Media Release: Virtual trail of iCONic Perthshire trees


A NEW virtual tree trail is being launched today to guide people around a network of sites in Perthshire Big Tree Country.

The iCONic project has teamed up with Comrie-based Catkin Press to develop a virtual tree trail of rare and threatened trees that have been planted around the county, in an effort to conserve species from around the globe that are threatened in their native habitats.

This new venture is aimed at raising awareness of Perthshire’s new global role in tree conservation to locals and visitors alike, as iCONic project officer, Tom Christian, explained:

“We wanted to find a way of communicating our work to people in a way that allows them to explore at their own pace.

“Working with Catkin Press we developed the idea of a virtual tree trail, guiding people on existing, known routes where the iCONic project has been planting trees since 2008. Through the six articles, we’ll explain our work to readers, incorporating interesting stories about the places, plants and people that are involved.”

The articles, to be published online once a month for the next six months, will include tales about intrepid Victorian and modern-day plant hunters, who scour the globe in search of plants, today’s plant hunters often facing as many challenges and dangers as their Victorian forebears.

Readers will also be introduced to different species of trees, and may be surprised to discover that some familiar ones are at risk of extinction in their homeland, such as the famous Monkey Puzzle from Chile and Argentina, and the Giant Redwood from California.

Through the iCONic project, Perthshire has been at the centre of an effort to safeguard trees such as these since 2008, when the new partnership was established by Perthshire Big Tree Country and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Working with a range of landowners, including Forestry Commission Scotland, Atholl Estates and Gleneagles Hotel, iCONic has planted nearly 700 trees to date, which will act as an important conservation resource for the future.

Readers can access the new articles online or download them at and find out more about the work of the iCONic project through


Notes to editors:

  1. The iCONic Project (Internationally threatened CONifers in Our Care) was established in 2008 by the Perthshire Big Tree Country initiative, in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh’s International Conifer Conservation Programme
  2. Catkin Press have previously published the successful four volumes of ‘Experience Big Tree Country’ guides to walks around Perthshire.

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Contact: Tricia Fox
Phone: 01738658187