Scotland

Coronavirus: Chocolate egg 'mountain' needs to be given away

Claire Grant from the National Trust for Scotland with a pile of Easter eggs in the Drawing Room at the National Trust's Georgian House in Edinburgh Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The trust said about 15,000 chocolate eggs remained to be given away

A Scottish charity is trying to give away thousands of chocolate eggs after lockdown forced it to cancel its Easter egg hunts.

The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) had taken delivery of 30,000 eggs by mid-March.

With a use-by-date of July, the clock is now ticking for the operation to give them all away.

About half of the stockpile has already gone to hospitals, food banks and community groups.

'Don't eat themselves'

NTS customer director Mark Bishop said it was "heartbreaking" to have to cancel the annual egg hunt.

He added: "As well as being our biggest weekend of the year, Easter marks the start of the season for many of our properties but given the unprecedented global situation, everything had to be put on hold. In the midst of all this, though, we saw that some good could come out of the situation.

"Thirty thousand Easter eggs don't eat themselves and our operations teams have been finding places for them to go."

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Claire Grant from the trust with a pile of eggs in the drawing room at the Georgian House in Edinburgh

NTS calculated that its chocolate egg stockpile, with each box stacked on top of another, would have been three times the height of the tallest mountain it looks after, Ben Lawers. It is a 3,984ft Munro.

Mr Bishop added: "It's wonderful that so many have gone to the NHS and to other groups and organisations doing incredible work in our communities."

A total of 41 NTS properties had planned to run Easter egg hunts.

Suggestions about how to distribute the remaining eggs are being invited on NTS social media pages.

Eggs have already been donated to hospitals around the country, including paediatric wards in NHS Lanarkshire, the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow, Perth Royal Infirmary, Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy, and Borders General Hospital.

Others have gone to food banks, Women's Aid and community food groups.

Since this story was first published on Friday 22 May, the National Trust For Scotland said it had been inundated with ideas of how to distribute the eggs and was now not accepting any more suggestions.

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