24th May 2014
It’s been ten years in the planning and this weekend the newly transformed Station Square in Boat of Garten will be formally opened as part of the ‘Wild about Boat’ Osprey Festival. The community set out to give people greater access to, and understanding of, the industrial heritage of the Steam Railway and natural environment around Boat of Garten.
As a result, an information hub and two sculptures – a 4.5m high Osprey Feather and a Horse and Cart – were commissioned by Boat of Garten Community Company. All three interpretive elements were designed and fabricated by Michael Job of Black Ox Arts, based on original concept drawings produced by local artist Sheena Wilson.
The Station Square will be formally re-opened on Saturday 25th May at 5pm by the Convener of the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA), Duncan Bryden.
Anna Barton, Chair of Boat of Garten Community Company said: “As a striking and unique image, the Osprey Feather interprets the village’s association with local wildlife, whilst also depicting its industrial heritage by the use of a railway track to form the spine of the feather. The Horse and Cart represents the original form of transport between the station, the village and surrounding areas. In addition, the Information Hub pulls the elements together in its replication of a railway carriage, bearing key visitor information in order to access our local attractions. The Community Company would also like to thank the directors, company members and local people who took part in the consultations and workshops which led to the development of our Station Square.”
The project – run in partnership between Boat of Garten Community Company and the Strathspey Railway Company – was made possible by the CNPA who helped secure funding for the final phase of the work from Scottish Government ‘shovel ready’ funding in 2012. Additional funding has come from The Highland Council and RSPB, with further support from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), LEADER and the Cairngorms Business Partnership (CBP) and The Boat Hotel.
CNPA Convener Duncan Bryden said: “This work has really improved the look and feel of the Station Square and will encourage people visiting the National Park by train, car, cycles or on foot to spend time exploring Boat of Garten’s natural, social and industrial heritage.”
The ‘Wild about Boat’ Osprey Festival offers a day of wildlife-themed activities celebrating The Year of Natural Scotland, the Tenth Anniversary of the Cairngorms National Park and the local environment and its wildlife. Full details at www.boatofgarten.com