The above picture is taken from the Rumbling Bridge, a beauty spot in Perthshire between Dunkeld and Crieff. It's one of these unspoiled beauty spots which is tucked away from the main tourist track and mainly used by those undertaking the Hermitage walk from Dunkeld.
You leave the main road a few miles from Dunkeld and drive down a steepish hill towards the bridge. Parking is provided some 200 yards from the bridge, although cars can cross to access the properties set up on the hill on the opposite side. This is a spot which I find tranquil although not relaxing, because I can't look over the north side owing to vertigo. It is steep. The River Braan drops away to a deep gorge (90ft deep) from one side of the bridge to the other.
There was a near-tragedy there at lunchtime on Wednesday. A 16 year old school pupil from Dundee plunged down the 90ft gorge into the river. She was part of an organised group from the Dundee City Council-run Ancrum Outdoor Centre who were biking in the area and apparently lost control of her bike and collided with the bridge. The RAF airlifted her to Ninewells Hospital, Dundee where her condition is said to be non life threatening.
Tayside Fire and Rescue station manager Kevin Lennon described the area as "very dangerous" adding that the girl was "very very lucky to be alive."
"It is a very tight and narrow ravine covered in rocks. She had fallen down and been swept into the water to the other side of the bridge and into a pool where she was located."
The sooner Ancrum Outdoor Centre is investigated for taking children anywhere near this bridge (which has no safety barriers) the better. I wouldn't even take children to this spot far less riding a bike. This appears to be gross irresponsibility by the organisers who allegedly often use this area for recreation.
Why weren't the children in school? We have a literacy and numeracy problem in Scotland these days and biking round the countryside, spectacular as it is, is not going to improve these skills.
Close this place down. The Ancrum Outdoor Centre has previously been in the news for endangering the lives of children.
Pupils should be in school or on educational day trips and not on jaunts. If they wish to cycle round the countryside they should be encouraged to do so at weekends.