BLAIRGOWRIE’S Gilmore House scooped one of this year’s Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust awards.
The Big Tree Country awards celebrate the ways local organisations and businesses engage with Perthshire’s woodland heritage.
Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust chairman, Bob Ellis, said: “As this year has been designated the International Year of the Forest, we chose the theme Trees Matter for this year’s Big Tree Country Awards.
“We were thrilled with the quality of applications we received. The winning projects perfectly captured the awards theme, demonstrating devotion and enthusiasm to our local environment.”
Jill Merrouche, who has owned Gilmore House for 15 years, was described as “a true modern ambassador for Perthshire Big Tree Country”, with particular emphasis on her use of social media and blogs to promote the area.
She said: “I was very delighted to win the award. I try and promote the outdoors and as a lot of my guests come here to go on walks, I try and highlight those.
“I was surprised to win - you never know what other people are doing and there always seems to be someone doing a bit more than you.
“My family also enjoyed the awards and seeing me accepting it.”
Speaking about Gilmore House, the judges of the small business category said: “Gilmore House was one of the first businesses to embrace the growth of geocaching in Perthshire and having attended a geocaching workshop their website now has a dedicated page.
“It is in her use of social media that Gill has been a truly modern ambassador for Big Tree Country. She is very active on Twitter following many organisations which tweet out/update about outdoor activities in the area and in turn spreading the message.”
The awards were presented by Dr Kenny Taylor, wildlife writer and broadcaster, who said: “These projects are inspirational. It’s great to see such a wide range of people, including schoolchildren, taking innovative steps to benefit trees, communities and wildlife.”
The awards were designed and hand carved by PKCT Project Officer Robbie Gordon and entrants were piped in by PKC Greenspace Ranger, Fergus Cook.