FORRES’ most prominent landmark is attracting more visitors to the town than ever.
Forres Heritage Trust (FHT) volunteers recorded more visits to Nelson’s Tower than this time last year, in part, claims chairman George Alexander, to tree topping around the site.
He said: “When we asked visitors how they knew about the tower, many replied that they saw it from the road and decided to investigate.
“The Colours of Cluny event last November also encouraged some, who visited then and returned in the summer to admire the view from the top.
“FHT volunteers are doing their bit by attracting visitors to Nelson’s Tower, hence attracting visitors to Forres who perhaps experience the other features which the town has to offer and explore further attractions throughout Moray.”
Volunteer rota organiser Jean Samuel confirmed, by the end of August, visitor numbers had exceeded the numbers for the whole of last year. And September’s total still needs to be added.
She said: “June and July attracted lots of people with both totals being over 700.
“We are working with around 50 volunteers - credit has to go to them for keeping the building open nearly every day since April, with only two closures during that time both due to extreme weather conditions.”
The visitor’s book records messages and signatures from all over the UK, France, China, New Zealand, South Africa, Belgium, Brazil, Netherlands, Japan, Poland, Switzerland, Florida, Texas, Australia, Sweden, Lebanon, Columbia, Venezuela, Finland, Germany, South Korea, Canada, Argentina, Czech Republic, Italy, Australia, Cyprus, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Turkey.
“We must get Moray on the map as a destination for tourists,” said Mr Alexander. “As well let them know it is an attractive place for people to come to live and work.
“The tower helps achieve this.”
More Admiral Lord Nelson-related artefacts have been added to the tower’s interior this year.
Outside, the main change has been the removal of trees and surgery on others to improve site of the tower from further afield.
“This is not the first time this has happened,” added Mr Alexander. “There was evidence on some of the trees that some pollarding had taken place many years ago.”