Tayside and Central Scotland

Loch Lomond charity awarded 'Tom Weir grant'

Tom statue Image copyright Paul Saunders
Image caption A statue to Tom Weir was unveiled at Balmaha in 2014 by his widow Rhona

A conservation group has been awarded a £10,000 grant to help people learn more about the popular countryside broadcaster Tom Weir.

The Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs will receive the money from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Part of it will be spent improving the area around the Tom Weir statue at Balmaha which was unveiled last year.

The Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is also contributing to the project.

The friends charity - an independent conservation and heritage group - said there were plans for "storyboards" at the Tom Weir site, along with an educational booklet and a special celebration in June 2016 involving local schoolchildren and volunteers.

Some of the information boards will introduce visitors to Rhona's Mountain Garden - named after Tom's widow Rhona - which is being built on the site.

'Fitting tribute'

The statue of Tom Weir was unveiled in December 2014, marking 100 years since the broadcaster's birth.

Friends Chairman James Fraser said: "We are delighted to receive this latest grant award from the Heritage Lottery Fund, along with some top-up funding from the National Park Authority, as it means we will be able to share Tom's love of the wonders of Loch Lomond more widely.

"We intend to build on the resounding success of his statue and the associated greatly improved picnic area that is on target to host 80,000 visitors this year."

The chief executive of the national park, Gordon Watson, said the charity had worked hard to create a "fitting tribute" to Tom Weir.

"We have been pleased to support their efforts with grant contributions towards the statue itself and also the storyboards which will bring to life Tom's story and the rich heritage of Loch Lomond," he added.

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