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Top National Park Accolades for Outstanding Contributions to Enriching Visitor Experience

Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, the independent conservation and heritage charity for the National Park area, has recognised the outstanding contribution made by a long-serving member, a Loch Lomond hotelier and a dedicated volunteer to enriching the lives of many thousands of people visiting Scotland’s most popular National Park.

At the recent annual general meeting, awards were given to former Friends Chairman and Treasurer George Boyd, Niall Colquhoun, Manager of The Lodge on Loch Lomond and the Inn on Loch Lomond, and volunteer Irene MacKenzie, all three having made an enormous difference to the visitor experience in the National Park in recent years.

Helensburgh man George Boyd became the second winner of the Hannah Stirling National Park Award, which was introduced last year in memory of the former Friends President who died aged 100 in November 2014. George has been involved with the Friends in various executive roles, having become a member since 1998. 

The National Park Business Supporters of the Year award went to Niall Colquhoun, who runs The Lodge on Loch Lomond Hotel in Luss and The Inn on Loch Lomond Hotel in Inverbeg with his wife Anne. Niall has been a very strong backer of the Friends and the innovative Friends of OUR park project since its inception in 2010, with the two venues raising nearly £20,000 through voluntary visitor donations to help benefit a wide range of projects in the National Park.Niall has also has also been a founder member of the Friends’ business supporters scheme and helps the Friends further their aims in a variety of very practical ways to protect and promote the special qualities of Loch Lomond.

Last but by no means least, the Friends recognised the voluntary efforts of Irene MacKenzie, of Rosneath in Argyll and Bute, by giving her the Volunteer of the Year award. Irene has been almost a fixture on Make a Difference conservation in action days organised by the Friends in all areas of the National Park, having first volunteered with the charity in 2010 at a spring clean event in Lochgoilhead. 

Friends Chairman James Fraser said: “All three award winners have earned their prizes on merit and we are delighted for every one of them, as they have made a real difference in Scotland’s first National Park for visitors and residents. Our work would not be possible without the support of people like them and hopefully all three will continue to be involved with us for some time to come".

Header photo: The award winners and presenters. Pictured left to right are Friends Vice-Chairman John Urquhart; Volunteer of the Year Irene MacKenzie; Business Supporters of the Year Anne and Niall Colquhoun; Friends Trustee Joyce Deans and Hannah Stirling National Park Award winner George Boyd.

More information:

1. For further information contact James Fraser on 07894 908807.

2. The Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs was established in 1978 by Hannah Stirling, the former President who died at 100 years of age in November 2014.

3. The Friends is the only independent conservation and heritage charity working solely to protect, promote and provide projects and services for the area covered by the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

4. The Friends has a strong membership base and is supported by a large number of individuals and companies who are passionate about caring for and celebrating the special qualities of the area.

5. The Friends often work in partnership with the National Park Authority and local groups to try and make a difference and help ensure current and future generations can enjoy Scotland's first National Park. 

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