LISTEN: Lesley Williamson looks back on this years laser light show and reflects on the Enchanted Forest outreach to the community this year
With help from the Tayside Mountain Rescue Team, Pitlochry’s Enchanted Forest dazed the towns night skies with an aura of spectacular laser light beams at the start of the month.
Since this year’s Enchanted Forest couldn’t go ahead as planned with the Coronavirus restrictions, an publicly impromptu laser lights took place instead.
The idea was to announce the show close to the date so that it wouldn’t draw unsafe crowds into the village but could be seen from almost anywhere within the safety of peoples homes.
The executive director of the Enchanted Forest, Lesley Williamson, said “After we were forced to cancel due to government guidelines regarding COVID, we wanted to let the people of Pitlochry know that we would be back better and bolder in the future.
“We wanted to own our space as the biggest and best light show nationally and tell our audience and supporters we intended to return.
“And thirdly, to offer support and thanks to our wonderful team who enable us to deliver this fantastic spectacle in these dark days for us all.”
Capturing the night sky with their powerful beams, the Enchanted Forest managed to do just that and some more.
By working with Tayside Mountain Rescue, they were able to make the most of the team’s knowledge and expertise to set up the projection equipment up at the hillside.
Lesley Williamson added: “We approached the Tayside and Mountain Rescue Team to say that we were aware that it was a difficult time for them too.
“And a lot of their fundraising events were sadly cancelled this year, so we were pleased to give them the opportunity to engage with us and help us get the equipment and the logistics sorted out.
“So, that enabled us, fortunately, to give them a nice donation of £10,000 with funds to enable them to continue delivering life saving services. for the Tayside region.”
In response to the funding offered from the Enchanted Forest, Tayside Mountain Rescue president, Kevin Linklater, said: “We are very grateful The Enchanted Forest Community Trust for their timely donation.”
Mr Linklater added: “Like so many charities, we have been forced to cancel several of our own fundraising events this year and this donation will go a long way to boost our team funds.
“It is very much appreciated, and our team really enjoyed providing support to the production of the community laser show earlier this month.”
But that’s not all from the enchanted trust, understanding the difficulties of not being in a position to raise funds and having to cancel plans, the trust has had a generous year of gifting donations across Highland Perthshire.
Lesley Williamson explained: “I’m really heartened to realise that there’s a lot of good community spirit out there in Pitlochry and the Highland region.
“But we’ve not only given £10,000 to the mountain rescue people, we actually gave £5,000 to the Birks Cinema to help them with their COVID challenges and £30,000 to 28 other local organisations this year.
“Because Enchanted Forest brings 80,000 plus visitors to Pitlochry every year, in the shoulder months, supporting local tourism businesses based here just to extend the season.
“It’s something that we’re very conscious of and very aware of and it’s something we want to continue to do.”
As well as these donations, the trust is working the Pitlochry Festival Theatre on the Shades of Tay project.
Lesley Williamson added: “That’s a project that we have entered into with Pitlochry Festival Threatre, it’s a collaboration, so we’ve given £15,000 to that.
“And it’s a bit of a love letter to Scotland using the Tay, and the bridges of the Tay, to link communities. And there’s five aspects to that, there’s some tree planting, there’s going to be sculpture, sounds, and light show, and then there’s going to be a children’s play area inspired by the woods and a water and the wood play which is going to be set up.
“And that’s something that we’re hoping will continue over the next three years to bring communities together.”