Record amount given to charities despite difficult year for the Enchanted Forest

The Enchanted Forrest Community Trust split more than £90,000 between 26 charities local to Highland Perthshire this year.

The group that runs the Enchanted Forest say their community trust has given out the highest number of charity grants this year.

That’s despite being forced to cancel last years show for several days due to extreme weather, and issuing refunds to people who were unable to reach Faskally Woods due to roadworks.

Karen Bothwell is from the Enchanted Forrest Community Trust: “The issues we faced and the impact we had from the economic perspective…we do know that if the show had run throughout the overall impact would have been over £10m pound

“It was a little bit less than that and we lost…probably the impact was about a million pounds overall.

“So four days of the show lost is very significant to the local community.”

This year the Trust split more than £90,000 between 26 charities local to Highland Perthshire.

Among those to benefit was the Horizon Lunch Club in Aberfeldy which provides home cooked meals and vital social interaction for the over 70s.

Anne Duff says the club received around £3,000 from the light shows trust: “Last year we were charging between five and eight pound per meal and along with the Gannochy Trust the Enchanted Forest and the Wind farm it’s allowed us to provide our meals for free.

“So we will be providing free meals until October and hopefully we’ll get some more funding to provide this service for a wee while longer.”

While footfall was lower in 2023 due to circumstances out with the organisers control, businesses still saw a tourism boost in the usually quieter Autumn moths.

Overall it brought in £9.2m pounds to the local economy.

Brian Wishart is the manager of the Fishers Hotel and says the event is vital: “We get a lot of people coming to eat.

“Maybe 50 to 150 a night and we would definitely have maybe 50 to a 100 rooms every night dedicated to the enchanted Forest visitors.”

The Enchanted Forest will return again in October with this years theme described as a “Symphony of Nature.”

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