Stirling Highland Games goes green with plea for visitors to plant trees

Visitors to this year’s Stirling Highland Games are invited to ‘plant a tree’ and help breathe new life into Scotland’s native forests.

The team behind the annual event supports the Trees for Life initiative which aims to bring the forests of the Highlands back to life through hands-on reseeding.

They encourage visitors, athletes, suppliers, traders and other stakeholders involved in the Games to contribute £6 to plant a tree.

Stirling Highland Games chairman Matt McGrandles said: “When it comes to the environment, we all need to play our part and do what we can to reduce our carbon footprint.

“We are trying to make it easy for everyone involved in the Games to help us offset the event and reduce carbon emissions.

“This is an opportunity for all of us to stand up and be counted and as far as I know we are the only Highland Games to do so.

“I hope people will think it’s an innovative idea and be happy to get involved in the campaign and be part of the bigger picture.”

The Stirling Highland Games take place on Saturday 20 August and are run by social enterprise Ceangail CIC.

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As part of its environmental goals, Ceangail has partnered with Trees for Life and is offering anyone who attends the organization’s events the chance to plant a tree in the Ceangail Grove.

Every tree planted will help realize Trees for Life’s vision of a revitalized wilderness forest in the Highlands that will provide space for wildlife to thrive.

Mr McGrandles said: “A lot of times when people buy tickets for an event they are now looking behind the scenes at what the event company is doing for the community.

“Stirling Highland Games has been providing a transformational experience for young people since 2014 and by also adding an environmental mission, everyone now has the chance to be part of an important long-term initiative.

Meanwhile, businesses wishing to support the Games and help keep the traditional event alive are invited to become a friend of the Stirling Highland Games in return for a financial donation.

Mr McGrandles said: “We are planning a fantastic day as we return to our traditional live event in August – but we really need as much support as possible from local businesses so that we can continue to deliver exceptional Games and build on our successes each year.”

The Stirling Highland Games take place from 10.30am to 5.00pm on Saturday August 20 and tickets can be purchased in advance now or on the day.

It will be the first in-person event since 2019 and this year’s chef is Stirling-born rugby star Ali McGrandles.

The packed program includes traditional and adapted heavyweight competitions, tug of war, Highland dancing, on-site heritage tours, children’s activities and a foodie experience featuring award-winning Scottish produce.

The 2022 Games also feature performances by the Stirling Gaelic Choir and local pipe band The Balaklava Pipes and Drums, which are affiliated with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regimental Association.

The event is sponsored and funded by various organizations including Active Stirling, EventScotland, Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce, Specsavers Stirling and the Highland Reserve Forces and Cadets Association.

Anyone interested in buying a tree in the Ceangail Grove, making a donation or wanting more details or booking tickets can find out more at stirlinghighlandgames.com.


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Jennifer R. Strohm