ABERFOYLE tourist attraction, the Lodge Forest Visitor Centre, is celebrating its 60th anniversary.

Forestry and Land Scotland’s Lodge Forest Visitor Centre, which serves as a hub for visitors to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, first opened its doors in August 1960 as David Marshall Lodge – named after the 1950s chairman of the Carnegie UK Trust, which helped fund the construction of the lodge.

Originally intended to be built in the Peak District, the Trust changed its mind after a local outcry over building a ‘tea pavillion’ and opted to build it in Queen Elizabeth Forest Park.

Mairi Buchanan, FLS visitor services supervisor in Aberfoyle, said: “It’s amazing to think that for 60 years, the Lodge has been offering people of all ages a relaxing haven where they can come and unwind, experience the calmness of nature and learn a bit about our forests and the wildlife that can be found there.

“It was way ahead of its time when it was built – public access and recreation needs, as well as environmental considerations, were quite new ideas in the 1960s. Yet here we are, 60 years on and the Lodge is still going strong, welcoming and informing thousands of visitors every year.

“It’s unfortunate that because of COVID-19 our celebrations were not as high flying as we’d have liked, but with all of the required measures in place to help keep people safe, we’re beginning to welcome more and more people back.

“Here’s to the next milestone – at 75!”

The B listed building has been extended and refurbished over the years but was fully remodeled in 2012/2013 to enhance the visitor experience and attract more visitors to the park. The renamed Lodge Forest Visitor Centre reopened on the 19th August 2013.

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