Celebrating Scotland’s natural splendour

Loch beside West Highland way with Dumgoyne Mountian in the back'Photo by Emma Mitchell'15/4/13
Loch beside West Highland way with Dumgoyne Mountian in the back'Photo by Emma Mitchell'15/4/13

THE Year of Natural Scotland is a chance to celebrate Scotland’s reputation as a place of outstanding natural beauty, either on your own door step or exploring further afield.

In January CNN named Scotland as the top travel choice for 2013, emphasising the Year of Natural Scotland.

This initiative aims to make people aware of how we collectively make the most of our nation’s natural assets, such as Dumgoyne Loch, near Carbeth (pictured) – from harnessing our vast natural reserves of wind, wave and tidal power to creating world-class cuisine from delicious seasonal and local ingredients.

Scotland has a range of world class natural assets for Scots and visitors to enjoy. 2013 will be a year in which people in Scotland and visitors discover – or, indeed, rediscover - the natural attraction of our country and continue to build on the momentum created by the previous Focus Years.

The Year of Natural Scotland is the next of the Scottish Government’s Focus Years showcasing some of our best known tourism assets as we progress towards our second Year of Homecoming Scotland in 2014. The Year of Natural Scotland follows the Year of Food and Drink, the Year of Active Scotland and the Year of Creative Scotland.

Events are taking place the length and breadth of the country to encourage everyone to celebrate Scotland’s great outdoors. The event programme is being added to all the time, but to find out what’s going on in your area, please visit: www.eventscotland.org/natural

Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “The Year of Natural Scotland provides us with an excellent opportunity to make the most of Scotland’s magnificent natural heritage and increase visitor numbers in the process.

“I am encouraging everyone at home and abroad to discover or rediscover Scotland by getting out and seeing some of our world renowned scenery, wildlife and other natural attractions which will boost business and enhance both the local and national economies.

“Touriam attractions across the country can get involved by using the toolkit which is available on VisitScotland’s website and by thinking now about how they can make the most of this opportunity.

“The Focus Years have been a great success and the figures speak for themselves. Over half a million people attended events and activities celebrating the Year of Food and Drink, we saw a six per cent increase in active participation during the Year of Active Scotland and the messaging around the Year of Creative Scotland has already reached almost 70 million people across the globe.”