Scottish Parliament Reception – VOTY and STOTY!
Eriskay crofter Anne MacIntyre got an extra treat when she came to our Scottish Parliament Reception to receive the Scottish Tree of the Year (STOTY) Trophy – an illicit seat in Nicola Sturgeon’s chair!
Winner “Netty’s Tree” is on Anne’s croft. Planted over 100 years ago this spruce was until recently the only tree on the windswept island. Netty MacDonald lived on the nearby croft and encouraged all the island’s children to play on the tree as their cries and laughter reminded her of her own family who had grown up and moved away to work. Netty died aged 88 in 2010 but her daughter Anne is back on the croft and continues the tradition.
The tree was nominated by Eriskay-born Eoina Wilson who now lives in Inverness, and attended with her baby son Danaidh – who stole everyone’s hearts.
Both Eoina and Anne were very excited to visit Parliament and our wonderful host John Finnie MSP organised a tour including a quick go on the First Minister’s chair in the chamber.
The annual gathering has proved a popular networking affair with representatives from other environmental groups turning out, along with politicians. This year 11 MSPs attended – so a great way for us to build relationships.
The reception also honoured Scottish winners in the Volunteer of the Year Awards (VOTY), and highlighted the contribution of players of People’s Postcode Lottery to the work of the Trust.