'Pheasants for Presents' Initiative Brings Cheer in Deeside

>> 24 December 2017

Now in its fourth year, Pheasants for Presents – an initiative set up by Aboyne, Upper Deeside & Donside SNP councillor Geva Blackett in conjunction with local estates, members of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association and the Grampian Moorland group – is set to bring some added cheer to people finding life a bit hard again this year with volunteers meeting to pack up and deliver to a number of families and individuals identified mainly through the local schools throughout the Ward.

Simon Blackett, Scott from Tesco, Cllr Geva Blackett,
Richard West and Trevor Garlick
Last year Tesco joined forces with the group of volunteers mustered to roll out the scheme and have offered again to add ‘goodie’ bags and to help with deliveries. Balmoral Estate are again helping with seasoned logs and fresh vegetables from HM The Queen’s garden, the Grampian Moorland Group have given gamebirds such as pheasants and partridge while Invercauld Estate has donated a hind to be turned into mince.

Geva said:

“The support for this much-needed initiative grows each year – unfortunately so does the need! Poverty is largely hidden in Royal Deeside but sadly it not only exists but is on the increase as jobs are lost and salaries for those on the minimum wage makes life pretty tough when the weather is cold and presents have to be bought.”

Richard Gledson, the Balmoral Factor, said

“The estate is only too glad to help with this initiative each year and are delighted that it is so well received.”

Grampian Moorland spokesman gamekeeper Hans Mackenzie-Wilson said:

“All the birds will meet food safety standards and indeed have been prepared to the highest standards for the oven by game dealer HM Sherridan in Ballater, so people can eat it with enjoyment and be confident that it is perfectly safe”

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