkeld unveiled



A memorial bench with a twist has been unveiled on the banks of the River Tay at Dunkeld to remember Sydney Draper, a former forester to the World Bank who died in July 2015 aged 90.

The new bench in the grounds of Dunkeld House Hotel was commissioned by Woodland Heritage to commemorate Mr Draper, a long-standing supporter of the charity. It has been carefully crafted to appear as though it is twisted and made of several different sections of timber, whereas it has actually been crafted from a single piece of native oak by local artist Nigel Ross.

Mr Ross’s creations may be found throughout the UK, from London’s Canary Wharf to the Ness Islands in Inverness.

It was through Mr Draper’s generous support of Woodland Heritage that the charity was able to support the renovation of Dunkeld’s ‘Big Tree Trail’ in partnership with the National Tree Collections of Scotland and the Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust. Woodland Heritage Trustees felt it was a fitting memorial to Mr Draper to commission the new piece by Nigel Ross to sit on the banks of the Tay at Dunkeld.

Tom Christian, a Trustee of Woodland Heritage, said:

“Sydney loved Dunkeld and returned here on his 90th birthday to plant a commemorative tree. Environmental education was very important to him, which is why he made his generous gift to help support the costs of a new tree trail here at Dunkeld, to tell visitors the amazing stories of the trees around us, the landscape they sit in, and how vital trees and healthy forests are to life on earth.

We are enormously grateful to Sydney, and to Dunkeld House Hotel and Land Rover Experience Scotland for their help in making this fitting memorial possible”.

Visitors to Dunkeld will now be able to sit and rest a while, courtesy of Sydney Draper, as they enjoy the idyllic riverside walks by the Tay.


Editors Notes:

1. Woodland Heritage was established as a charity in 1994 by two cabinet makers keen to ‘put something back’. A membership-based organisation, the charity supports the resilient management of woodlands, the development of the timber supply chain, the furthering of knowledge and skills within the forestry and timber sectors as well as within the general public, and the tackling of threats to the future supply of high quality UK timber. As well as running the popular ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ courses and a Field Weekend each year, Woodland Heritage produces an annual Journal. A current priority for the charity is supporting research into Acute Oak Decline.

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