|Trust Chair Peter Pearson speaking at the AGM|
Last weekend I went along to the John Muir Trust Annual Gathering and AGM in Inverness and had a great time. The event was well-attended, well-organised and very informative and inspiring. Friday evening we went along to the magnificent Town House for a civic reception. Here the Provost of Inverness, Helen Carmichael, presented pupils from Dochgarroch Primary School with their John Muir Awards and a group of sixth formers from the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music in Plockton gave an excellent concert. There was also plenty of time to talk to members, staff and other trustees - I always find these conversations one of the most stimulating and valuable parts of events like this.
The next day saw us move to the Ironworks, normally a music venue, for the formal business of the AGM - not as dry as you might think as there were informative accounts of the last years activities from the Trust staff - followed by an open forum where members could ask questions and raise concerns. In the evening there was a dinner followed by an excellent illustrated talk by photographer Pete Cairns about his Scotland: The Big Picture project, which, along with some brilliant pictures and videos, showed some of the pitfalls and realities of wildlife photography as well as being an inspiring call for conservation.
The event ended with further conversations over pints of beer in a nearby pub. Meeting like-minded people (with independent thoughts, not all in agreement!) is always energising and I left with much to think about after a really enjoyable few days.