INSIDE A CONUNDRUM
I see fellow blogger Havering On (see link) has hit the pages of the Berwickshire with some well merited criticism of VisitScotland and its totally inadequate efforts to get visitors to the Borders. I am not altogether with him when he suggests more imaginative exploitation of the Reiver Connection-best, in my view, to confine those rogues to the Dustbin of History, with the lid firmly on.
Northumberland Tourist Highheidyins also have a case to answer. I noticed that the rather garish sign indicating the otherwise hidden charms of Conundrum Farm has been taken down. According to the shop manager there, this is on the instructions of the tourist board and the local council. The latter have insisted on planning permission for the board despite it being in place for over 7 years and the former are urging the farm to obey this instruction. In the meanwhile the sign has to come down and a whole new generation of thirsty, farm loving tourists have hurtled past unaware of the delicious coffee cake, latte and sweet butting goats. And worse is to come. The Northumberland Tourist Board is threatening to take down their own official brown and white Tourist Attraction road sign on the grounds that the farm does not have more than 100,000 visitors a year. How it can get any visitors at all without some thing to mark the existence of this attraction is not explained.
Nor is Conundrum alone in its threatened isolation. Apparently many shops and cafes in Berwick itself are being required to get retrospective planning permission for their signs and notices. And not a cheap of protest from those tasked with attracting visitors to this last outpost of England( as it remains for the moment despite neglect and bureaucratic oppression)
I suggested to Madame Manager that she went with the Berwick flow and moved the farm into Scotland-its a matter of a few metres. No, she wished to remain in England. And she is right. An inch across the wild frontier and she will be at the mercy of VisitScotland-or as it is being rebranded:DontVisitScotland
(the image is of the younger grandaughter testing the outreach of an inquisitive goat.Taken on the 'farm trail' at Conundrum)
Labels: Berwick upon Tweed, Conundrum, Conundrum Farm, Tourism