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Guardian of the Gateway:
Beauly Wych Elm Celebration Event 


Venue: Beauly Priory, Beauly,  IV4 7DY

FREE, all welcome


Circus Artspace are working in collaboration with Highland artist Isabel McLeish to celebrate the ancient Wych Elm tree at Beauly Priory – which is nearly 800 years old and believed to be the oldest Wych Elm in Europe. Sadly, the tree is dying of Dutch Elm Disease and had its last buds in 2021.


This event is part of Year of Stories 2022 and will bring together the local community with artists, writers and partnership organisations to discover, celebrate and share their own stories and research about the Wych Elm.


We are delighted that the celebration will feature the first reading of a new commissioned text from Highland writer Mandy Haggith as well as other invited tree health experts Phil Baarda (NatureScot) and Max Coleman (Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh). We will also showcase some of the story entries from our current open call.


There will be food and family art activities inspired by the tree with artist Sadie Stoddart, so why not join us to celebrate the life of the Beauly Wych Elm! 



1:00 - 1:30pm

Book Bug - children's storytelling session with Joolz Christie

2:00 - 2:30pm

Introduction from artist Isabel McLeish & Circus Artspace; a poem from Beauly Primary P6; invited speaker Phil Baarda (NatureScot)


2:30 - 2:45pm

Community stories from Meg Pokrass, Fiona Black and Sherry Morris


2:45 - 3:00pm

Reading of new commission from Mandy Haggith; invited speaker Max Coleman (RBGE)


1:00 - 4:00pm

Family drop-in art activity - leaf collages with Sadie Stoddart

Guardian of the Gateway:
Beauly Library 


Venue: Upstairs at Beauly Library, Phipps Institute, Station Road, Beauly, IV4 7EH

We are delighted to be working in partnership with High Life Highland to host this event at Beauly Library as part of our Year of Stories 2022 project - ‘Guardian of the Gateway’ celebrating 800 years of the Beauly Wych Elm.

What is your personal connection to this amazing tree? Do you have memories, folktales or stories about it? We would love you to join us and artist Isabel McLeish for an informal drop-in story-sharing event at Beauly Library. Please feel free to bring along any old photographs or material about the tree.

We will also have family craft activities for children of all ages lead by artist Sadie Stoddart and refreshments available.So come along to find out more about this project and please do get in touch if you have information, ideas or stories to share!

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This event has been supported by the Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories Fund. This fund is being delivered in partnership between VisitScotland and Museums Galleries Scotland with support from National Lottery Heritage Fund thanks to National Lottery players.  #YS2022  #TalesOfScotland

We are very grateful to Historic Environment Scotland for their support accessing Beauly Priory for this event and the Historic Environment Support Fund grant to develop the heritage and legacy around the tree.  #HESsupported

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