May 182017

By Craig Chisholm.

Inverness based promoter Stephen Robertson is slowly but surely making a name for himself in the world of music promotion.

Over the past year he has put on big names such as Motown star Martha Reeves, The Bad Shepherds, who feature comedian Adrian Edmonston, dub and reggae legend Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Manchester indie stalwarts The Fall, Radio 6 DJ Craig Charles with his popular Funk and Soul Club and former PIL bassist Jah Wobble, with his band Invaders of The Heart, among others.

Though based up North he has put a formidable line up of talented acts on in Aberdeen venues such as Café Drummond, The Tunnels and The Lemon Tree.

He’s also been racking up the miles to promote gigs in Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Stephen started back in the promotion business back 2006 when he started booking acts for several venues in Inverness. In 2014 he started TwentyTen and took things a step further, booking bands in Aberdeen and not just in the Highlands.

As well as established names he has also put on shows by up and coming bands such as Teleman, Fatherson, Bloodlines and Vokovi – all of whom are destined for bigger things.

Upcoming TwentyTen gigs in Aberdeen include an appearance by critically acclaimed influential New York band Swans and a rare intimate acoustic gig by The Rifles.

Coming up in Aberdeen –

  • May 18th – The Rifles (Unplugged) – The Tunnels
  • May 19th – Swans – The Lemon Tree
  • May 21st – Matt Anderson – The Tunnels
  • May 22nd – Natives – The Tunnels
  • June 3rd – Popes of Chillitown – Café Drummond

Tickets are available to these gigs – as well as others in Inverness, Glasgow Dundee and Edinburgh from –

Facebook –
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Apr 052017

By Red Fin Hall.

A crowd of around 11,500 people, including 174 from Inverness, saw referee Andrew Dallas get this evening game underway, and an unchanged Aberdeen team were looking for their tenth home victory in a row.

Starting positively, Jonny Hayes burst down the left wing, saw Niall McGinn inside the opposition’s box and fired an inch perfect ball into him.

The number 10’s attempt was on target, but was destined to count for nothing as the Main Stand linesman waved for an offside.

The Dons were determined to continue where they left off on Friday, by playing at a great pace and fighting for every ball.

The next move saw man of the moment, Kenny McLean, fire a great ball into the feet of McGinn who was ready and willing in front of the goal. But the Inverness captain, Gary Warren had other ideas and stole the ball right off him a mere 3 yards in front of the net.

Minutes later McGinn was the provider from the same left side, but keeper, Owain Fon Williams managed to get his fingers to the ball, which fell, fortunately, just beyond Adam Rooney.

With 11 minutes gone, Aberdeen were keeping the pressure up, and some fine passing from Hayes to McLean and back to Hayes, then into McGinn, whose head flick was saved by the keeper.

Next, a Graeme Shinnie shot from just outside the box went wide.

The home side were awarded their first corner in the 12th minute of this so far, action past game.

McLean was on fire, running the midfield and appearing all over the field pitching in. Inverness were working hard to stop the Dons from running rampant, and were making a better fist of it than Dundee did.

Working his way down the left side, McLean was brought down by Henri Anier, resulting in the first free kick of the match just inside the visitor’s half.

Shinnie picked the ball up around half way and started a great run towards the Merkland Stand, culminating in a super shot from about 30 yards out, but the only reward from this great play was a corner. Hayes took the corner finding Friday’s hat-trick hero, Andrew Considine, who fired the ball in for Ash Taylor who made certain by striking the ball into the back of the net to open the scoring on the 22nd minute.


A short time later, the defender attempted one of his accurate long passes towards Shinnie who was lurking at the far edge of the goal area, but the ball ended up going out for a Caley goal kick.

In the 33rd minute, Hayes tried a running chip shot, gaining yet another corner from which Taylor, who was having a good game, headed just wide. With around ten minutes left of the first half to play, the referee issued the first booking of this competitive match when Billy McKay deliberately pulled back Considine.

Just before the end of the first 45 minutes, Hayes had another super breakaway before finding McGinn with the pass. McGinn in turn passed brilliantly to McLean who was running in to collect it. The net result, however, was a corner, which turned out to be the last action of the first 45.

Half time: 1-0

With neither side opting to make any half time changes, Aberdeen had been awarded a throw in and a corner within the first 2 minutes of the restart. From the corner Considine got his head to the ball, but could only head the ball down and out to give the visitors possession.

Shay Logan was the next player to execute a great move, by making good run before putting a fine ball in to captain Ryan Jack who then passed to McLean. McLean was desperate to score, but could only put the ball wide.

Jack then showed some wonderful strength in midfield by holding onto the ball despite numerous tough challenges and severe physical pressure from several players. Aberdeen were then awarded a free kick around 30 yards out, but McLean made a hash of it.

Manager, Richie Foran must have had some harsh words to say to his team at half time, because Inverness were playing much better in this second half. Nevertheless, they barely troubled the home defence, despite having some talented players in their side such as Greg Tansey, who will be joining Aberdeen in the summer, and the other paying his first visit as a player to his old club, Kevin McNaughton. 

The pitch, not in great shape at the best of times, was cutting up more and more, making silky play all but impossible. Still, Aberdeen kept trying to add to their tally, but to no avail. 

With ten minutes left of the action, Derek McInnes decided to take off McGinn and Rooney and replace them with Ryan Christie and ex Inverness loan player, Miles Storey. It was the latter who messed up the perfect opportunity to put the game to bed. Hayes fired in the perfect ball to him as he was standing, virtually unattended on the goal line, only to get the ball trapped beneath his feet. Frustrating and puzzling to say the least.

Even with three minutes of stoppage time added, The Dons couldn’t score a second, and when the final whistle was blown Aberdeen were content to secure yet another clean sheet and, more importantly, 12 points ahead of The Rangers in second place

Final Score: 1-0

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Feb 242017

With thanks to Richard Bunting, Director, Richard Bunting PR.

Peter Chandler sweep-netting for fungus gnats beside a lone Scots pine on Dundreggan in August 2016

Surveys at Trees for Life’s Dundreggan Conservation Estate near Loch Ness have revealed a range of rare species, including a midge never recorded in the United Kingdom before – underlining the site’s growing reputation as a ‘lost world’ for biodiversity.
The discovery of the non-biting midge (Chironomus vallenduuki) by entomologist Peter Chandler last August brings the total of UK biodiversity firsts found at the Inverness-shire estate to 11.

Other key findings during the charity’s 2016 survey season included two rare gnats whose larvae feed on fungi.

One of these (Sciophila varia) is only known from four other UK sites. The other (Mycomya nigricornis) is only known in the UK from a handful of Scottish sites and had not been seen since 1990.

“Dundreggan is a special part of the Caledonian Forest that keeps on revealing beautiful, interesting and rare species. The surprisingly rich wealth of life in this corner of the Highlands highlights the importance of concerted conservation action to protect and restore Scotland’s wild places,” said Alan Watson Featherstone, Trees for Life’s founder.

The charity also found two parasitic wasps (Homotropus pallipes and Diphyus salicatorius), for which there are very few Scottish records, and – for the first time in Scotland north of the River Tay – a pseudoscorpion called the knotty shining claw (Lamprochernes nodosus).

A micro-moth, the small barred longhorn (Adela croesella) – only documented at three other locations in Scotland, and never before this far north – was found by volunteer Richard Davidson. Richard had been taking part in one of Trees for Life’s popular volunteer Conservation Weeks at Dundreggan when he found the moth.

“Our latest discoveries add to an already-remarkable range of rare and endangered species found at Dundreggan – some of which were previously unknown in the UK or Scotland, or which were feared to be extinct,” added Alan Watson Featherstone.

New species for the UK discovered on the estate in recent years were three sawflies (Nematus pravus, Nematus pseudodispar and Amauronematus tristis), an aphid (Cinara smolandiae), two aphid parasitoids (Ephedrus helleni, Praon cavariellae), three fungus gnats (Brevicornu parafennicum, Mycomya disa, Sceptonia longisetosa), and a mite (Ceratozetella thienemanni).

Parasitic wasp Diphyus salicatorius

Dundreggan has also revealed the second-ever British record of a waxfly species (Helicoconis hirtinervis); a golden horsefly (Atylotus fulvus) only seen once before in Scotland since 1923; and the juniper shieldbug (Cyphostethus tristriatus), thought to be the first Highlands record.

In total, more than 3,300 species have now been recorded at the forest restoration site.
At least 68 of these are priority species for conservation.

Members of the public can volunteer to help plant half a million trees at Dundreggan as part of Trees for Life’s award-winning restoration of the Caledonian Forest. The charity’s rewilding activity also includes working for the return of rare woodland wildlife and plants, and carrying out scientific research and education programmes. See

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Feb 042016

Alex-Salmond-MP-MSPthm-Credit-SNP-AberdeenshireWith thanks to Tom Collins, Press Officer, Rt. Hon. Alex Salmond MP MSP

MSP for Aberdeenshire East, Alex Salmond, has welcomed a response from Transport Minister Derek Mackay MSP on Monday (1 February 2016) informing him that Network Rail are progressing well with rail improvements between Aberdeen and Inverness.

The 108-mile route is set to benefit from a £170 million upgrade which will include platform extensions, signalling enhancements and the re-doubling of the line between Aberdeen and Inverurie.

Mr Salmond had also raised the issue of the need to mitigate for flooding along the line, to reduce the risk of disruption to services.

In his response, Mr Mackay said:

“The project remains on target for completion by March 2019, and within the spending cap.

“With regard to flood mitigation, Network Rail is working with industry partners to make Scotland’s rail infrastructure more resilient to the current and predicted weather and climate change impacts across the network. This should help to ensure that efficient and reliable train services are maintained, including those between Aberdeen and Inverness.”

Mr Salmond said:

“The upgrading of this service is good news for the people of the North East and will ensure that the full potential of the corridor of prosperity between Aberdeen and Inverness will be realised quickly and efficiently. I met with representatives of Network Rail last month, and I am pleased that their work remains on schedule.

“The redoubling of the line between Inverurie and Aberdeen, alongside the new station at Kintore will only serve to enhance these benefits of this essential transport link and help bring new people and opportunities to our local communities and what they offer.”

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[Aberdeen Voice accepts and welcomes contributions from all sides/angles pertaining to any issue. Views and opinions expressed in any article are entirely those of the writer/contributor, and inclusion in our publication does not constitute support or endorsement of these by Aberdeen Voice as an organisation or any of its team members.]

Dec 272015

Aberdeen were almost comeback kings against Inverness but had to be content securing a point against their Highland rivals, says Voice’s Andrew Watson.

pittodrieThe pitch looked not bad considering the weather.

Having said that, it looked the game might descend into a mud bath quite quickly.

The groundsmen did all they could to keep the playing surface level.

There were boos when Willie Collum was announced as referee for the match, a man that has never been popular with the Dons support.

The rain was absolutely lashing down, and Pittodrie being so near the North Sea perhaps it was little wonder.

The Real Madrid white of Inverness looked set to go off colour fairly quickly in this mucky contest.

Opening the game, there was some pretty good link up play between Shaleum Logan and Jonny Hayes. The ball unfortunately went out of play, though.

Captain Ryan Jack also teamed up with the aforementioned duo not long after. The trio were, however, swiftly dealt with.

Adam Rooney had slightly more luck, but his low drive towards goal was slightly lacking power and precision.

Steven McLean figured in things, winning a header, but couldn’t be kept in play.

Logan couldn’t quite keep in a speculative attacking delivery, too.

Some close up action in the box followed, but with no red shirts getting a foot on the ball.

Danny Ward then saved Aberdeen’s blushes, coming out to shut out an Inverness advance. Further to that, a good opening for the away side was thrown away as the ball was skied over the bar from distance.

Down the other end of the park, Ashton Taylor lofted a ball beyond his teammates and straight into the hands of the opposing keeper.

There was then a contentious offside decision as Aberdeen closed in on goal.

Graeme Shinnie then found himself fouled, inviting a free kick opportunity. The resulting run of play saw McLean come close with a drive on goal.

There was another set piece which went out for a corner. There was some good attacking play, but Caley managed to scramble it away.

A ball from Andrew Considine was caught by keeper, Owain Fon Williams. From thereon the Caley Jags carved open Aberdeen and almost scored.

Niall McGinn put in a good ball into the opposing box, but nobody rose to the occasion and fought for it. Williams catches.

Referee Collum brought forth the ire of the Red Army for seemingly awarding a foul that was arguably a slip on the wet surface.

Considine then showed endeavour with a run down the wing into the box, and though unsuccessful, won a throw in for his troubles.

Not long after, there was an in-swinging corner headed over the bar. Just as inaccurate was Logan’s overly clever long ball, nowhere near any of his teammates in that final third of the pitch.

On the other hand, there was some encouraging work with McLean tussling to maintain possession. However, his dribbling direction was anticipated by his opposing number.

There was a good ball into their box, though Considine’s header was a tad weak.

Keeper Ward mopped up another Aberdeen slip at the back.

Inverness almost scored an own goal trying to put out an Aberdeen cross, this resulting in a corner.

Then came a moment that was perhaps inevitable. Paul Quinn was pushed aside far too easily, and the resulting cutback was guided into the goal.

0-1 (Liam Polworth) 41 minutes into the game.

Aberdeen were carved open again and were lucky not to be two goals down. That moment would come, though.

Half time was called when Aberdeen were advancing toward goal. This incurring boos from the Red Army.

Bob Marley and the Wailers’ ‘Three Little Birds’ were once again reassuring them over the tannoy that everything would be alright. Boney M’s ‘Danny (Ward) Cool’ stated the only positive of the game so far, that our keeper’s cool head under pressure was keeping us in the game.

By this point the pitch was looking pretty torn up. It was also getting a tad windier.

The Red Army was told to ‘Place Your Hands’ and put them up by Reef. This quick post-interval snippet was hoped to gee up the fans and, in turn, the players.

However, it was only two minutes into the second half when Inverness found themselves with a penalty, and a potential two goal cushion over the home side. Again, Quinn was at fault.

0-2 (Greg Tansey).

In response Hayes fired in a cross, but skied it for a goal kick.

David Goodwillie came on the pitch at the 49 minute mark, with Quinn coming off.

The run of play had the Caledonian Thistle faithful singing ‘You’re not famous anymore’. They were almost shut up with a good attempt on goal.

Hayes redeemed himself retrieving a wayward ball, but came unstuck – as did the team as a whole. They appeared to have little desire, fight, to chase the ball if not a pinpoint pass.

There was, though, a flurry of action in the Inverness goal but nothing of note happened. After that, there was also some expert last gasp defending holding back the Aberdeen attack.

Williams ended up on the floor after an incident in his box. His teammates took this as an opportunity to restock on fluids whilst his head got bandaged up.

Following this there was some silly long range shooting from Aberdeen, given how windy conditions were.

An instance in which this almost worked was a cross whipped in but Williams punched it away.

Considine was then fortunate that a foul was awarded in his favour. He was well and truly beaten by his opposite half.

Aberdeen were throwing everything and the kitchen sink against Inverness, but did it with little of the guile needed to be successful in the final third of the pitch. The ball did almost cross that line, to be fair.

McGinn eventually pounced to claw one back 73 minutes into the game.


Not long after, Aberdeen had a curling effort wide of the post. During this, also, Collum incensed the home support with the soft awarding of yet more contentious free kicks.

Logan then intervened in the nick of time to keep away that third goal.

McGinn could’ve been the hero, but touch in front of goal was poor.

McLean, arguably with the moment of the match, thundered a shot that appeared to rattle off the underside of the crossbar, but no luck.

Adam Rooney then picked out to score from the penalty spot after a hand ball.

2-2 90 minutes into the game!

Six minutes followed that penalty. A winning goal could feasibly come from either side.

Goodwillie slid well to battle for ball, but lost it.

Game over. A tough way to go about earning a measly point. Good fight back, though. Perhaps the weather went against, though that’s often a leveller for anyone in football.

Final score:  2-2.

Apr 102015

Aberdeen edged Inverness with one goal in a ‘best of the rest’ battle, says Voice reporter Andrew Watson.

merkalndpic2It was ideal conditions at Pittodrie for the last night’s evening kickoff.

There were some close chances for the Dons in the first half, although they lacked that killer touch within and around the box.  Both Niall McGinn and Adam Rooney came close; the former with a delightful chip over the keeper going just wide of the post.

Inverness, on the other hand, had a few chances themselves, perhaps not as clear cut.

Their defence, though pegged back for the duration, were resolute and robust in their dealings with the Aberdeen attack.

Time and time again they were put under pressure, but coming out of it unscathed. Reasonably good, bar a few slipups, communication and a siege mentality served them well.

It was looking as if it would be a second consecutive goalless draw for The Reds at Pittodrie, albeit a more exciting fixture. That did change slightly in the second period, though.

Two minutes in Ashton Taylor converted Barry Robson’s pinpoint corner kick. Tall Taylor glanced his header into the bottom corner.

1-0 Aberdeen!

Kenny McLean came on the pitch on the 70 minute mark, with Peter Pawlett coming off.

Aberdeen were maybe a little unlucky to come away only one goal ahead.

It went from siege mentality to being under siege as Shay Logan thumped the underside of the crossbar amidst a flurry of chances for the home side. Rooney also had a strike chalked off for offside.

It’s good to finally get the monkey off the back after that frustrating draw with the other Jags of the SPFL.

Final score:  1-0.

Aug 232013

With thanks to Richard Bunting.

A new programme of special Conservation Days designed to benefit disadvantaged people in the Inverness region is being launched by conservation charity Trees for Life thanks to funding from the People’s Postcode Trust.

The new initiative will provide an opportunity for people completely new to conservation volunteering to learn about Scotland’s Caledonian Forest and its rare species, and to take part in rewarding and effective conservation action in their local area.

Volunteers taking part will be able to enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits of moderate regular exercise in a green natural environment, and to gain practical skills, knowledge and confidence to carry out conservation work. At the same time they will be helping to restore the Caledonian Forest, one of Scotland’s greatest national treasures.

Alan Watson Featherstone, Trees for Life’s Executive Director, said:-

“We are delighted to launch this new project, which will enable more local people to help restore the Caledonian Forest, and we are grateful to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery for making it possible through the generous funding that we’ve received.

“We will be holding Conservation Days on both weekdays and weekends so that the widest possible range of people will have the chance to take part. Volunteers will not need any previous experience, as we will provide training in skills, as well as information about the threatened habitats and species of the CaledonianForest.”

Volunteers will be able to join in a range of activities including planting trees and wild flowers, collecting seeds and roots for propagating rare species, growing trees and plants in Trees for Life’s tree nursery, removing non-native species and carrying out biodiversity surveys.

The new scheme was made possible after Trees for Life was awarded £6,062 by People’s Postcode Trust, a grant-giving charity, funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

People’s Postcode Lottery is a charity lottery, where players play with their postcodes to win cash prizes while raising money for good causes. As a charity lottery, 45p from every £2 ticket goes to support charities and good causes across England, Scotland and Wales, including People’s Postcode Trust. People’s Postcode Lottery believes in supporting local communities, so the money raised stays local to players.

The funding for Trees for Life’s Conservation Days programme comes at the same time as People’s Postcode Trust reaches a total of 1,000 supported charity projects.

Award-winning Trees for Life is Scotland’s leading conservation volunteering charity. The charity is restoring the CaledonianForest to a spectacular wilderness region of 1,000 square miles in the Highlands to the west of Loch Ness and Inverness. For details, see or call 0845 458 3505.

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Nov 282012

Daylight robbery in Leith by the Dons this past weekend? They really pushed their luck, apparently. As much as they did against Butcher’s Highlanders? I doubt it. Aberdeen quite rightly didn’t secure any points this time. Match report by Voice’s man in the Pittodrie stand, Andrew Watson.

The Dons began the match with promise that surely must translate into securing pole position in the SPL? Not so. After an initial period of dominance, ex-Jag Hayes in particular running amok, it wasn’t to be.

Hayes’s prominence in the initial stages was a tad surprising, given his former teammates might have found his trickery predictable.

Maybe a sign of how far he’s come on? Perhaps, but his efforts and those of fellow Irishmen Magennis and McGinn weren’t enough to secure even a draw at home for the dismal Dons.

Without putting too fine a point on it, the period leading up to the Inverness goal was absolutely dreadful.

The Dons couldn’t pass and couldn’t shoot. Shoot? Fluffing the ball completely off-target would better describe it.

One Aberdeen player who shone in this period was the Kiwi Fallon, back in the first team after a respite. His determination was that of someone desperate to figure in Brown’s plans again – crunching tackles and chasing lost causes.

However, not being a marksman of the quality of McGinn, his lack of guile and opportunism really showed as Caley’s dopey keeper tempted fate in the extreme when, with the ball at his feet for an excruciating length of time, Fallon hardly mustered a jog to reach it.

It was about this time that Masson appeared to be chopped down in the centre of the park, with the referee urging play to continue. It was from there that Thistle surged forward to nick a very important goal. Masson had just replaced Clark on the half-hour mark.

0-1 (McKay ) after 36 minutes. Criminal!

At this point a rather perplexing contradiction materialised. Although they’d hardly come off the starting blocks until now, the team seemed suddenly shaken into shape. On the other hand, this was where I began to wonder why Fallon hadn’t been taken off. Only the most ardent of fans could defend his willingness to be on the wrong end of a tackle.

Anyway, with more than just the standard minute left until half-time, Aberdeen had ample opportunity to score. And they did, when Hayes’ sheer perseverance in the box pushed a dangerous ball across goal for Magennis to pounce and sidefoot it into the back of the net.

1-1 at half time. Phew!

You’re not famous anymore,’ the raucous men of Caledonian heartily sang. True, though you never have been and we’re back in the game!

In the build-up to the second half, yet another indecipherable tannoy message said something about the fourth official.  Or was it the referee? Something about the police looking for an errant linesman who’d parked his car in the wrong place, and that they were waiting for him at the tunnel?

Actually the referee had to come off after sustaining a calf injury and was replaced by an angry-looking, bald man.

Hurrah! All his decisions were going against the Dons, anyway. This guy had to be better!

The Dons’ management took the opportunity to augment the rather ropey-looking back three. Whether or not this made any difference wasn’t immediately obvious.

The Dons resumed with a barrage of attacks. Finally, Magennis caught a hapless Caley man on the turn and was left with only the ‘keeper to beat but, with the Caley no 1 closing him down fast, I didn’t think he’d be able to finish it.

Given the expert manner in which the ball was despatched into the bottom corner, however, I thought it was in fact McGinn who had scored. It was only later my dad, who’d been listening to the radio commentary, told me otherwise. Magennis’ movement, speed and delivery were uncanny.

2-1 after 50 minutes. Get in!

Unfortunately, Aberdeen then lurched into another period of shocking play. Defenders weren’t shutting down probing attackers, the midfield wasn’t dictating the flow. If I had to blame anyone it’d have to be Considine.

2-2 (Warren ) at the 58 minute mark.

…then I blamed Anderson.

2-3 (A second for McKay)

McManus on for Hayes, come 87 minutes. Caley then secured victory – and table-topping status – through Butcher orchestrating his troops carefully, and repeating this with the away crowd in a post-match singsong.

Final score:  2-3

May 312012

With thanks to Richard Bunting.

A symbolically important moment in the restoration of one of the ‘world’s greatest woodland habitats’ was celebrated on Sunday 20th May, when acclaimed wildlife cameraman and filmmaker Gordon Buchanan planted Trees for Life’s Millionth Tree in Scotland’s Caledonian Forest.

The event took place at a celebration event held at the award-winning conservation charity’s Dundreggan Estate near Loch Ness, in Glen Moriston, Inverness-shire.

“Magnificent and magical, the Caledonian Forest is a wild place at its most wonderful. Every single tree planted helps to restore one of the world’s greatest woodland habitats. One tree will be used by a thousand species in a forest that will stand for 10,000 years, which in that time can be enjoyed by a million people.

“Great forests are established one tree at a time. I am honoured to plant the millionth tree on behalf of Trees for Life,” said Gordon Buchanan.

Alan Watson Featherstone, Trees for Life’s founder and executive director, said:

“It’s fitting thatScotland should be in the forefront of restoring its world-class wild landscapes, having been one of the first countries to lose its forests and much of its wildlife. We are proud to be playing a key role in bringing our equivalent of a rainforest back from the brink of being lost forever.

“Planting our Millionth Tree is a major moment, made possible by the dedicated support of countless volunteers and generous donors over almost a quarter of a century. It’s an achievement that shows that we can all help to create positive environmental change.”

The event also saw the planting of the first of Trees for Life’s next million trees, including one by the charity’s patron and Highlands naturalist, author and presenter Roy Dennis. There were performances by the Woodland Orchestra, activities by environmental education charity Wild Things!, guided walks and a celebratory barbecue.

Support also came from other well-known public figures, including writers and broadcasters Muriel Gray and Vanessa Collingridge, both of whom are Trees for Life patrons.

Muriel said:

“How amazing that the Million Tree moment has come, and Trees For Life, their supporters and volunteers, can all proudly celebrate years of hard work and vision together. Public awareness of the importance of reinstating our heritage forests has grown so much since the beginning of the project, and now the enthusiasm for the positive and inspirational work being done is enormous. Well done to everyone, and let’s get started on the next million trees!”

Vanessa added:

“The celebrations for the Millionth Tree are not only for the inspirational work of Trees for Life and everyone who has played a part in this magnificent effort. For me, the real celebrations will be among the communities of insects, animals and plant life that are all thriving in the webs of life created by the emerging forests.

“I’m so proud to have played my own small part in planting not only a landscape of trees but a landscape of life and joy. Congratulations to all of you who’ve been involved – and to all the plants and creatures that now thrive in their new home.”

People can help Trees for Life to plant its next million trees by purchasing dedicated trees and groves. The charity’s award-winning volunteer Conservation Holidays weeks offer opportunities to gain practical conservation experience.

Trees for Life aims to restore the Caledonian Forest to an area of over 2,500 square kilometres in the Highlands west of Inverness and Loch Ness.

Mar 222012

With thanks to Dave Macdermid.

Tickets for the Dons Scottish Cup semi-final against Hibernian at Hampden on Saturday 14th April (12.15 pm kick-off) will go on sale online and at Pittodrie Stadium to season ticket holders and shareholders (those with a minimum of 260 from the original allocation) from 9 am this Saturday 24th March, with a maximum of two tickets per eligible supporter.  The ticket office will close at 5.30 p.m.

These top priority groups will have until close of business (5 p.m.) on Saturday 31st March to purchase their tickets with a general sale operating from 9 a.m. on Monday 2nd April.

Aberdeen have been given an initial allocation of 12,500 tickets with prices for the North Stand being £23 for adults. The Club has also been allocated the West Stand with prices at £15 for adults and £5 for Under 16’s in the family section.  Postal applications will be accepted.

Supporters are also urged to retain their tickets from the SPL match against Inverness Caley Thistle on the 24th March, the game with Dundee United on Saturday 7th April and post-split home games as, in the event of Aberdeen reaching the final, a voucher system will operate.

In light of the early kick off, Pittodrie Stadium will be closed on Saturday 14th April.

For info – Dave Macdermid – 07710 580148 –