A dedicated feline who’s prowled the paths of a Donside castle for 16 years is to be recognised for his service to the National Trust.
Mr McGregor the cat, who has been charming visitors to the National Trust for Scotland’s Castle Fraser for many years, will be honoured with an award on Wednesday April 1, and this is no April Fool!
We felt that Mr McGregor’s input was worthy of an award.Violet Dalton
Mr McGregor was brought to Castle Fraser 16 years ago by Damon Powell who up until recently was Head Gardener at the property.
Originally the family cat, Mr McGregor soon took up residence in the gardens where he made it his mission to ensure that rodents and other unwelcome visitors to the garden were actively discouraged; no mean task as his empire stretches throughout the walled garden, woodland garden, pond garden and the wider 5000 acre estate.
He is also something of a celebrity and it is not unknown for visitors to make a special visit to Castle Fraser to meet Mr McGregor.
Mr McGregor is so firmly ensconced in his role as Gardens Cat, that the Powell family realised they could not take him with them when they relocated to the Black Isle. Discussion around the cat’s future brought him to the notice of Violet Dalton, the Trust’s Head of Volunteering, herself a cat lover.
Violet said: “At this time of year, the Trust acknowledges the contribution of all of its volunteers presenting long-service and other recognition awards to volunteers around the country.
“A few years ago, another National Trust for Scotland cat, Oscar Wylde of Broughton House, was the recipient of such an award when the staff there mischievously nominated him for his role in enhancing the visitor experience.
“Given this precedent, we felt that Mr McGregor’s input was also worthy of an award. The staff and volunteers at Castle Fraser who consider Mr McGregor to be an integral part of the team, were delighted with the proposal and a celebration event was set up.”
Violet Dalton, Simon Ovenstone, General Manager and the staff and volunteers from the castle will gather to present Mr McGregor with his award for long service, rodent control and enhancing the visitor experience.
Castle Fraser is also looking for two-legged volunteers to take on a range of roles at the historic property. For more information call 01330 833463.