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Giant grouse takes flight over Highlands of Scotland 18/01/2011


Scottish sculptor Ruaraig Maciver standing with his creation, The Grouse

‘The Grouse’ statue, created by Scottish sculptor Ruaraig Maciver, was officially unveiled in November at one of Scotland’s major road junctions, the Broxden roundabout, in Perth, Scotland.

The sculpture which depicts a grouse taking flight can be seen emerging from the trees on the roundabout. Standing proud at an impressive 49 feet tall (including the 29 ft column) and weighing 1.5 tonnes, the sculpture promises to be one of the most striking public artworks in Scotland.

The eye-catching sculpture has been commissioned to celebrate ‘Perth 800’ as a lasting legacy for the city-wide initiative. The Grouse was chosen as a symbol of Perthshire and has been gifted to the people of Perth by the makers of The Famous Grouse, The Edrington Group. Perthshire is renowned for being home to over half a million acres of the most magnificent grouse moorlands attracting visitors from all over the world every year.

Made from an open framework of galvanised steel, The Grouse sculpture is estimated to be the equivalent of approximately 2,500 times the weight of a real red grouse, and 37 times its height. It is made from over 2,700 linear feet of steel and 8,000 welds were involved in its construction.

The red grouse was also the inspiration for Matthew Gloag when he created The Grouse brand back in 1895. He created a whisky that would appeal to the hunting, shooting and fishing fraternity which were being drawn in their hundreds to the Perthshire moorland. Over 100 years later, the red grouse still remains the iconic trademark for what is known today as Scotland’s favourite whisky.

Gerry O’Donnell, director of The Famous Grouse said: “2010 is a very special year. It marks 800 years since the granting of the Royal Burgh Charter to Perth by King William the Lion in 1210, while it also sees the brand celebrating 30 years as the number 1 selling whisky in Scotland. 

As we are very proud of our Perthshire roots we wanted to mark this special occasion and we hope people will agree that this magnificent sculpture creates a truly spectacular gateway to Perthshire and the Highlands of Scotland.”

The sculptor Ruaraig Maciver said: “The race has been on to get the sculpture finished in time but we have finally made it and it has been a fantastic challenge. I have tried to ensure this is an accurate depiction of a real Grouse taking flight and I am very pleased with the aesthetics of the sculpture. As Scotland’s national game bird I know it is well-loved across Perthshire and Scotland, so I hope it is something everyone can appreciate and be very proud of.”

Perth & Kinross Provost, Dr John Hulbert, said: “This impressive artwork stands at the main entrance to the south of our city, which is in itself the gateway to the Highlands. It encapsulates the links between the landscape, wildlife and traditional industries of Perth and Perthshire. It will be seen by hundreds of thousands of people every year and I’m sure that it will become an iconic symbol of Perth.

“I would like to thank The Edrington Group for this very kind gift to the people of Perth. The unveiling of the grouse is a fitting end to our Perth 800 celebrations, which have been so successful this year. The statue will be an important part of the legacy of Perth 800.”

The Famous Grouse is imported, marketed and distributed by Farsons Beverage Imports Company Limited, a member of The Farsons Group.