The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, the organisers behind the UK’s pioneering sound and light show, The Enchanted Forest, has today launched a nationwide search for new charity trustees.

The organisation recently announced it has strengthened its senior management team with the appointment of a new Executive Director and a new Chair and the latest move comes as the Trust prepares the event to return to operations following the COVID-19 shutdown, and in anticipation of its 20th anniversary show due to take place this October.

Lesley Williamson, who took up the reigns this month as the Trust’s very first female chairperson, commented on the launch of the campaign:

“Like all events and charities we are facing challenging times, and the need for strong and supportive governance has never been more important. The Board of Trustees of the Enchanted Forest Community Trust has been, and continues to go, through a period of change and it’s now time for us to strengthen that team as the country emerges from the restrictions.

“While the restrictions around COVID-19 have been incredibly challenging for the event, we must always look for the silver lining. If anything it has taught us that we can operate some aspects of our organisation virtually, and this significantly widens the net to attract talented individuals with the right experience to join our Board of Trustees. For the first time ever, our search for trustees will be nationwide and we are keen to hear from anyone who is interested in being part of the future of one of the UK’s pioneering sound and light shows.”

The Enchanted Forest already draws in over 80,000 visitors to Highland Perthshire annually, is a mainstay of Scotland’s tourism calendar and hopes that it will return in October 2021 to delight audiences and help contribute to the long-awaited shot in the arm to the Highland Perthshire tourism economy.

For more information on becoming a trustee of The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, visit their website www.enchantedforest.org.uk

The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, the organisers behind Scotland’s pioneering sound and light show, The Enchanted Forest, has strengthened its senior management team with the appointment of a new Executive Director and, for the first time ever, a female Chair.

Lesley Williamson takes up the reigns this month as the Trust’s very first female chairperson. With decades of experience within the hospitality, tourism and events industries, including senior positions such as the Non-Executive Director of Northumberland Tourism, Chair of Made in Northumberland, and Vice-Chair of the North East Hoteliers Association, Lesley brings a wealth of expertise to the role.

Lesley is joined by Nela Popovic as Executive Director. Nela is a senior events professional with over twenty years’ experience, including working in large sporting and mass participation events, museums, and galleries. Nela joins the Trust from her position of Managing Director at Make It Right Projects, a mass participation and charity consultancy specialising in all aspects of event and project management, which has provided services for high profile events such as the 2012 London Olympics and 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

The moves are expected to strengthen the charity’s leadership team to develop The Enchanted Forest’s growth strategy, bringing additional expertise and innovation to the much-loved event, which already draws in over 80,000 visitors to Highland Perthshire annually. While the 2020 Enchanted Forest event had to be cancelled due to covid-19 restrictions, the Trust is busy planning this year’s milestone 20th anniversary event, subject to the easing of restrictions and it being considered safe to operate.

Looking to the future, the Trust will also be bolstering its board of trustees during 2021 with the launch of a trustee recruitment campaign this Spring.

Lesley Williamson, Chair of The Enchanted Forest Community Trust said:

“The Enchanted Forest is such an iconic Scottish autumn event, and I am excited about taking up the role of Chair as we look to the future and strive to make it a bigger and better event year on year. Of course, it has been a challenging time for the events industry, and we dearly hope the 20th anniversary event will run as planned. We want it to be a real celebration of how much the event has achieved in the last twenty years and the joy it has bought to the thousands of visitors that have attended every year.
“I am delighted to be welcoming Nela to the team. She brings decades of experience and expertise from working at a senior level in the events industry and we’re both excited about the future of The Enchanted Forest as we look to the next decade of growth.”

Nela Popovic commented:

“It’s a privilege to be working for such a highly esteemed event, and I look forward to working with Lesley and the board of trustees to deliver an event which continues to exceed visitor expectations year on year.”

For more information, please contact Emma Davies on 01738 700134 or 07963 817302 or email: e.davies@volpa.co.uk.

Tayside Mountain Rescue has received a generous donation of £10,000 from The Enchanted Forest Community Trust to contribute to its life-saving activities. The charity, which operates in all weather, all terrain and at all hours, is a group of around 50 volunteers sporting a plethora of specialist outdoor skills including remote medical expertise, technical rigging, swift water rescue and search management.

Like so many charities in the UK, Tayside Mountain Rescue’s fundraising has been adversely impacted by the pandemic. When The Enchanted Forest Community Trust approached the team for practical assistance in the siting of technical kit to run a night sky laser show in return for a donation, the team swung into action. Their efforts resulted in the night skies around Pitlochry beaming with hope over the first weekend in October as the event signalled its return to the area in 2021 delighting local residents with a laser show that could be watched safely from the confinement of their own back gardens.

Lesley Williamson, Executive Director of The Enchanted Forest, said: “We are delighted to be making this donation of £10,000 to Tayside Mountain Rescue. The work they do in rural landscapes like ours is invaluable, helping people when they are in need, and often in the most challenging of circumstances. It is a very challenging time for them, with many fundraising events sadly cancelled this year, and we wanted to what we could to help them. We are confident the funds will assist in enabling them to continue delivering life-saving services to the Tayside region.”

Kevin Linklater, President of Tayside Mountain Rescue commented: “We are very grateful The Enchanted Forest Community Trust for their timely donation. Like so many charities, we have been forced to cancel several of our own fundraising events this year and this donation will go a long way to boost our team funds. It is very much appreciated, and our team really enjoyed providing support to the production of the community laser show earlier this month.”

For more information about attending The Enchanted Forest in 2021 and to buy tickets, visit enchantedforest.org.uk.

We are looking forward to The Enchanted Forest returning to Highland Perthshire in October 2021.

To mark our return, on what would have been our show opening weekend (Friday 2nd – Sunday 4th October), we will be projecting a laser show into the skies around Pitlochry every night. This is our way of saying thank you to YOU. You have supported us over the last nineteen years and we wanted to let you know we are still with you during these challenging times.

The Enchanted Forest is operated by a charitable trust and this year, despite the challenges presented by COVID, we were still able to continue to support 29 local projects and organisations with cash donations amounting to over £68,000. This was the seventh year in a row that The Enchanted Forest Community Trust has been able to give back to our community and we hope to continue our good work in 2021.

These are testing times for us all. The Enchanted Forest has always been a community led event, managed by the community, for the community. We believe that there is true magic in the power of communities working together.

Although it cannot take place this year due to COVID restrictions, The Enchanted Forest normally welcomes over 80,000 visitors to Pitlochry and Highland Perthshire every year, providing a very real boost to local businesses. This year we know the event will be missed by many in what has been an extremely difficult year for all of us.

Like everyone, we want to look to the future with positivity and determination, therefore tickets for our 20th Anniversary event will be on sale to the public from Monday 5th October 2020 and we are optimistic that our confidence in the future of the event will be shared by our visitors.

Please stay safe, look after each other and we’ll see you next year.

The Enchanted Forest Team

For ticket information please visit: www.enchantedforest.org.uk

Exactly two hundred days since mass gatherings were halted in the UK as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers of The Enchanted Forest, Scotland’s pioneering sound and light show, are lighting up the skies of Pitlochry and surrounding area to mark what would have been the start of their 2020 event on 2 October and to signify their support for the local community.

The much-loved event, which normally attracts 80,000 visitors a year to Highland Perthshire, was cancelled due to the pandemic and the prohibition of events and mass gatherings. Normally providing a significant boost of over £7.6 million to Highland Perthshire every year, the event will be sorely missed by the local economy.

Organisers behind the event, The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, will mark what would have been the start of their 19th show on the weekend of 2nd – 4th October with a nightly laser show over the skies of Pitlochry to be viewed safely from the living room windows and back gardens of the local residents, in line with current restrictions. The bold beacon of hope is intended to signal to the local community that, although the 2020 event has been cancelled, there are big plans afoot for the 2021 show, the 20th anniversary of the trail-blazing event.

The planned activity includes the temporary erection of an 5 metre sized illuminated Enchanted Forest logo right at the heart of Pitlochry, signaling to fans that tickets for the 2021 show will be available to purchase from The Enchanted Forest website from 10am on Monday 5 October.

Although the event is not taking place this year, the annual charitable giving of the Enchanted Forest Community Trust is still taking place. This year the Trust has donated £68,000 to 29 local projects, the seventh year in a row the event has given back to the community in which it finds its home. This has included much needed COVID-19 rescue funds to The Birks Cinema in Aberfeldy and Pitlochry Festival Theatre, both of which have been directly impacted by the pandemic. Tayside Mountain Rescue, will also receive a donation of £10,000 from the Trust in return for their practical assistance in the siting of the night sky laser show.

Keith Moncrieff, Chairman of The Enchanted Forest, said: “Whilst we totally understand the reasons, we are extremely disappointed that The Enchanted Forest is not able to run this year. I know so many people will be feeling the loss of the event, in many ways. For this reason, we have decided to mark what would have been the start of the event on 2 October with a fantastic laser show, which will run every night over what would have been our opening weekend. At the heart of Pitlochry our illuminated logo will take pride of place outside the Visit Scotland Pitlochry iCentre this weekend. Our team are already making plans for the 2021 show and we are determined that for our 20th anniversary show, the lights will shine.

“We are also delighted that, despite these challenging circumstances, we have still been able to support 29 local projects financially, which we hope has been a welcome boost given the unfortunate loss of income that Pitlochry and Highland Perthshire will experience due to the cancellation of the 2020 event.”

Tickets for The Enchanted Forest 2021 will be available to purchase at enchantedforest.org.uk from 5 October at 10am.

The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, organisers of the pioneering sound and light show in Pitlochry, has awarded £33,514 to 26 worthy community projects in Highland Perthshire.

This is the seventh consecutive year that such a fund has been available, and the 26 good causes range from supporting the Vale of Atholl Pipers Association to contribute to the replacement of their band kit, to purchasing tools for the upkeep of paths by the Rannoch Paths and Open Space Group. Other notable donations include a a new strip for Aberfeldy Rugby Football Club, assistance to Dunkeld & District Strathspey & Reel Society in hiring a tutor and a contribution towards the running costs of The Den, a community run after school club in Blair Atholl, Ballinluig and Pitlochry.

The Enchanted Forest Community Trust is able to offer smaller local community groups access to vital funding that they would otherwise find difficult to obtain from other funders many of whom have much higher minimum thresholds for application. With an average award value of £1289 across the 26 projects funded.

Paul Keith, Trustee of The Enchanted Forest, said:

“2019’s popular show saw more people visiting The Enchanted Forest than ever before. This incredible support means we are able to fund more exciting community events, projects and organisations. We’re delighted that our show helps makes this support possible, and visitors should feel proud that, just by visiting the Enchanted Forest, they have done their bit to give back to the community and benefit the local area.”

Over 80,000 visitors attended last year’s sold-out show Cosmos with proceeds from the event being distributed through The Enchanted Forest Community Trust to worthy causes in the local area.

Organisers announced on earlier this month that the 2020 event would be cancelled as a result of the impact of the coronavirus epidemic. More information on The Enchanted Forest is available on www.enchantedforest.org.uk

The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, organisers of The Enchanted Forest, has today announced its decision to cancel the 2020 event, due to take place in October.

In a statement, posted on the event website and its social media channels, the Trustees of the charity said:

“It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that, due to the ongoing effect of Covid-19, The Enchanted Forest Community Trust has reached the decision to cancel this year’s event.

“Alongside the whole world, we have been watching the situation closely as it develops and, while we had quietly hoped the ban on mass gatherings may ease off in the Autumn, it is clear to us now that the ongoing requirements for physical distancing may remain in place until the end of the year. That and a lack of clarity surrounding the duration of the ban on mass gatherings means it is simply too risky for us to continue with our plans.

“We want to thank every single one of you for your support in making The Enchanted Forest the magical event that it is. Our beautiful home of Faskally Wood will stand proud and tall throughout this, and we will miss all of you coming to visit us this year. But we want our audience, you, to remain safe and well, and it’s so important that we all do our part in making that happen, however heart breaking that may be.

“In 2021, we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary and we plan to use the extra time in 2020 to get very creative and to ensure that our return in 2021 will be full of the magic and enchantment that you have all come to expect from us as Scotland’s pioneering sound and light show.”

Over 16,000 tickets for the 2020 event had already been sold, however The Enchanted Forest Community Trust has confirmed that everyone will receive a refund which will be processed over the next two weeks.

Tickets for the event in October 2021 are not yet available. For more information about The Enchanted Forest visit www.enchantedforest.org.uk

Organiser of Scotland’s premier sound and light show, The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, has received some pup-tastic news with the birth of Cosmos, a  golden retriever and future “guide dog in training” that has been named after the hugely successful 2019 Enchanted Forest event.

The Trust’s sponsored the guide dog after Guide Dogs Scotland (Perth & Kinross) were chosen as one of the official charity partners of the 2019 event, alongside the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and PKAVS.

Cosmos, a little girl pup, was born on 21 January 2020, alongside four other canine siblings named Flossie, Wendy, Harley and Hazel. Officially named Cosmos this month, she has been placed with her puppy walker who will start to teach her the skills she will need as a future guide dog. Guide Dogs received a donation of £5,000 from funds raised by the 2019 show’s ticket sales.

Ian Sim, Chairman of The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, said:  “Cosmos, the theme of our very popular 2019 Enchanted Forest event, has literally been given a new lease of life with the birth of our this little guide dog in training, a gorgeous golden retriever.  We’re delighted with this news, particularly in the current climate when everyone needs a little bit of cheering up, and thrilled that after her training Cosmos will be able to give a blind person a better quality of life and a freedom that without a guide dog they would not be able to have.”

Kyla McVicar, Business Development Manager at Guide Dogs Scotland, commented: “We are extremely grateful to the Enchanted Forest Community Trust for their generous support. The birth and naming of Cosmos has been such fantastic news amongst all the current challenges we are facing as a society. We look forward to the day when she is able to provide a blind person with the ability to get out and about and enjoy some level of freedom. Every hour, another person in the UK goes blind. When someone loses their sight, Guide Dogs are here to make sure they don’t loose their freedom as well.” The Enchanted Forest event this year is still due to take place between 1 October – 1 November 2020, although The Enchanted Forest Community Trust is closely watching the Coronavirus sitation and following Government guidance.

It’s becoming more common for couples to save for a more expensive and exotic honeymoon, and to keep the exciting newlywed energy going, many couples are choosing to go on a minimoon shortly after their wedding.

VisitScotland has created a list of romantic getaways for the ultimate Scottish minimoon where the Enchanted Forest is featured to experience for those visiting the stunning backdrop of Pitlochry and Perthshire.

Tickets for the 2020 Enchanted Forest go on sale in June. Find out more here.

The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, the charitable organisation that runs Scotland’s trailblazing sound and light show The Enchanted Forest, is now accepting applications from local community groups, projects and charities in Pitlochry and the wider Highland Perthshire area for their 2020 Community Fund.

Now in its eighth year, The Enchanted Forest Community Trust set up the Fund to ensure the event provided significant economic benefits to the local community.

Successful applicants will be asked to provide a report to The Enchanted Forest Community Trust on how they have used the money in relation to their request.

Completed applications should be returned no later than February 28, 2020 to Allie Walker either by email: community@enchantedforest.org.uk or c/o Walton Kilgour, 30 Bonnethill Road, Pitlochry, PH16 5BS.

To download an application form, visit www.enchantedforest.org.uk

VisitScotland’s 50th anniversary mascot, BuzzBò, will be reaching new heights at The Enchanted Forest’s 2019 Cosmos event.

This year VisitScotland celebrated their anniversary by launching the world’s first Highland Coosmonaut into ‘near space’ wearing a special spacesuit featuring Armstrong tartan, a nod to the first human to land on the moon 50 years ago.

Footage of BuzzBò’s momentous journey was unveiled to the public on the anniversary of the launch of the moon landing mission itself, July 16th, but the Coosmonaut will now revisit the cosmos from the safety of planet earth during his stay at The Enchanted Forest throughout the month of October.

The 2019 show takes its inspiration from the vastness and natural beauty of the skies that sit above the forest. Whilst visitors will be able to enjoy the security and familiarity of their forest surroundings, the show will encourage visitors to sense the awe and wonderment of the looking up to the sky through the tree canopy and be captivated by the cosmos.

New for 2019 is the Geodome, a 7m inflatable projection dome, accommodating approximately 60 people per showing. A completely immersive experience, it gives those within it the impression they are flying through the Cosmos. The whole experience lasts for five minutes.

Ian Sim, Chairman of The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, said:

“Fifty years after man stepped on the moon for the very first time, we promise this year will be a delight, particularly for those with a fascination with space and astronomy. We are delighted to be collaborating with VisitScotland to bring BuzzBò, the World’s first Highland Coosmonaut, to our 2019 space themed show. Be sure to stop by our Customer Services desk where BuzzBò will be stationed throughout the run.

“The exciting thing about The Enchanted Forest is that the theme changes every year and we are constantly raising the bar in terms of what is possible. Although this brings its own challenges, we are delighted that the team relish this kind of creative challenge and work collaboratively to deliver what is going to be a truly unique and, literally, an ‘out of this world’ experience.”

Before blasting off into the cosmos at The Enchanted Forest, BuzzBò will take in all that Perthshire has to offer with an overnight stay at one of Scotland’s most popular leisure resorts, Crieff Hydro.

Caroline Warburton, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director, said: “The Enchanted Forest is always a spectacular event which brings people from across Scotland and further afield to the region. I’m thrilled that our very own Coosmonaut BuzzBò will be able play a part in this year’s show, promoting VisitScotland’s 50th anniversary, Scotland’s connections with space, and Perthshire’s tourism offering to visitors.

“At VisitScotland we want to champion collaboration, spearhead innovation, promote local areas and events and ensure that tourism is recognised for the positive impact it brings to Scotland. It therefore made perfect sense to get involved in this exciting project which is frankly, out of this world!”  This year’s Enchanted Forest will run from 3 October – 3 November 2019.

Hundreds of visitors immersed themselves in another universe as the trailblazing sound and light show, The Enchanted Forest, launched its much anticipated 2019 event, Cosmos, on Wednesday, October 2nd.

Invited guests were welcomed to the illuminating sound and light event before opening to general public on October 3rd, for its month-long run at Faskally Wood in Pitlochry.

Taking inspiration from the vastness and natural beauty of the skies that sit above the forest, The Enchanted Forest has released 80,000 tickets for this year’s event, with only a few dates still available for last minute bookings.

Whilst visitors will be able to enjoy the security and familiarity of their forest surroundings, the show will encourage visitors to sense the awe and wonderment of looking up to the sky through the tree canopy and be captivated by the cosmos.

New for 2019 is the Geodome, a 7m inflatable projection dome, accommodating approximately 50 people per showing. A completely immersive experience, it gives those within it the impression they are flying through the Cosmos.

Ian Sim, Chairman of The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, said: “Now in its 18th year, The Enchanted Forest continues to break the boundaries of what is possible for a sound and light show, and we are especially proud of our 2019 show, Cosmos. I would encourage those still without tickets to snap up the last remaining few as soon as possible.”

Commenting on this year’s event, he said: “The exciting thing about The Enchanted Forest is that the theme changes every year and we are constantly raising the bar in terms of what is possible. Although this brings its own challenges, we are delighted that the team relish this kind of creative challenge and work collaboratively to deliver what is going to be a truly unique and, literally, an ‘out of this world’ experience.”

Bumblebee Conservation Trust, PKAVS and Guide Dogs Scotland have been confirmed as the official charity partners for 2019. These organisations will not only benefit financially but will be promoted extensively during the run of the event to raise awareness of their good work in the community.

It is estimated that The Enchanted Forest delivers £7.6million economic benefit to Perthshire’s economy per annum, according to a report by Tourism Resources Company in Glasgow. The event grew to 80,000 visitors in 2018, 52% of whom choose to stay overnight in the local area.