A story of romance

We welcomed a lovely Canadian lady today who wanted to share her thanks for our help.  Of course, it's our job to help people explore and discover the hidden gems of our county and we were only too happy to advise how to travel to Orkney.  

At the time, she was unaware that you could travel to Orkney from John O' Groats.  The Museum reception team and our VisitScotland counterparts gave the woman the information she needed and off she went to explore Orkney.  Today she travelled back to see us and to tell us about her trip.  We were only to thrilled to hear that she had a wonderful trip after coming to Scotland to 'change her life' and it would seem she has absolutely done that as she met the man of her dreams on the ferry and is now engaged to be married!  We're so glad to have been part of their love story and wish them all the very best for the future.  

A fond farewell to Leoni

Last night we said a find farewell to Leoni Shearer who, for the last couple of years has been working at the weekends in our cafe alongside school and latterly, college.  Leoni has departed to embark on an apprenticeship with the Dounreay administration department.  We're not surprised she's been snapped up, she's a super hard worker and a pleasure to be around, she'll be missed by us and our cafe customers greatly. We wish her all the very best and hope she'll pop in for a catch up every now and then.  

To celebrate her hard work and new job, we decided to take a team trip to the Melvich hotel where we treated ourselves to some yummy pizza.  We can confirm that if the Melvich Hotel wasn't on your list of places you must eat then it absolutely should be, especially if you're a wood fired pizza fan.  The pizzas were absolutely delicious and catered for our gluten free team member too! You can check out their menu by checking out the website: www.melvichhotel.co.uk

The 'Dunnet' Pizza with Feta, Prosciutto, Parmesan and Rocket. 

The 'Dunnet' Pizza with Feta, Prosciutto, Parmesan and Rocket. 

  

When we went to visit the Flow Country

Yesterday, I (Marion) went along to a tourism taster event at the RSPB Forsinard Nature reserve.  Myself, a representative from VisitScotland Thurso office and two volunteers from Castlehill Heritage society enjoyed a brilliant afternoon learning about the Forsinard Flows project and what they're working on.

Flows to the Future is an ambitious project which is restoring areas of blanket bog in the heart of the Flow Country that have been damaged by forestry planting. It will also promote and develop our knowledge about the role of peat and carbon storage, and involve and connect people everywhere with this precious habitat, delivering real economic benefits for one of the least densely populated areas in Scotland.

The project is being delivered by the Peatlands Partnership with the lead partner being RSPB (Scotland). 
— www.theflowcountry.org

We visited the new Field centre which was a hive of activity.  It was really lovely to see children from Helmsdale Primary school enjoying the fantastic facilities in the education room.  We were shown round the building which houses the office, research laboratory facilities, storage and even accommodation for visiting volunteers.  The building is brilliant and a real asset for the staff and project volunteers. 

We then moved on to the newly refurbished Forsinard Flows visitor centre which is just along the road from the field centre. We walked the road way which took just a few minutes but there is a lovely path across the field which is safer for their younger visitors.  We (well, me!) foolishly weren't wearing appropriate footwear so took the dry option along the road.  One of the items on the project wishlist is a selection of wellie boots to fill one of the storage areas so that they can lend them to children and people like me who don't think to wear boots!   

The visitor centre is just next to the railway line and is a small building but with lots to offer.  You arrive to a beautiful reception area where someone will give you a warm welcome and tell you about the displays.  There's bathroom facilities for visitors to use and just off to the left, a comfortable Audio Visual room where you can relax on a comfy couch and watch a choice of three films about The Flow Country.  Two are short 3/5minute overviews if you're pushed for time but if you get the chance, relax and enjoy the 26minute long video which gives you a superb feel for the area you've found yourself in.  

Over on the right hand side of reception is an exhibition which explains more about The Flow Country and how it's the best blanket bog of it's type in the world.  Full of gorgeous images and interesting information, sensory objects that visitors can feel and hear and even an interactive game there really is something for the whole family.  

It was then time to go back outside and visit the Lookout Tower which was another short, very pleasant walk.  The walk is suitable for wheelchair/pushchair users too.  Along the way we saw an abundance of lizards and even a little tiny one which looked like a baby!  We heard birds calling from the tower as we admired the pools below us.  It was so peaceful, I could have gladly stayed there all day.  

As part of the Flows to the Future project, a new permanent exhibition has been installed here at our Museum in Thurso.  It gives an overview of The Flow Country and you can watch the informative films here too-you can even dress up as a frog if you like! (it's the best frog costume ever!) 

I really enjoyed my time in Forsinard and am keen to go back and experience one of their guided walks over the Summer.  I'm also looking forward to following the Flows to the Future Project to keep up with their restoration progress. The centre is easily reached by car (approx 40minutes from Thurso) or by train and is one to tick off the bucket list during a trip to Caithness or Sutherland.

Thank you to Jenny and Caroline for showing us around! 

You can find out more about the project at www.theflowcountry.org.uk and on their facebook/twitter pages (The Flow Country)

 

 

 

When Farr High School came to visit- May 2017

A group from Farr High School and one pupil from Thurso High School visited the Museum in May 2017.  They worked with self taught film maker and photographer Mike Guest.

Pupils from Farr High School and one pupil from Thurso High School worked with Mike Guest for a series of animation and film making workshops. They worked in small groups to put together some short stop motion animations using things that were found in the Museum. They then worked with Mike at overlaying sound effects and editing to produce finished animations.

They also learnt some photography techniques and camera skills. Mike showed them some professional photography skills and they produced some portrait photographs of each other. By experimenting with depth of fieldand light and editing techniques they produced some very interesting shots.