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Birthday Boost for John Muir Trust

Press release   •   Apr 20, 2018 11:46 BST

Sandwood Bay, Sutherland - Pic Credit: Kevin Lelland - John Muir Trust

A campaign to celebrate the legacy of Scottish conservationist John Muir has received a major boost from the national tourism organisation.

As the world prepares to mark John Muir Day (21 April) - which this year commemorates the naturalist’s 180th birthday – it has been announced that John Muir Trust has been awarded £15,000 as part of the VisitScotland Growth Fund to support a series of films aimed at showcasing Scotland’s wild places.

The charity owns and protects some of the country’s most beautiful and iconic wild places, including the summit of Ben Nevis, part of Knoydart in Lochaber, part of the Cuillins on Skye, Schiehallion in Perthshire, Quinag in Assynt, and Sandwood Bay in Sutherland. The short films will inspire tourists to experience Scotland’s natural beauty for themselves and highlight why these special spots should be protected for future generations.

The Trust is working with four tourism partners, Wilderness Scotland, Absolute Escapes, HF Holidays, Walk Highlands, and the films are also aimed at raising awareness of Scotland’s wild places within the US, capitalising on the high name recognition and affiliation with John Muir in North America.

Local businesses will also feature in the clips to show visitors what they can see and do in the areas surrounding the Trust’s scenic spot to make the most of their time in Scotland.

The Trust will work closely with their tourism partners to promote holidays based around visiting the locations featuring in the film. And wildlife will also take a feature role in the clips – animals like rare sea eagles, golden eagles and ring ouzels can be found in these wild places as well as otters, red squirrels and pine martens.

John Muir was born in Dunbar, East Lothian, on April 21 1838, before moving to America in 1849 where he became the founder of the modern conservation movement. He is credited with helping to preserve the Yosemite Valley and the Sequoia National Park in California among others.

Steve Duncan, VisitScotland Marketing Manager, said: “Our research shows that scenery and landscape remains one of the main reasons people come to Scotland so the Trust’s forthcoming activity will undoubtedly stimulate interest, and in turn visits, to some of Scotland’s most special places.

”Partnership and collaboration is at the heart of Scottish tourism and VisitScotland works with local industry and partners to develop and deliver initiatives that grow the visitor economy. We are delighted to support this exciting new John Muir Trust campaign.”

Kevin Lelland, Head of Development and Communications at John Muir Trust, said: “Working with VisitScotland and getting support from its Growth Fund will allow us to deliver an innovative campaign at a scale that would otherwise be difficult for us.

“John Muir was passionate about wild places. He explored them, wrote about them and campaigned to protect them. Like Muir, we believe in protecting wild places for their own sake, and for the wellbeing of people and nature.

“This grant gives the Trust an opportunity to develop a series of films that share the stories and experiences of people who love our wildest places. A marketing campaign championed by us and a group of tourism partners will then reach out to visitors in Scotland and across the world and show them just how stunning our wild places are and why it is so important we continue to conserve and protect them.”

For more information on John Muir Trust, visit

To find out more about the VisitScotland Growth Fund, go to

Notes to Editors

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  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
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VisitScotland Growth Fund

  • The VisitScotland Growth Fund supports collaborative tourism marketing projects which focus on growth and ensure that visitors experience the true Spirit of Scotland.
  • To be eligible for a Growth Fund award, applicants must place a strong emphasis on digital marketing and the creation of digital content assets. They are also encouraged to align themselves with Scotland’s themed years, including the 2018 Year of Young People. More information at

2018 Year of Young People

  • The Year of Young People 2018 will be the next of the Scottish Government’s series of themed years, following the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.
  • The Year of Young People (YoYP 2018) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally
  • Central to YoYP 2018 will be a celebratory events programme that puts young people at the heart of its development and delivery, creating new and valuable experiences for young Scots and the wider public, with links to the inaugural 2018 European Championships.
  • Over 200 young people throughout Scotland are currently being recruited to become YoYP 2018 Ambassadors. Ambassadors will ensure that people and organisations in their communities know about what’s happening and will lead on projects and activities to create events and opportunities to celebrate young people.
  • The Year of Young People will have six themes which were developed in co-production with young people themselves:
  • oParticipation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
  • oEducation – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning
  • oHealth and Wellbeing – supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience
  • oEquality and Discrimination – broadcasting the value of young Scots, challenging negative perceptions of young people, and supporting young people to take leading roles in challenging discrimination in all its forms.
  • oEnterprise and regeneration – celebrating young people’s role in innovation, entrepreneurship and the Scottish economy as well as making Scotland a greener and more pleasant place to live
  • oCulture – celebrating young people’s talent and contribution to Scottish culture and arts.
  • Further information on what’s happening and how people can get involved can be found on the new website or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.