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Issue 47 - December 2014
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Scottish Parliament’s Finance Committee meets on Arran

Today, if you are reading this on Monday, December 1st, the Scottish Parliament’s Finance Committee, of which Arran’s Kenneth Gibson MSP is Convener, will meet on Arran for the first time.

Mr Gibson explains: ‘Every year we examine the Scottish Government’s draft budget, which for 2015-16 totals over £30 billion. We look carefully at how the Scottish Government proposes to spend its money and what that spending is meant to achieve. As part of our scrutiny process we believe it is vital to hear from islanders, which is why we have invited local businesses and community groups along to take part in workshops with committee members in the morning.’

This is the first time the Finance Committee has met on Arran. Public workshops will take place at the High School in the morning and the formal committee with John Swinney begins at 1pm. Mr Gibson said, ‘If Voice for Arran readers would like to come along and hear more about how taxpayers’ money will be spent in Scotland, they should call the Parliament’s Visitor Services office on 0131 348 5200 or email sp.bookings@scottish.parliament.uk to book a seat’.

Further details are available on the Scottish Parliament’s website here.

 

!A festive night for Corrie Film Club

On Sunday, December 14th, the club meets in Corrie Hall at 6.00 pm, earlier that usual so as to show the wonderfully funny and touching French/Belgian film, Ernest and Celestine, then break for supper and go on with Chimes at Midnight, ending with the now traditional showing of the classic silent comedy, Dinner for One.

Ernest is a suitably named bear, who takes life seriously. Celestine is a mouse, currently occupied as a dental student. She’s a smart little number, always two or three jumps ahead - but this film inhabits much more sophisticated territory than Tom and Jerry. She, like all the mice, lives underground, but chums up with unfortunate Ernest, who is trying to make a living as a street musician. Their friendship is such a taboo relationship that both find themselves rejected by their ‘proper’ worlds, and the authorities track them down and try to part them - uselessly, for they have fallen deeply in love.

!Bring a contribution for supper if you want to stay on for the whole evening. Revived, we’ll watch Chimes at Midnight, a Shakespearian romp directed by and starring Orson Welles. Its UK release was titled: Falstaff, but it returned to the title of its Spanish release: Campanadas a medianoche. The film centres round Falstaff’s almost paternal relationship with Prince Hal, who must choose between loyalty to Falstaff or to his actual father, King Henry IV. With Welles himself !as Falstaff, John Gielgud as Henry IV, Jeanne Moreau as Doll Tearsheet and Margaret Rutherford as Mistress Quickly, it’s a romp through the time of the classic stars, seldom glimpsed now. The script contains text from five of Shakespeare’s plays; and the narrator is none other than Ralph Richardson. Truly a plum pudding of a film, packed with nuggets of richness. To round the evening off, the silent comedy, Dinner For One sees a solitary diner waited on by his impeccably serious man-servant - who, however, has been rashly partaking of swigs from the brandy bottle. Watch out for - too late. He’s tripped over the tiger’s head rug yet again.

No charge for any of these delights, but contributions to running costs are welcome.

 

Will the Scottish government really support the south of Arran MPA?

Alan Bellamy sends us a concerned view

So, thanks to massive public support and the tireless work of COAST we have our South Arran MPA. Hurray! Or not. Have we been hoodwinked? Is it all greenwash? Are they taking the P?

The detailed proposals for managing the MPA have just been published by Marine Scotland. There will be a short consultation period for responses to these. The proposals can be found here.

In short, there are three alternative plans. These differ in the way that various areas within the MPA are to be limited to various fishing practices. But they are identical in that, in practice, there will be virtually no protection at all! When you take into account that there is only one inshore/offshore fisheries protection vessel for Scottish waters, it will be pretty much business as usual for bottom dredging for scallops and all the other practices that are destroying our marine environment. Reading the proposals it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Marine Scotland, and the Scottish Government, seem to be very much in the pocket of the Big Fishing lobby.

So, what can we do? We can stop buying the produce from unsustainable and destructive fishing practices. We can support COAST in its proposal for full protection for the MPA. And we can demand that our politicians put the survival of the natural environment before the interests of one influential group.

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Sue at sea

Sue Weaver from Kildonan is at the moment in mid-Atlantic with an all-female crew on the sailing ship Seadragon. They are there to take samples of the sea-water and analyse its contents and degree of pollution, but storms made it impossible to get the trawl net out until they were 780 miles from land. Sue writes:

‘Finally after days of rain, storm and strong winds we made our first trawl. The trawl was an “all hands on deck” task, we put out the trawl in calm seas travelling at 2 - 3 knots of boat speed. All the path was recorded in detail with marine debris tracker, as were the conditions like wind speed and direction. Everyone watched the trawl with curiosity as is it sliced through the water, resembling an animal gobbling plankton on the surface.’

‘The ocean looked pristine and deep blue, but the trawl told a different story. Upon removal we found plastic in the net, clear pieces of film and fragments - the trawl captures plastic fragments that are 333 micrometers and larger - along with fish larvae and fish eggs, two baby squids, and lots of tiny crustaceans.’

‘Our onboard aquatic toxicologist, Diana, examined the marine life and smallest bits of plastics under the microscope. The total of plastic fragments we found from this first trawl was 38. We will repeat the trawls every day we sail.’

 

Total Brass

Sadly, a lot of people were away and missed the splendid concert by the five young players of Total Brass. A detailed and meticulous ensemble, they played a dazzling variety of works, including a jazzy number that had their brilliant trumpeter parading down the centre of the hall. It is hardly surprising that this group won the coveted Tunnell Trust Award - they left their audience thrilled and excited, and regrets are still coming in from those who were off the island and missed it. If you see them advertised anywhere, buy a ticket and dive in at once! They are fabulous players.

 

!Choir Christmas concert

On the afternoon of Sunday 7th December, the Arran Choir, together with Arran Brass, will be giving a Christmas concert in Brodick Hall. It starts at 2:00 pm, and there’s a glorious mixture of music planned, with some cheeky new interpretations mixed in with the time-honoured favourites.

The combined chorus, comprised of what used to be the Lochranza choir and the Rowan Singers, has been working throughout the autumn on this Christmas music, and the result should be a delight to everyone.

Click here to see the advert for this concert.

 

!Alan Riach at the Saltire Society

Alan Riach, Professor of Poetry at Glasgow University, was the guest of the Saltire Society on Wednesday, 19th November, at the Ormidale Pavilion. He gave a fluent lecture on Scotland’s poets, to the great interest of those present, many of whom play an active part in Arran’s poetry scene, and handed out samples of work by the classic writers such as Hugh McDiarmid and Iain Crichton Smith. He made particular mention, too, of the women who have brought a new dimension to Scottish poetry, and read work by Liz Lochhead and Kathleen Jamie. A very thought-provoking evening.

 

Katy Clark heads home

If anyone can revitalise the Labour Party in Scotland, it is probably Katy Clark, currently our Westminster MP, who is now looking to add her formidable talents to the Scottish political scene. She has no doubt that Labour’s flagging fortunes are due to its Blairite, blue-rinsed policies and is looking now to become its deputy leader. She pointed out that a poll released a fortnight ago showed that up to 37% of SNP voters could come back to Labour - but only, she said, “by abandoning New Labour for good.”

!Katy’s colours are nailed firmly to the mast, and there is nothing blue about them. She will be campaigning for a Living Wage backed by the full force of the law, the decommissioning of Trident, permanent abolition of tuition fees and renationalisation of the railways . She also wants to see free childcare from the age of 12 months. Laying it on the line - and perhaps hinting at some difficult times behind her - Katy said, “Throughout my life I’ve always spoken up for Scotland and for real Labour values even when that’s meant disagreeing with the UK leadership of Labour. I’m not a political insider, nor do I want to be. The next Leader of Scottish Labour should be an MSP - that’s only right - but if we’re going to get real change and a fair deal for Scotland we need someone who won’t just accept the status quo in Westminster. I’ve never done that and I never will.”

www.katyclark.org.uk

 

Fracking under our houses?

An e-mail from Margaret McDougall MSP to a member of the Arran Greens follows up the question of whether ‘mineral access rights’ may allow gas drilling to take place underneath homes in Scotland. Sarah Boyack MSP has written to both Fergus Ewing MSP and Matthew Hancock MP regarding plans from the UK Government to allow fracking to take place underneath private houses without written permission.

!Planning permission for ‘unconventional gas development’ rests with the Scottish planning authorities and ultimately with the Scottish government - but an anomaly over mineral access rights exists, and this needs to be clarified. Shadow Energy Minister Tom Greatrex MP has made a submission to the Smith Commission, and intends to submit amendments to the Infrastructure Bill this week calling for the question of fracking under Scottish homes to be devolved to the Scottish parliament.

 

Women for Independence

!by Anne Bruce

On 2nd November, the Strathclyde Suite in the Glasgow Concert Hall was packed with 400 women of all ages, listening to Lesley Riddoch, Susan Stewart, Jeane Freeman and Natalie McGarry as they reflected on ways to move forward after the Independence debate. They discussed the importance of broadcast and print media, and Philippa Whitford spoke passionately about our NHS and about the alarming implications of TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Anyone keen to be kept informed and receive regular newsletters and updates should sign up here.

A meeting in Troon Town Hall on 23rd November was chaired by Kate Higgins (of the Burdz Eye View blog) and there was lots of open mic discussion from the 200 participants. Jean Freeman encouraged us all to be ‘active, energetic and organised’, backing campaigns from that range from fracking to TTIP and from foodbanks to Trident. It was pointed out that we still live in a Scotland where one child in five is growing up in poverty. We still have the lowest old age pension in Europe, and the growing privatisation of care is a major concern. Scotland must make its voice heard, and women have to be at the forefront of the movement for change.

The Margaret Cuthbert workshop on Economics on 17th January is sold out, but you can put your name on the waiting list here. If you are interested in media training and help with campaigning and canvassing skills, help is available. Contact Anne Bruce, Margaret Gray or see our Facebook page.

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What’s in your Starbucks coffee? Don’t ask - they won’t tell you

!Starbucks doesn’t think its customers have the right to know what’s in their coffee. People in the small state of Vermont disagree - they want to know if Starbucks coffee (or anything else) is made from genetically modified (GM) ingredients, so they have asked for labelling that makes this clear. It seems a harmless request, but it has set Starbuckian nerves trembling, and they have teamed up with the chemical giant Monsanto to sue Vermont and prevent them from finding the truth.

Sumofus is running a petition aiming to induce Starbucks to withdraw its support for the lawsuit. Click on the blue paragraph to support them, bearing in mind that Starbucks is with us here in Scotland.

Sign the petition to tell Starbucks and Green Mountain Coffee to withdraw their support for the lawsuit against Vermont, and stop fighting accurate food labeling.

 

!MSP welcomes new drink-driving limits

From December 5th, the permitted blood alcohol limit will be more strict, dropping from 80mg in every 100ml of blood to 50mg in every 100ml of blood. This brings the UK into line with most of Europe.

Arran’s MSP Kenneth Gibson said: ‘This is about changing people’s behaviour. All the evidence from countries such as Ireland show that a lower limit reduces the number of convictions, as more people get the message that you should never drink and drive.’ He added that the current legal limit of alcohol in the blood is six times more likely to result in a fatal accident than it will be at the new lower level. While agreeing that there has been a huge decline in drink-related road deaths since drinking and driving have become socially unacceptable, he points out that ‘around one in 10 deaths on our roads still involve drivers over the legal limit,’ and adds, ‘This new order will reduce fatalities and injuries even further.’

 

Poem of the month

selected by David Underdown, who writes the footnote.

Tea for My Father

by Michael Hoffman

I think of his characteristic way
of saying ‘tea’, with his teeth
bared and clenched in anticipation.
It is not his first language nor
his favourite drink, so there is
something exotic about both word and
thing. He asks for it several times
a day, in the morning and afternoon
only. Mostly it is to help him work.
He likes it very strong, with cream,
in mugs, and sweetens it himself.
He puts it on the window-sill in front
of his table, and lets it go cold.
Later on, I come and throw it out.

The poet and translator Michael Hoffman was born in Germany in 1957. When he was four years old his family came to live in Bristol and subsequently Edinburgh. His combative relationship with his father, the novelist Gert Hoffman, was the subject of his 1986 collection, ‘Acrimony’ and was also chronicled in a television documentary. The tone of this poem taken from Hoffman’s later collection ‘Approximately Nowhere’ (published by Faber in 1999) is gentler and captures the exasperation we can so often feel about an ageing parent.

 

Bridge Challenge

South to make three hearts. West leads the ♥10.

 
 

Meeting the People in Ghana

Jan McGregor writes about her recent trip, organised by Traidcraft.

These tours are organised by Saddle Skedaddle in partnership with Traidcraft, and take you to meet the people producing fair trade products in the developing world. I have previously been to India and Peru, but this time it was Ghana.

I was in Ghana for 12 days and visited several projects as well as seeing some sights including the Independence Arch (Ghana was the first African country to gain independence in 1957) and the castle where 50 million slaves were held before being shipped to the West Indies.

We visited

The Serendipalm company works with more than 300 small farmers who enjoy a higher than market rate for their fresh fruit bunches from which the palm oil is extracted, better working conditions as well as a small premium. They often used this premium to plant other crops on their farms for their own consumption. Palm Oil trees originated in West Africa, so there is not the devastating effect on the rain forest, as seen in the Far East.

Kuapa KoKoo (which means Good Cocoa Farmer) is a farmer owned organisation with 87,000 registered members in hundreds of village societies which produces 1% of the world’s cocoa. We visited two of these societies and met with representative members. One community had no electricity, a broken solar panel and an old bore hole for water which was being replaced. The clear message we received was “Please sell and buy more chocolate so that we can earn more money”.

The second community where we were made very welcome was within the Fair Trade town of New Koforidua. Here they had a lovely school building which they were thrilled with and a community centre. Basic primary education is free, but uniforms and books need to be bought before children can attend school. One of the farmers thanked us for our visit and said he had used his premium to enable his child to have a uniform and therefore be able to go to school.

VREL on the banks of the river Volta was our final visit where we saw Banana plantations and the packing centre. Here the banana bunches were chopped off their stalks, washed thoroughly, labelled with the fair trade lable and packed into boxes for shipping to the UK which takes 14 days in a cool container. Again the benefits to workers were a school, an administration block for hospital administrators, scholarships for workers’ children and health insurance premiums for staff and their families.

We also visited Global Mammas and other craft villages where we were able to buy some beautiful batik fabrics.

In addition to ensuring that farmers and workers receive a fair return for their work, Fair Trade means the communities receive a fair trade premium, which they decide how to spend themselves. In Ghana we saw several projects that had been funded with this premium.

They included:

My lasting impression of Ghana is that they and other African countries carry the burden of our western greed, on their shoulders or heads, and that any small thing we do to redress the balance and make trade practice fair instead of exploitative, we should do. So please chose Fair trade when you can. It does make a difference however small.

 

Print CrosswordCrossword

by Dave Payn

!

Across

 1 'Kiss me, quick. Under here!' (9)

 6 Snivel or bawl, initially it means the same (3)

 8 Sailor wishes to play 6, but is missing (3)

 9 Old cottage? Quite the opposite here! (9)

10 Resilient cats lie about (7)

12 Brit travelled the width of the country for cuppa! (4)

14 Revised 'A Murderer Saga'. It's sweet!

16 'Sient Night'? Something's missing.... Sounds like Christmas! (4)

18 Score own goal – somehow it makes for a miserable man at Christmas (7)

21 Cockney lookers, traditional at Christmas (5,4)

23 Animal appears in Magnum P.I. (3)

24 I am a confused German character in Greece (3)

25 Has psychic ability for most of historical period, involved in intelligence (9)

Down

 1 Hat to merit reconstruction (5)

 2 Am crass at damaging wit (7)

 3 Overall, what many teachers and pupils dread? (4,4)

 4 Rules of Tug of War? (3)

 5 Spirit of Iceland (4)

 6 I inhabit what was seen in the East with instrument (5)

 7 Wore out in pub after battle (4,3)

11 What you get when fired at Christmas? (5)

13 Has psychic ability to replant roses in 12 (8)

14 Candy I'm chewing is vital (7)

15 State which has more Bests, Bushes, Harrisons and Clooneys, it's said? (7)

17 Boredom with destructive innuendo? Not Don. (5)

19 The result of study in France (5)

20 Give up what's planted, it's said (4)

22 Brat? I am quiet! (3)

 

Answers for the November crossword

Across
1 The end is nigh, 8 Actress. 9 Worse, 10 Tsar, 11 Rodgers, 13 Father, 14 Syrupy, 17 Chuckle, 19 Diet, 22 Ascot,
23 Overage, 24 Record Sleeve.

Down
1 Tract, 2 Extract, 3 Need, 4 Insert, 5 Nowadays, 6 Gorge, 7 Jersey, 12 Cockatoo, 13 Facial, 15 Urinate, 16 Second,
18 Uncle, 20 There, 21 Weal.

 

Travelling in the Western Isles

Jim Henderson continues his account of a summer trip

The hotel in Barra is a refurbished church building, and one of the customers enjoying a meal was the parish priest who featured in the TV programme about Barra and Vatersay. The island's airport is a hut on the cockleshell beach at Eoligarry, where we waited to see the arrival of the noon flight. The little aeroplane came over the hill and dipped towards us then landed neatly beside the hut - but flight times have to suit the tides, as there are often times when the beach is under water.

! ! !

The link road to Vatersay passes the scene where an aircraft crashed . Parts of the fuselage were left in memory of the crew who perished. Vatersay used to be a separate island, but a causeway was built in 1990, to help its tiny population survive. Despite this, it is a desolate place, with many white sand dunes and beautiful beaches. The ruins of several old houses stand there, an indication of how impossible life must have been in a tiny place, cut off from Barra by a stretch of sea that, though short, would not have been navigable in the winter storms.

! !
 

Hidden Talents

‘Hidden Talents’ was an apt title for an astonishing collection of work made by Shiskine people and shown at the Kinloch Hotel at the end of October. The range of imagination, humour and sheer talent was immensely impressive, ranging from professional artists and craftspeople to unnamed contributors who sought no recognition but were just quietly willing to add to a round-up of talent. It was a brave idea to dig around in a scattered community and ask people to show things they had made, and it worked triumphantly. The anonymity of many contributors implied a kind of indifference to commercial interests that was curiously refreshing. Work was shown as an assent to a good idea, often lent rather than offered for sale. There was no catalogue, and the constant flow of visitors all seemed enchanted by the quality of the work shown, not so much to elicit admiration as to demonstrate just what rich inventiveness lies quietly at the heart of this quiet corner of the island. The Kinloch Hotel provided the perfect space to show a range of creativeness that needed table space as well as walls, and benefited in turn from a brisk trade in discount lunches for the constant crowd that flowed in throughout the exhibition. A brilliant idea, well carried out and lasting long in the memory.

 

Women for Independence meet in Arran High School

!A cheerful group of women (and some men, too) met in the High School last Friday with the redoubtable Philippa Whitford, who doubles her NHS job as a surgeon with constant campaigning. Her passion for the new Scotland that is emerging from the referendum is infectious, and her vision is clear and logical. By the end of the evening, we were in deep conversation rather than being speaker and audience, and ideas were buzzing about. There is a lot of excitement about the National (the new newspaper that has just started up) and despite the defeat of the Yes vote for independence, it’s very evident that the idea is still alive and kicking. In sharp contrast to the meeting held in May, when Philippa addressed an audience of conflicted opinion, this Friday meeting was energetic, amicable and entirely practical.

 

Lucy in India

Lucy Cartledge writes the first part of an account of her Indian journey

A friend of mine, whose brother died six years ago, knew he had left a considerable sum of money to an Indian Orphanage to build classrooms and she wanted to see them ‘before she got too old’! I suggested we went together and that’s what we did.

I contacted Math, a forestry consultant and Indian friend, who replied to my tentative travel suggestions with practical advice. ‘Respected Madam it is better from Dehli to Agra, Agra to Mumbai and Mumbai to Goa by train. From Goa entire journey will be by car, sight seeing all the way to Kerala and tip of India. Then Tamil Nadu, Puducherry & Andra Pradesh. Back from Chennai to UK. I feel it is comfortable by a good four wheeler by experienced Driver which I will arrange. OK with regards Manaturagimath.’ So, at the end of September this year a 6,600 mile journey through India began.

We were greeted in Delhi with garlands of marigolds and taken into the vibrant and colourful market of the Chandni Chowk, (the old city), where we took a cycle rickshaw ride through town. Electrical wires hung low, tangled from building to building and around lamp posts, and the smell of food cooking on street corners filled the air. You could buy just about anything, from spices to antiques, rope to clothes. We saw the highly decorative Jama Masjid (the largest mosque in India), the Red Fort and the Raj Ghat monument and in New Delhi the Gate of India, the President's residence, and all that mixed in with cottage industries where carpets and marble inlaid tables were being made.

We mostly travelled by road, and I was staggered by how many motorbikes there were, not just carrying one or two people but entire families. Ladies perched side-saddle with small children on their laps, while older children squeezed between two adults and sometimes straddled the mudguard in front of the rider. Hardly any wore helmets. Both motorbikes and cycles were wildly overloaded, carrying absolutely gigantic boxes of supplies or bales of hay. Driving was crazy, with a bedlam of horns blaring as cars made their way between cows, dogs, people, cycles, tuk-tuks (auto rickshaws), motorbikes, cars, buses and trucks. Motorists used both sides of the road and whoever was the biggest, got the right of way, often pushing motorcyclists into gutters. Our driver said, ‘In India you need good brakes, a good horn and good luck’! Very true.

Our next stop was Agra, where we saw the Fort and Taj Mahal, both by daylight and moonlight, which was spectacular. Then to Jaipur, known as the pink city; with stunning hilltop forts and glorious palaces reflecting its royal past. We stayed at Shahpura House, a building once owned by Indian Royalty and now a first class hotel, preserved with great elegance and in a very Indian traditional style, while outside, cows and stray dogs picked their way through human rubbish.

We headed on south to Goa, once a Portuguese colony, where we met up with Math and started down the west coast through both Karnataka and Kerala to the very tip of India. It was a wandering journey that certainly didn’t take the most direct route. Often we were quite clearly lost, and our guides would stop and ask the way, always assuring us that is was just a little ‘detour’ or ‘shortcut’. On stopping for petrol, the driver would get out and bounce the vehicle up and down as though to settle the contents in a sack, we assumed to try and squeeze in as much fuel as possible. It was all very entertaining! Language was of course tricky. Most people spoke a little English of some kind, but few understood the languages of other Indian states, so there were constant misinterpretations and dramas. We passed beautiful beaches, sometimes stopping to swim, and watched mynah birds hopping around. Monkeys, chipmunks and iguanas ran across the floors of temples and churches, ‘sacred’ fish jumped in the lakes, ignoring fishermen in dug out canoes and in the markets we could buy fresh coconuts to drink.

After a stop at the forestry school where Math worked, we eventually arrived in Cochin. This was a fascinating town with waterways running thrugh it, and you could best see its different districts from a boat. The architecture was a mixture Portuguese, Dutch and British and there was an attractive red tiled Jewish district with cobbled streets, best known for its antique shops. Fort Cochin, where there had once been a citadel, was the fishing district. Huge Chinese fishing nets lined the shore, suspended from poles and operated by levers and weights. Going south from there were the famous back waters where we hired a three bedroom boat with our friends. It had a skipper and an excellent chef, so we had a wonderful twenty-four hours aboard, seeing a very different kind of India, quiet and peaceful. We spent a happy evening learning how to tie lunghis and turbans, and eating fish curry whilst looking at the calm waters, the rice paddies and the sunset skies. A memory never to be forgotten.

Lucy’s account of her journey will continue next month.

 

!Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership

Behind closed doors, the corporate power-grab known as TTIP is being negotiated. The Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership could mean further privatisation of our NHS in Scotland, and the privatisation of other public services. It would also give big US corporations the power to sue national governments.

Can you sign the petition to Nicola Sturgeon? Click here to add your name.

 

… and finally

We received a press release from the National Trust for Scotland early last month, which we reproduce here verbatim. Whilst it is sad to lose a favourite animal, it does seem strange that it took the staff at Culzean two years to notice!

Culzean’s most pictured deer dies at 21

One of the most popular (and pictured) deer at the National Trust for Scotland’s Culzean Castle and Country Park has died at the ripe old age of 21.

!Suzie was born into the herd at the Ayrshire estate in June 1991 and had to be hand reared after being rejected by her mother. Head Forrester Ian Cornelius took on the onerous task, beginning a friendship that would last decades.

Ian remembers the early days well. He said:

“Suzie particularly enjoyed going out walks with the dogs and followed along faithfully building her muscles up and romping around in the garden. We took to walking dogs, cats (they came of their own volition) and deer in the woods and we made a strange sight indeed.” At six months old, Suzie was introduced into the twenty-five strong herd of red deer which have been kept at Culzean for decades.

She quickly became a firm favourite with visitors, allowing people to pet her and feed her favourite treats of apples and pears. She happily posed with visitors and was much photographed - there are pictures of her all over the world.

Suzie died peacefully earlier this month at the astonishing age of 21. She has been buried on the estate where she spent her entire life. Her two offspring Sandie and Suki are still part of the herd at Culzean.