Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

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The capercaillie (which means ‘horse of the wood’ in Gaelic) has experienced a stabilisation in numbers following near extinction at the millennium when the population dropped to about 1000.

The bird is a forest living member of the grouse family whose numbers dropped from a peak of 20,000 in the 1970s owing to loss of habitat and climate change. The bird is confined to central and north-eastern Scotland.

The three Scottish sites with best breeding success were in Strathspey and managed by Forestry Commission Scotland, RSPB and Rothiemurchus Estate under the auspices of the European Commission funded LIFE Project.

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The Scottish Labour Party has indicated support for a new Forth crossing to be built before the existing road bridge closes to heavy lorries (trucks) in 2013 due to structural problems.

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This is considered to be one of Scotland’s top 10 dishes and is often served as the pudding on Burn’s Night after the traditional dish of haggis, neeps and tatties. The clootie can be served as a dessert or sliced and fried for breakfast the following morning.

The Clootie’s ingredients include:

  • plain flour
  • oatmeal
  • sugar
  • eggs
  • milk
  • currants
  • sultanas
  • golden syrup
  • suet.

The dumpling is subsequently steamed for around three hours in a cloth.

The dish is best served with either clotted cream or custard.

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