Most walkers of the West Highland Way try to avoid midges - but not Lisa Robinson, who has seen a business opportunity in them.
For Lisa (44) has hit on the novel idea of using the fearsome insects in a range of quirky jewellery and selling it at the start of the long distance path in Milngavie.
The insects are collected by Lisa from people with midge catching machines, who post them to her from all over the West of Scotland.
She then sets them in a resin acrylic which, when hardened, is shapes into designs for earrings, necklaces and cuff links.
The landscape gardener from the Isle of Seil near Oban, sells her unusual jewellery through her company The Midge Factory, which has an outlet in Drymen.
She says that whenever possible she tries to use midges from the area near the outlets.
Lisa said: “I send out stamped addressed envelopes to people who send me back the midges from their machine and last year ran out of them. I must be one of the only people in the west of Scotland who look forward to the midge season.”
She first started using midges in bird food, and Lisa said she has always been a creative person and thought using the bugs in jewellery would be a perfect way of recycling them: “The idea to use them in jewellery just came to me in a flash of inspiration when I was gardening and I thought about uses for them.” Lisa said she had walked the West Highland Way about 10 years ago and knew how bad the midges could be, adding: “It is really just a bit of fun, although I know they are no fun in reality.”
Louise Macfarlane, manager of Milngavie Information Centre, which stocks the trinkets, said: “It is proving very popular with West Highland Way walkers, either for themselves or as a gift for friends who have done the walk as a reminder of Scotland.”
For more information on midge inspired products go online to www.midgefactory.co.uk