The Raider has been chided by the nearly but should've been ennobled Sandy Wilkie that we missed the two biggest fundraising events in our Review of the Year.

Of course we didn't deliberately forget the efforts of the RHET Gala and Farmers Wives Choir each raising, in one weekend, more than £100,000 for charity. But it gives us the chance the give another big pat on the back for those two great organisations.

I know that the Farmers Choirs have been stymied somewhat by Covid-19 restrictions but WILL bounce back. In the meantime, the Lordly (or should that be Portly) Mr Wilkie is doing sterling work for the Maggies cancer support centres in his own inimitable style.

He recently managed to auction off a dinner date with Sir Rod Stewart and his wife, Penny Lancaster, for the princely sum of £18,000. On top of that, he has organised fund-raising gin and whisky tasting events which have raised tens of thousands ... and the nation's spirits, in more ways than one, of course.

Old breed ... new outlook

IT MIGHT be one of the world's oldest breeds, but the Highland Cattle Society has come bang up to date with a new inter-active website.

The HCS has improved its web presence and at the same time launched a new logo, reflecting 'a striking, modern brand,' said the society.

It's been needed, too, as 2020 alone had seen a surge in membership, with more than 100 new members joining it.

Sir Jim Paice, president of the Highland Cattle Society, said: “With surging interest in keeping Highland cattle and a new interactive website we are showing that it is not only a breed with a past but a breed with a future.

"The Highland Cattle Society was founded in 1884 by a group of landowners and farmers who wanted to preserve this valuable native breed. Today, we are proud to represent breeders across the whole of the UK and help protect and preserve these unique animals.

"With the future of agriculture focused on sustainability as well as landscape and nature recovery, Highland cattle are well placed to support famers to optimise the use of all types of land for both beef production and conservation," said Sir Jim, who, The Raider suspects, has been delighted to have removed himself from the field of politics and into the Highland cattle fold, which, it has to be said, also has its moments!.

Nothing to beef about

OUR OTHER breed oldie, the Galloway, is also embracing a new era with its branded beef project which is being supported by major retailer, Aldi.

Despite several attempts to track down its pre-Christmas range of Galloway-branded beef roasts and joints, The Raider came away empty handed. However, Dot Goldie, the breed secretary came to the rescue to save the household from starvation with a fantastic bit of Galloway beef roast.

And the verdict: Fan-dabbie-dozie!

The cosy pygmy kids

ONE OF Scotland's enthusiastic supporters of bringing children into the countryside (and vice-versa), Colin Dawes, thought we might give this picture a wider airing.

The pygmy goat herd at his Hilton of Aldie, at Fossoway, Kinross, are part way through kidding and he is always looking for ways to recycle – and this re-use of an old dog bed was certainly a success.

Anyway, a special imaginary prize awaits anyone who can accurately count the number of pygmy kids in the basket!