Response to the recent 'How the Scottish Redwood Trust came about' blog, by Tricia Anderson
Updated: May 2, 2021
I have just read the blog article you wrote about how the trust started. Great reading. It's just so amazing... the synchronicity of it all... I started my artist's residency in 2015 and met Astrid Leeson then. I didn't ‘clock’ who she was but we ended up by chance exchanging a sketchbook monthly(by post)through Perth Visual Artist Forum, and it was immediately clear that she was as interested in the Tay as I was. I was looking at the effect the river has on its inhabitants, looking at the currents and picking up material washed ashore from Tayport to Balmerino and out to Broughty Ferry. A chance encounter with Astrid later led to my discovery of her project on PM with the schools. I could not believe that the Tay Landscape group had missed Newburgh out of their project, and realised that people were becoming interested in PM.
I heard through Astrid about your work. I looked you up on the Carse sustainability group and then decided to connect the Newburgh orchard Group up with you and we came to visit. The idea was to look at Megginch Castle, and learn about the new orchard dedicated to PM. In the event it was not possible during our visit to do that, but you took us to a spot which you said was on the original grounds of Gourdiehill and I stared at an ancient Pear tree. The more I heard the more entranced I became.
I had moved to Newburgh in 2007 and spent many hours engulfed by the title deeds to our new home and wondering about its history. There’s an N in stained glass in our hallway. I eventually worked out that Robert Nicol of Drum whose name appears on our deeds around 1814, and for whom I thought the N was done, became PM's father in law! Patrick's name was mentioned in the deeds a few times, and I had already in 2007 seen and read his paper on Naval Timber and concluded that he was an interesting and highly intelligent character. His involvement here was concerning his investment in a brewery situated on the site from at least 1814 till the mid 1800s. Kevin Reilly who was in our Newburgh orchard group has since told me he has been quite involved with grafting and planting old pear tree varieties across in the carse but when I started with Newburgh Orchard Group he certainly did not know of the connections with our house so it did not occur for him to tell me more at the time. You invited me to an SRT meeting and talk by Peggy, and I was instantly hooked! You sensed I would be.
And now as I wander the country again after lockdown every trip is accompanied by a skyline search for redwoods! I wonder that I have made those trips so often in years past and not seen them! only last week, I revisited my mum's grave a year on from her funeral, and on the way spotted a stunning ARAR, and a few SEGI, which had somehow been invisible to me before! I am excited about the future! Thank you so much for inviting me. Best wishes, Tricia Anderson
Tricia Anderson, lives in Newburgh and is a member of the Newburgh Orchard Group and has just joined the SRT management committee. She has over 30 years experience as a dance educator. In 1997, she made a piece with 24 young people called Festivalba drawing on Scottish dance and music traditions and contemporary dance to tell a story of Scotland.The house she lives in was once a brewery, co-owned by Patrick Matthew.