Exactly a year to the day since it was hidden, a £10,000 gold and diamond mouse was found on ‘The Cat’s Back’, a well known landmark at Fodderty, Near Strathpeffer, Ross-shire, on Saturday 17th April.
Annika Wolff (37), an Open University academic researcher from Wilstead, Bedfordshire (pictured above), beat over two thousand other treasure-hunters to finding where Robbie Burns was purported to have buried the jewel for his lover ‘Clarinda’.
Ms Wolff was the most successful amongst her syndicate of 20 who pooled their ideas in trying to solve the clues in Bequest, a treasure hunt organized by Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, an all ages festival of music and performing arts near Beauly, Inverness-shire. Bequest was also supported by EventScotland and The Highland Council.
“Until I saw it in my hands, I still thought something would go wrong,” said a jubilant Ms Wolff who admitted to dedicating a month in all over the past year to puzzling over the frustrating twists and dead ends of Bequest. “I learnt a lot about Scotland and it has really inspired me to come back and spend longer here.”
The clues were buried in a story written by Cromarty web designed John Keiller and in a painting by Ross-shire artist Michael Forbes. Susan Plowman, a Fortrose jeweler, won the competition to design and create the mouse which was buried near to Loch Ussie into which the fabled Brahan Seer is supposed to have cast the stone which gave him second sight and said that whoever found it would inherit his gift.