There have been gold-panners working Scotland for years, but as the price of gold has rocketed over the last year or so, it has been hitting the media. The ACJ (Association for Contemporary Jewellery) ran a trip - organised brilliantly by Islay Spalding - to Helmsdale, almost as far north as it is possible to go - this weekend and we had a great day in the hills, panning for gold:
We found some minuscule fragments between us, but nothing we could work with. Some of the other panners we spoke to had found several grams and some in quite large nuggets.
A great weekend, though. The weather was superb and the company good. We stayed in the Helmsdale youth hostel, which used to be SYHA but which is now an independent. Not sure I would do that again, what with rigorous curfews and narky signs telling you what you can and can't do, especially as it was £16 per night and the B&B was only £20!