Estate ready to greet public

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

DUNNINALD Castle is ready to greet the public during its annual summer opening despite the estate suffering storm damage earlier this year.

By mid-May not a blade of grass was out of place and the edges of the lawns were razor sharp. Many people from across Angus also visited the estate while its bluebells were in full bloom when the gardens were open under Scotland’s Gardens Scheme.

Then in the last week of May, the area was hit by the worst gales seen in summertime for many years. The branches of the trees were heavy with tender new leaves and damage was widespread.

Estate worker Davie Leslie, who tends the castle’s laws in the summer and the woods in winter, had been at the dentist that afternoon and as he made his way home became aware of the extent of the damage. Many branches had to be cleared off the road but it was only when he reached Dunninald that he saw the true scale of the mess the storm had made.

He said: “The place was wrecked. I thought a whirlwind had struck it, it was like a war zone”.

Next morning the estate staff began the clear-up operation and by the end of the week five fallen trees and hundreds of broken branches had been cleared away.

The gardens and grounds were returned to pristine condition in time for a family wedding, held earlier this month.

The castle and grounds, two miles south of Montrose on the Lunan Bay road, will be open to the public throughout July when everyone will be able to judge Davie’s success for themselves.