The following, is the front page article from the Summer 2003 SEER Newsletter. To join SEER, please visit the Join Us page
OPEN SEASON AT THE SEER CENTRE
No – Nothing to do with shooting, or even golf; we are in the middle of our first season as a fully open tourist attraction. And what a difference it is making to SEER Centre morale and finances!
The car and coach park, which was completed in the last year, has had a top surface of rock dust added, providing a solid and well-drained finish.
The main entrance to the gardens is now through the car park gate, except for disabled visitors who can park by the house.
We have worked hard to make the area near the entrance attractive and interesting. Flower borders and a “Big Bed” (see article on page 2 of SEER News) has been developed on the flat area by the road and the crops are certainly an eye-catcher. Winding paths lead the visitor up to the older parts of the garden, where they can borrow a laminated self-guided trail and find their own way round. There is usually someone around to answer questions, and the Cabin shop is now open, selling a wide variety of produce, SEER-mix remineralised compost and rock dust. Income from sales so far has risen ENORMOUSLY with the Public Open Day still to come.
As far as attractions are concerned, there is still a long way to go, especially regarding information, events and interpretation, but visitors comments are very favourable. We no longer talk of the “hill-field” as a separate development – it has become part of the gardens. And what beautiful gardens they are too – especially after the glorious summer we have had. It has been great welcoming so many people from near and far to the SEER Centre and knowing they will go away and “spread the word around the world”.
Nice, too, to know that we are now achieving one of our aims – providing fresh, local, healthy produce for local people. Many of our Pitlochry and Kirkmichael neighbours are now regular customers, buying SEER produce. With the new terraces and the big bed by the road in production, we have plenty of produce to supply the Comunity while keeping the Demonstration Garden looking spectacular as well.