A9 Dualling Updates

Birnam to Ballinluig A9 Community Group - Constitution 

a9duelling2

Birnam to Ballinluig A9 Community Group Update
Transport Scotland are working with our community to design and deliver a co-creative process to explore all options for the Pass of Birnam to Tay Crossing section of the A9 Dualling Project. This means bringing the community and Transport Scotland together, to achieve a preferred option for the community.
Having your say
For the process to be co-creative, we need to decide what matters most to the community, and set this out in our community objectives. It is important that as a  community we develop our own set of objectives, as these will inform options, propose solutions and create a vision for what we want from the dualling. Our objectives, with those of Transport Scotland, for dualling the A9, will then form the basis for the co-creative process. We want as many people to have their say as possible, at the outset of this important opportunity for the community to have a genuine say on the A9 dualling outcome. We have organised a programme of workshops and a community event to help do this.
Workshop programme
Thanks to everyone who came along to the themed workshops held earlier. These workshops will help shape our community objectives, and will build on what you have already told us through the survey last year and the open sessions in June. There are still a few workshops in the programme on issues we have not yet covered. Dates for these are as follows:
•    Wednesday 1st November: Local Economy and Recreation (6pm-7.30pm, Royal Dunkeld Hotel)
•    Monday 6th November: Public Transport and Safety (8pm-9.30pm, Birnam Arts)
There is no need to book, just come along!
Big Community Event: Saturday 11th November (11am-2pm, Duchess Anne, Dunkeld)
Pop in to have your final say on the full set of draft community objectives. You'll be able to discuss the draft objectives, vote on your priorities and make any comments. There will be lots of music, food and children’s activities, so come along for a fun way to get your voice heard.
Next Community Group Meeting
Thursday 23rd November, 7.30-9.30pm, Royal Dunkeld Hotel.
Keeping in touch
We are very keen to hear from anyone who would like to be involved in any aspect of the CG’s work, and also to have any suggestions on how we can better communicate both with the community and at our meetings!
You can contact us at email: dunkeldA9workinggroup@gmail.com  - and to have your details added to our mailing list, also at Facebook page: Birnam to Ballinluig A9 Community Group.  Please Like and Share it.
or just phone me! 
Alasdair Wylie, Coordinator   01350 727361


 

The next A9 Community Group meeting will be on Thursday 26th October at the
Royal Dunkeld Hotel. 7:30 pm. All welcome!
After 2 years of hard work and ongoing discussion with Transport Scotland and Scottish Ministers, we are nearing the start of a Co-Creative process as the way to engage the community in developing joint options for the design of the A9 dualling between the Pass of Birnam and Tay Crossing. This new process reflects the expected improvements in public consultation, following recent changes to planning legislation. We anticipate the process will start its work with the community by January 2018 and conclude in the summer.
New community support staff: The A9 CG has appointed Elizabeth Leighton as project manager to support the community through the co-creative process. She will be joined by a Project Assistant, Helen Stockham, who will provide communications and administrative support. Elizabeth is an independent consultant based in Aberfeldy, experienced in facilitation, research, and community engagement. Helen lives in Birnam, and has worked on a variety of sustainability, community and digital engagement projects. You can reach either Elizabeth or Helen through the Community Group email - dunkeldA9workinggroup@gmail.com.
Completing the Open Programme: We’ve had lots of people participate in the Open Programme sessions, which ran in early summer to discuss the key themes that emerged from our community survey in 2016. Everyone felt welcome to ask about and discuss issues, even if new to it all. Three events on active travel, local economy and safety are to come in October.
Setting our community objectives: The A9 CG is also about to initiate events to identify our community objectives for the A9 dualling. Work with the school and the Children’s Parliament will ensure local children also get their voices heard. Here are some of the questions we’ll consider:
• What’s important to us?
• What would we like to keep the same and what do we want to change?
• What would be a successful A9 Dualling project?
• What should our community look like in 10 years?
These objectives will be a key input to the Co-Creative Process and sit alongside Transport Scotland objectives to inform discussions on dualling options.
During October we will reach out to groups, businesses and individuals who want to have their say –contact Elizabeth or Helen if you would like a presentation, workshop or just a 1:1 meeting to talk about the community objectives. We’re keen to work with you to make it easy to contribute.
All contributions will be gathered together for a big community workshop – for everyone! – planned for early November to discuss, debate and approve a final set of community objectives.
Questions? Comments? Contact us at email: dunkeldA9workinggroup@gmail.com - and have your details added to our mailing list, also at facebook page: Birnam to Ballinluig A9 Community Group. Please Like and Share it. Or just phone me!
Alasdair Wylie,
Coordinator 01350 727361


 

The next A9 Community Group meeting will be on Wednesday 27th September, Royal Dunkeld Hotel, 7.30pm.  All welcome!  

HELP!:  WE DO NEED MORE FOLK to help out with secretarial/admin tasks of various kinds; helping chair and take notes at meetings from time to time;  and publicity/communications tasks. If you think that what the A9 Community Group is doing is important and can spare even occasional time, do please get in touch!

•    The A9 Community Group core group met with Transport Scotland (TS) again on 18th July, together with PAS (Planning Aid Scotland), appointed by TS as facilitator for the Co-Creative Process.  Our concerns about the appointment have still not been resolved, various options for the role of PAS were discussed at the 24th August A9 Community Group meeting, and there was to be another meeting with TS after that.

•    Following the very positive visit of Cabinet Secretary Keith Brown in June, a detailed funding proposal has been submitted for Scottish Government support to pay for a project facilitator for (i) completion of the Community led Stage 1 of the Co-Creative Process and (ii)  Stage 2 through the rest of the Co-Creative Process; and (iii) to pay for a Community Group Assistant.

•    A first meeting of the “Solutions Group” took place in July, a forum for some Community Group members to share thinking about the A9 dualling design options.

•    Planning is underway for two more events in September which could not be included in the June  Open Programme of community-led events  on Active Travel/Walking and Cycling, and on Safety Issues;  a third on Local Economy is also planned.  Watch out for details by email, on posters/flyers and on facebook (see below)

•    The second part of the Community led Stage 1 of the Co-Creative Process is also planned, for end September; this will conclude the Community Objective Setting stage and vision for the community.

•    Work has continued with Children’s Parliament to bring together a stream of activity to inform the completion of Stage 1 and following parts of the Co-Creative Process, involving people from across the wider community.

We are very keen to hear from anyone who would like to be involved in any aspect of the CG’s work, and also to have any suggestions on how we can better communicate both with the community and at our meetings!

You can contact us at email: dunkeldA9workinggroup@gmail.com  - and to have your details added to our mailing list, also at  facebook page: Birnam to Ballinluig A9 Community Group.  Please Like and Share it.
or just phone me!  Hope you’ve all had a good summer.

Alasdair Wylie, Coordinator  01350 727361


 Transport Scotland has added a section to their website to load up information to support the co-creative process. At the first of the community open sessions (Cultural Heritage and Historic Environment, 12th June) they said they would load up the baseline environmental work done to date to provide supporting information. That work is now available at this location.

The next A9 Community Group meeting will be on Thursday 24th August, Royal Dunkeld Hotel, 7.30pm. All welcome!
Apologies for the last minute cancellation of the 22nd June meeting.
• On 31st May the first AGM of the A9 Community Group (CG) was held. The office bearers elected were:
Coordinator: Alasdair Wylie; Deputy Coordinator: Mike Wolfe; Treasurer: Ken Davis; Secretary: Vacant.
The Open Programme of community-led events in June to inform & involve everyone (details as in the June “Bridge”) has gone very well, with good feedback from community members and public body representatives who attended; thanks to all of you and them.
• Two events which could not be included in the June programme, Active Travel/Walking and Cycling, and Safety Issues, will be held in late August/early September. Watch out for emails and posters and on facebook (see below)
• The purpose of these events is to provide people with a space to be together to find out more about and discuss the issues that the 2016 Community Survey results showed that people cared about in relation to the A9 Dualling.
If you or your local group would like to be involved in any of these events, please get in touch.
The A9 CG had sourced funding to get going on this community-led stage of the process. We are grateful to LUSH for this support and also to the Dunkeld and Birnam Community Council which has given microgrant support (from the Griffin
Windfarm fund) to cover basic costs for the last year.
A first meeting of the CG “Solutions Group” was planned, to act as a forum for those who have been thinking about the dualling design options to share their thinking.
Cabinet Secretary Keith Brown visited on 1st June and spent time on the ground in Kindallachan and Birnam learning about the situation and some of the local issues which concern folk. It was a very positive visit and we hope that there will be some direct support from the Scottish Government to help fund our Community Objectives related activities in September as well as a continuing constructive dialogue.
One thing of interest to the Cabinet Secretary was our recent discussions with Children’s Parliament, an organization which
works to give children the chance to voice ideas, thoughts and concerns so that they can be listened to when things are being
planned. See http://www.childrensparliament.org.uk/
• The A9 CG core group met with Transport Scotland (TS) and Jacobs on 19th June for the first time this year. Despite the
long delay by TS it was a generally positive meeting. Central to the discussions was our concerns about the appointment by
TS of PAS (Planning Aid Scotland) as facilitators for the Co-Creative Process, without consultation on the appointment brief.
There will be another meeting during the summer.
Briefings with John Swinney MSP have continued and the A9 Community Group remains very appreciative indeed of the
continued support he has provided.

Updates on the information provided and discussions held at A9 Community Group meetings, and the AGM minutes, are available on the “Bridge” website at: http://www.dunkeldandbirnamnews.co.uk/community-council/a9-dualling
We are very keen to hear from anyone who would like to be involved in any aspect of the CG’s work, and also to have any suggestions on how we can better communicate both with the community and at our meetings!
You can contact us at email: dunkeldA9workinggroup@gmail.com - and to have your details added to our mailing list, also at facebook page: Birnam to Ballinluig A9 Community Group. Please Like and Share it.
Or just phone me! Wishing you all a good summer and holidays.
Alasdair Wylie, Coordinator 01350 727361


 Future events organised by the Birnam to Ballinluig A9 Community Group:
You can download a copy of the events list by clicking here.
Flyer1flyer2

There is one change: Active Travel (Walking, Cycling) , Non-Motorised Users event was Monday 19th June,  new date to be confirmed.

Our Facebook page also shows all the dates and events so we are encouraging people to use this too: https://www.facebook.com/Birnam-to-Ballinluig-A9-Community-Group-278325772500670/


Open Programme: Your opportunity to find out more about issues you said you cared about in the Community Survey.
Each event will include short presentations about key issues, further information, Q&A and discussion.
• Cultural Heritage & Historic Environment – Monday 12th June, 8pm-9.30 pm, Birnam Arts
• Natural Heritage: Habitats and Landscape – Wednesday 14th June, 8pm-9.30pm Birnam Arts.
• Active Travel, Non-Motorised Users – Monday 19th June, 8pm-9.30 pm, Birnam Arts
• Community Health: Air, Noise, Vibration, Dust – Wednesday 21st June, 8pm-9.30 pm, Birnam Arts
• Public Transport, Dunkeld & Birnam Station – Monday 26th June, 8pm-9.30 pm, Birnam Arts
• Natural Heritage: Protected Species - Wednesday 28th June 8pm-9.30 pm, Birnam Arts
• Evening Walk: Birnam Station to Braan (Inver) – 29th June, 7.30-9.30pm, Depart from Birnam Arts
More events to be confirmed, see posters & facebook updates.
If you or your local group would like to be involved in any of these topics or events in the programme, then please get in touch.
Email: dunkeldA9workinggroup@gmail.com
Alasdair Wylie,
Coordinator 01350 727361


The next A9 Community Group meeting will be on Thursday 22nd June, Royal Dunkeld Hotel, 7.30pm.
All welcome!
• The A9 Community Group has sourced funding to get going on a community-led stage of the process, the purpose of which is to find out more about what you said you care about in the Community Survey done last year.
• An Open Programme of events to inform & involve everyone starts in June. Please see above for information on the different events.
• If you or your local group would like to be involved in any of these events, please get in touch.
A full update on the information provided and discussions held at recent meetings is available on the “Bridge” website at: http://www.dunkeldandbirnamnews.co.uk/community-council/a9-dualling
We are very keen to hear peoples’ suggestions on how we can better communicate with the community! You can contact us at email: dunkeldA9workinggroup@gmail.com and at the facebook page: Birnam to Ballinluig A9 Community Group

Alasdair Wylie,
Coordinator 01350 727361


The next A9 Community Group meeting and AGM will be on Wednesday 31st May, Royal Dunkeld Hotel, 7.30pm
All welcome!
Please note: The Constitution of the Group provides for the election of four office bearers at the AGM: Coordinator, Deputy Coordinator, Secretary and Treasurer. Nominations for office bearers may be submitted to the Secretary before the meeting or at the meeting, to the email address below.
A full update on the information provided and discussions held at recent meetings is available on the ‘Bridge’ website at: http://www.dunkeldandbirnamnews.co.uk/community-council/a9-dualling
We are very keen to hear peoples’ suggestions on how we can better communicate with the community! You can contact us at email: dunkeldA9workinggroup@gmail.com and at the facebook page: Birnam to Ballinluig A9 Community Group

Alasdair Wylie,
Coordinator 01350 727361


The next A9 Community Group meeting will be on Wednesday 26th April, Royal Dunkeld Hotel, 7.30pm. All welcome! Thank you to all who managed to attend the March meeting and apologies for any inconvenience caused by the change in the previously advertised date.
A full update on the information provided and discussions held at the March meeting is available on this page.
We are very keen to hear peoples’ suggestions on how we can better communicate with the community!
You can contact us at email: dunkeldA9workinggroup@gmail.com and at the facebook page: Birnam to Ballinluig A9 Community Group
Alasdair Wylie, Coordinator  
01350 727361


The next A9 Community Group meeting will be on Thursday 23rd March, Royal Dunkeld Hotel, 7.30pm.
All welcome! It was great to see new folk coming along to recent meetings.
Thank you to all attending for your valued input.
Key events since December:
December 2016:
• Transport Scotland (TS) announced the decision that the A9 Dualling between the Tay Crossing and Ballinluig was to be ‘online’, rather than the ‘offline’ option investigated last year. You can see the proposed route options here. (but it takes a while to download and its not that easy to read for some)
http://www.transport.gov.scot/system/files/documents/projects/A9%20Dualling/A9-Tay-Crossing-to-Ballinluig-Preferred-Route-Preferred-Route-Option-Plan.pdf
• A second draft of the Co-creative Process plan (for the Pass of Birnam to Tay Crossing section) was received from TS. It needed further work especially to simplify process. Significant efforts were made to do so but the Community Group’s next version was not accepted by them.
• At a meeting on 16th Dec with TS and Jacobs, the Community Group representatives continued to feed back two concerns – that the process plan was not yet complete and agreed, and that the present document was too unwieldy to be an accessible communication (such as a leaflet) - a concern expressed clearly at CG meetings. This was a difficult meeting, however, there were some points clearly agreed and some constructive suggestions made.
http://www.dunkeldandbirnamnews.co.uk/images/A9_CG_Core_Group_meeting_with_TS__161216_key_points.v0.2.pdf
• In particular, the need for a facilitator to be appointed as soon as possible was agreed, to assist the design, delivery and completion of the Co-creative Process. It was agreed that the Community Group propose possible candidates as soon as possible; those referred by TS by then did not demonstrate particular skills and experience in facilitation or design of participative decision making processes.
January/February 2017:
• Members of the Group worked up a list, did some desk based research and explored availability of two candidates recommended. A preferred candidate with facilitation as well as other key skills and experience emerged.
• A proposal paper for facilitation “next steps” for discussion with Transport Scotland went through due process and agreement with the Community Group at its January meeting. It has also been shared with “Planning Aid for Scotland”, with whom both CG representatives and TS are in touch, to see if they can play a role in the process.
• A request for a meeting between the Project Manager and the Co-ordinator of the Community Group was made in mid January to establish how we could urgently move forward more constructively and positively to the next steps. This took place on 7th Feb and it was hoped that a next meeting would be in the week beginning 20th Feb.
Tay Crossing to Ballinluig A9 Exhibitions
• A public exhibition on current proposals was to have been held on 15th and 16th Feb in the Mid-Atholl Hall, Ballinluig. If any residents did not receive notification of the exhibition, please contact the Secretary and also Jacobs/Transport Scotland. The web link for the event circulated by them first was not working, but was fixed and you will find details here: http://www.transport.gov.scot/project/a9-tay-crossing-ballinluig
For the latest news update please go the The Bridge website at http://www.dunkeldandbirnamnews.co.uk/community-council/a9-dualling or contact us at email: dunkeldA9workinggroup@gmail.com, or at the facebook page: Birnam to Ballinluig A9 Community Group.
Alasdair Wylie, Coordinator 01350 727361


A9 Dualling Programme: Perth to Inverness

Tay Crossing to Ballinluig Preferred Route Public Exhibitions

Following the announcement of the Preferred Corridor and Route Decision on 5 December 2016, public exhibitions are being held on 15 and 16 February 2017.  These exhibitions will give local communities and road users the opportunity to see and comment on the outcome of the route option assessment work and the preferred option for the Tay Crossing to

Ballinluig dualling project – part of the A9 Dualling Programme.

Transport Scotland officials and design consultants will be on hand to discuss the preferred option and answer any questions.

Details of the public exhibitions are as follows:

Date

Time

Venue

Wednesday 15 February 2017

12:00 – 19:00

Mid Atholl Hall, Ballinluig

Thursday 16 February 2017

11:00 – 15:00

Mid Atholl Hall, Ballinluig

For further information, please visit

http://www.transport.gov.scot/project/a9-dualling-perth-inverness

Sarah Morgan – Stakeholder Manager
Jacobs Infrastructure UK Ltd


Birnam to Ballinluig A9 Community Group - Working constructively to get the best community outcomes from the A9 dualling proposals
The next A9 Community Group meeting will be on Thursday 23rd February, venue tbc, 7.30pm. All welcome!
For the latest news update please check this page or contact us at email: dunkeldA9workinggroup@gmail.com, or at the facebook page: Birnam to Ballinluig A9 Community Group.
Alasdair Wylie, Coordinator, 01350 727361


 The Community Council has received a letter from Jacobs in response to the detailed submission to Transport Scotland compiled by the A9 Working Group on behalf of the council.

Click here to view the letter.


A9 Dualling Perth to Inverness, Tay Crossing to Ballinluig – Preferred Corridor and Route Decision

Following assessment work on the online and offline options for the Tay Crossing to Ballinluig dualling project, it has been confirmed that the preferred option for dualling that section will comprise online widening of the A9.

Supporting documents including a plan showing the route can be viewed on Transport Scotland’s website at http://www.transport.gov.scot/project/a9-tay-crossing-ballinluig

Sarah Morgan – Stakeholder Manager
Jacobs Infrastructure UK Ltd


 The next A9 Community Group meeting will be on Thursday 15th December at Little Dunkeld Kirk, 7.30pm. There will be a discussion about the latest version of the plan for the new Co-creative Community Engagement process, which will be circulated before the meeting. All welcome!
The following Community Group meeting will be on Thursday 26th January 2017, same place and time.


 The Constitution of the Birnam to Ballinluig A9 Community Group, adopted at the CG meeting of 25th August 2016, provides for the election of the following office bearers:

a)  Coordinator
b)  Deputy Coordinator
c)  Secretary
d)  Treasurer

The election will be conducted at the next A9 Community Group meeting on Thursday 24th November, 7:30pm at Little Dunkeld Kirk.

Nominations for the office bearer positions can be sent to the Secretary at this email address at any time up to the date of this meeting. Nominations will be accepted from the floor at the meeting if none have been submitted in advance.


Key activities since October:
Co-Creative Community Engagement plan : Transport Scotland gave a broad acceptance of our proposal and of the timescale envisaged (for the time being, regarding the section from Pass of Birnam to Tay Crossing) at a meeting in Birnam on 6th October, a major step forward.
Their first draft engagement plan with timescale was circulated to all Community Group members and discussed at the 27th October CG meeting, returned to Transport Scotland with comments and suggested edits and discussed again with them at a small group meeting on 7th November.
TS will have responded with a further version by 18th November which was discussed at the 24th November Community Group meeting. Further comments and suggested edits were returned to TS and are being discussed at a small group meeting in Birnam in early December.
The results of that meeting and the next version of the community engagement paper will be reported back to the 15th December Community Group meeting for further discussion and, we hope, finalisation.
We will keep everyone informed of developments by email and in The Bridge online.
Tay Crossing to Ballinluig section : At the time of writing (mid Nov) Transport Scotland’s advice is that a decision on the offline/online options is targeted for late autumn, “in the next few weeks”.
A9 Community Survey: The full survey report as well as the summary slide presentation are also available on the A9 Dualling page of The Bridge online. If anyone would like a hard copy, please contact us, details below.
MSP Briefings:We have continued to brief MSPs on the progress of meetings with Transport Scotland/Jacobs as well as on the community survey results, and appreciate very much the close interest they have taken in following up with Transport Scotland.
If you want to make opinions/feedback known to your elected representatives at local or national level, you can find out who they are and their contact details at writetothem.com
If you want to get more involved or get more information please contact us at email:
dunkeldA9workinggroup@gmail.com and/ or come to the next Community Group meeting. Facebook page: Birnam to Ballinluig A9 Community Group.
Alasdair Wylie, Coordinator 01350 727361


The next A9 Community Group meeting will be on Thursday 24th November at Little Dunkeld Kirk, 7.30pm. There will be an update on further discussions with Transport Scotland on planning for the Co-creative Community Engagement process, to which they have in broad terms agreed.  All welcome!

Key activities since September:
A9 Community Survey:  A well attended meeting on 15th September was given a first presentation of the main results of the survey, which had a tremendous 452 responses by 31st August and which has yielded a rich amount of information and opinion.  A draft full report was shared at the Community Group meeting on 28th September and after further editing sent to Transport Scotland prior to meeting with them in Birnam on 6th October to discuss it.
The full survey report as well as the presentation are available on the A9 Dualling page of “The Bridge” online, link below. If anyone would like a hard copy, please contact us.
Thank you again to everyone who completed the Community Survey, helped at or stopped to talk at one of the pop up stalls, discussed with residents, and undertook data analysis and preparation of the presentation of results and of the full report.
Co-Creative Community Engagement proposal : 
The proposal, sent to Transport Scotland at the end of August, was discussed with them and Jacobs at a meeting in Birnam on 2nd September and again at the 6th October meeting. (Copy also available at The Bridge online).  At the latter one, Transport Scotland indicated broad acceptance of the proposal and of the timescale envisaged (for the time being, regarding the section from Pass of Birnam to Tay Crossing); this is a major step forward. We expect to have a next meeting with them in early November to begin to plan the new engagement process and will meanwhile keep everyone informed of developments by email and in The Bridge online.
MSP Briefings:
We have continued to brief MSPs on the progress of meetings with Transport Scotland/Jacobs as well as on the community survey results, and appreciate very much the close interest they have taken in following up matters with Transport Scotland.  If you want to make opinions/feedback known to your elected representatives at local or national level, you can find out who they are and their contact details at writetothem.com
If you want to get more involved or get more information please contact us at email: dunkeldA9workinggroup@gmail.com  and/ or come to the next Community Group meeting. You can also get information, documents and contact details for the Community Group at The Bridge website http://www.dunkeldandbirnamnews.co.uk/community-council/a9-dualling  or at the facebook page: Birnam to Ballinluig A9 Community Group.

Alasdair Wylie, Coordinator   01350 727361


Birnam to Ballinluig A9 Community Group update - Working constructively to get the best community outcomes from the A9 dualling

There will be a Community Meeting on Thursday 15th September at the Birnam Hotel, 7.30pm, at which the results of the A9 community survey will be presented and updates given on discussions with Transport Scotland and Jacobs. All welcome! (Note: date changed from 14th Sept advised before).
Key activities since June:
Briefings of MSPs; Response from Jacobs to April submission by A9 Working Group; Technical meeting with Transport Scotland/Jacobs to review response and press for more meaningful engagement with community; Discussions with advisors on an improved engagement process; Continuation of leafleting for community survey; Pop up stalls in Dunkeld and at Birnam Arts; Discussions with residents closest to A9; Monthly meetings of Birnam to Ballinluig A9 Community Group; Drafting of Constitution for Community Group; Regular meetings of Communications and Strategy Sub-Group Councillor and MSP Communications: Following constructive meetings with John Swinney MSP, Murdo Fraser MSP and Mark Ruskell MSP reported on in the June update, there has been a short verbal update to each of the MSPs and letters prepared updating them on the 29th June meeting with Transport Scotland/Jacobs and next steps proposed.
Meeting Jacobs/Transport Scotland: As previously reported, despite requests Transport Scotland/Jacobs had confirmed that they would not attend a public meeting. There was agreement to a smaller ‘technical meeting’ with the Community Group, which was attended by the Co-ordinator, Chair of DBCC, a couple of Comms & Strategy Sub Group members and lead contributors on each section of the submission that had been made in April. In the course of the meeting on 29th June it was possible to give just an impression of major outstanding concerns, remaining gaps and questions in relation to each theme (for example any assessment of health impacts), the stress, lack of awareness of residents (even immediately adjacent to the route) of the proposals (e.g. that junction proposals had quadrupled in the new proposals set out this year), and lack of provision of accessible information for all were all outlined.
Transport Scotland asked what was requested and directed to the headline request in the April Community Council submission (a request to which there had been no response) to work together to design a meaningful process to achieve workable solution.
However, as so much trust in the process had now been lost it was recommended that a proper participative process to deliver benefits for the community should be designed. This has political support and it was agreed that the Community Group would come back to Transport Scotland with a proposal and accompanied with a request to extend the timeline, should that be required. This has been sent.
It was explained that the community survey would be underway until end August and that survey outcomes and trends would be shared with the community, Transport Scotland and Jacobs in September after the survey closes.
Thank you to everyone who completed the Community Survey and/or helped at or stopped to talk at one of the pop up stalls. The survey will help inform the Community Group, but please do write directly to Jacobs/Transport Scotland as well with opinions, questions, concerns, ideas.
Feedback from door to door chats is demonstrating that some people, even those immediately adjacent to the route or new junctions, still have no idea about the proposals that will affect them directly. If you want to communicate opinions/feedback to your elected representatives at local or national level, find out who they are and contact details at writetothem.com
Volunteers to help with continuing pop up stalls will be welcomed.
Next steps:
Jacobs was trying to push a ‘participative’ process to take place to a very short deadline with a small number of people.
Meanwhile there have been urgent and thorough explorations on designing an appropriate proposal for better engagement with the community including dialogue with Planning Aid Scotland and a senior planning adviser. The proposal will have been discussed at the 25th August Community Group meeting before going to Transport Scotland.
If you want to get more involved or get more information please contact us at email: dunkeldA9workinggroup@gmail.com and/ or come to the Community Meeting on Thursday 15th September, Birnam Hotel, 7.30pm.
You can also get information and individual contact details for the Community Group on the Facebook page: Birnam to Ballinluig A9 Community Group.
Alasdair Wylie, Coordinator,
01350 727361


The Community Group would like to express a huge thanks to those of you who were able to come to guided walks, meetings in June, or who have otherwise contributed so far. Huge apologies to anyone who has missed out on any updates due to technical problems with our mailing list – we are getting these sorted!
Following the Community Meeting on 18th May, and with support from Dunkeld and Birnam Community Council, the Birnam to Ballinluig A9 Community Group (the Community Group) has now been set up to represent all those who may be affected by the upgrade of the A9 from the Pass of Birnam to Ballinluig within the community council area, and seek to get the best possible outcome for the community as a whole. Since the community meeting and ongoing through the summer, our big push is to get as many responses as possible to the community opinion survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/a9dualling as possible.
Please watch out for coffee mornings, street stalls and other activity happening throughout the summer promoting the survey, sharing information and hearing views. The Community Group has been gathering local knowledge and tapping into expertise to help interpret the maps and provide information that is useful and accessible. If you can help, with cups of tea or engineering experience, please let us know.
Jacobs and Transport Scotland have not yet fully provided the information requested at the Public Meeting in February or addressed the local issues they have been asked to consider in the submission from the Community Council. Members of the Community Group are due to meet with Jacobs, Transport Scotland, as well as some local MSPs, by the end of June.
Previously there was an expectation that Jacobs and Transport Scotland might return to do a follow up public meeting, but that request has been turned down. There will be now be no public meeting with Jacobs and Transport Scotland. The Group update from the smaller meeting at the end of June will be provided online, in the usual place: http://www.dunkeldandbirnamnews.co.uk/community-council/a9-dualling
In the meantime, you may be aware from posters and press, that a new offline option has been proposed on the east of the northern section (Tay Crossing to Ballinluig) which would affect the community particularly from Rotmell to Guay. Residents who would be adversely affected are campaigning against this new proposal, which would take both carriageways up the hill. The impact of the online proposals on the flood plain, residents and local business on the northern section also continue to cause concern. We can't emphasise enough how critical a time this is and how much your views count. Please share your opinions anonymously through the community survey; online or hard copies can be provided. This will enable the Community Group to best represent the views of the community.
Please do remember that if you have particular questions or concerns, it is helpful if you can share them in the community survey – but do not hesitate to also contact Jacobs on: A9dualling@jacobs.com directly so that your questions or concerns can be addressed as part of the formal process.
You may want to copy your thoughts to your MSPs and Councillors too. It is easy to find out who all your representatives are on writetothem.com Recommendations will have been made by the end of June and decisions on the proposals are imminent.
If you want to get more involved – please do! – email: dunkeldA9workinggroup@gmail.com and/or come along to the Community Group meeting on Wednesday 27 July 7.30pm (venue tbc). We will hold a bigger meeting to update the community on Wednesday 14 September 7.30pm (venue tbc).
For further information, and to find individual contacts for the Group, please email: dunkeldA9workinggroup@gmail.com or visit our Facebook page: Birnam to Ballinluig A9 Community Group.
Robert Kelman,
Community Group
walkinga9Walking the future A9
Two guided walks have followed the proposed routes and changes of the A9 dualling project and looked at the impact it would have on key areas around Dunkeld & Birnam. “I found both walks incredibly useful in translating what the plans will mean on the ground and I’m still coming to terms with the fact that the new Birnam junction will be taller than the current Ballinuig flyover!” said Lindsey Gibb one of the walkers.
For more information on the two walks and the additional one planned to specifically look at flooding issues on the northern section. contact: jesspepper@gmail.com or see www.dunkeldandbirnamnews.co.uk


On 18 May around 100 local people met in the Birnam Institute about the A9 dualling. The meeting, organised by members of a community working group, was to provide an update on progress since a public meeting with Transport Scotland in January. The working group are very grateful to everyone who came along and shared their views, donated and volunteered to help.
On behalf of the Community Council, the working group had put together a detailed submission to Transport Scotland outlining a range of concerns and requests. The A9 dualling will have a huge impact on many different aspects of the local communities, including noise, human health and air quality, flooding risk, ecology and the natural environment, public transport, non-motorised users, and culture and historic environment.
These local issues have not been considered properly in the process. Transport Scotland needs to agree a realistic process to work in partnership with the community to address these issues and then to revisit the options.
This is a critical time. According to Transport Scotland's timetable, the decision on a preferred option was to take place in June - this is not acceptable.
A9 dualling is going to have an impact on you and your community. Whatever you think you can offer, whether it's a donation, involvement in the working group, or your expertise as a structural engineer, you can make a difference!
•    Complete the community opinion survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/a9dualling
•    Go on a guided walk to look at various issues of concern on 30 May or 13 June at 7.30pm. Email: dunkelda9workinggroup@gmail.com
•    Come to a meeting with Transport Scotland (date and time tbc)
•    Join the working group, make a donation, join a mailing list, or contribute in some other way - Email: dunkelda9workinggroup@gmail.com
For more information, including the presentations from the 18th, visit the Community Council website or email: dunkelda9workinggroup@gmail.com

Robert Kelman, Member of the Community Working Group

facebook30pxJoin the Dunkeld A9 Dualling Group on Facebook for regular updates.


Community Council Submission

The A9 working group has spent the last couple of months pulling together the submission to Transport Scotland in relation to the Pass of Birnam-Tay Crossing and Tay Crossing-Ballinluig sections of the project. This follows on from the public meeting on 8th February and the Transport Scotland and Jacobs consultation sessions. The document, which was submitted on 21st April, relied on contributions (and a lot of time and effort) from a large number of people involved in the working group. The key conclusion of the submission is:

“On the basis of the limited information currently available, the Dunkeld and Birnam Community Council cannot indicate a favoured option for these sections of the A9 dualling project. This reflects the strong feeling that the current proposals do not adequately recognise the complexity of dualling these two sections.”

The key themes in the submission, where we are seeking further information, relate to the overall character of the local area, potential for varying road standards in this area, noise, public health and air quality, flooding risk, ecology and the environment, public transport, history and culture and non motorised users. We are also seeking a better understanding of the decision making process and how the local community can continue to be a vital, cooperative part of such process. A large amount of supporting information has also been presented.

The document was sent to Transport Scotland and local councilors, and will be sent to other stakeholders and to MSPs and ministers (following the Scottish parliament elections on 5th May).

If you want a copy of the document, or any further information, please contact Stuart Paton (dunkelda9workinggroup@gmail.com) on behalf of the Community Council. We have also set up a Facebook page - click here or search "Dunkeld A9 Dualling" on Facebook.

Dates of forthcoming meetings will be provided on this website, through Facebook, The Bridge and posters.

Background information is available through the Transport Scotland website: http://www.transport.gov.scot/project/a9-dualling-perth-inverness.

 

DOWNLOADS:

Birnam to Ballinluig A9 Community Group Update October 2017

A9 Community Group Update June to August 2017

Next_Steps_Facilitation.Jan17.v4.pdf - uploaded 20th February 2017

Next Steps Facilitation.Jan17.V4 - Uploaded 9th February 2017

Report on A9 CG Core Group meeting with Transport Scotland/Jacobs 16th Dec 2016. - Uploaded 6th February 2017

Dunkeld & Birnam CC Final Submission

A9 Pass of Birnam to Tay Crossing Community Council Meeting Notes

A9 Pass of Birnam to Tay Crossing Technical Note 011 Rev01

Community Opinion Survey Findings - Full Report - October 2016
Community Opinion Survey Findings - Presentation Summary - September 2016
Birnam to Tay Crossing - Co-Creative Community Engagement Process
Birnam to Ballinluig A9 Community Group - Constitution 

 

Birnam to Ballinluig A9 Community Group Update

Transport Scotland are working with our community to design and deliver a co-creative process to explore all options for the Pass of Birnam to Tay Crossing section of the A9 Dualling Project. This means bringing the community and Transport Scotland together, to achieve a preferred option for the community.

Having your say

For the process to be co-creative, we need to decide what matters most to the community, and set this out in our community objectives. It is important that as a  community we develop our own set of objectives, as these will inform options, propose solutions and create a vision for what we want from the dualling. Our objectives, with those of Transport Scotland, for dualling the A9, will then form the basis for the co-creative process. We want as many people to have their say as possible, at the outset of this important opportunity for the community to have a genuine say on the A9 dualling outcome. We have organised a programme of workshops and a community event to help do this.

Workshop programme

Thanks to everyone who came along to the themed workshops held earlier. These workshops will help shape our community objectives, and will build on what you have already told us through the survey last year and the open sessions in June. There are still a few workshops in the programme on issues we have not yet covered. Dates for these are as follows:

·       Wednesday 1st November: Local Economy and Recreation (6pm-7.30pm, Royal Dunkeld Hotel)

·       Monday 6th November: Public Transport and Safety (8pm-9.30pm, Birnam Arts)

There is no need to book, just come along!

Big Community Event: Saturday 11th November (11am-2pm, Duchess Anne, Dunkeld)

Pop in to have your final say on the full set of draft community objectives. You'll be able to discuss the draft objectives, vote on your priorities and make any comments. There will be lots of music, food and children’s activities, so come along for a fun way to get your voice heard.

Next Community Group Meeting

Thursday 23rd November, 7.30-9.30pm, Royal Dunkeld Hotel.

Keeping in touch

Further information is available on the “Bridge” website at 

http://www.dunkeldandbirnamnews.co.uk/community-council/a9-dualling

 

We are very keen to hear from anyone who would like to be involved in any aspect of the CG’s work, and also to have any suggestions on how we can better communicate both with the community and at our meetings!

You can contact us at email: dunkeldA9workinggroup@gmail.com  - and to have your details added to our mailing list, also at  facebook page:

Birnam to Ballinluig A9 Community Group.  Please Like and Share it.

 

or just phone me! 

 

Alasdair Wylie, Coordinator   01350 727361

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 October 2017 20:32

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Girlguiding Dunkeld – Join Us

girlguides1Did you like the report of the Guides’ and Senior Section’s trip to Switzerland? Would you be prepared to support the existing leaders in their efforts – be it at weekly meetings, camps, or behind the scenes? Without more volunteers, Girlguiding in Dunkeld cannot offer all interested girls the chance to have such experiences. We already don’t have any Rainbows, and for now can’t have a Brownie pack bigger than 8 girls, because there is only 1 Brownie leader. Guides and Senior Section need more helpers too, to spread the load.

Our volunteers can work directly with Rainbows (aged 5-7), Brownies (4-10), Guides (10-14), The Senior Section (14-17), or in a variety of support roles.
Volunteering is flexible and can be arranged to fit around a busy lifestyle.
There is no upper age limit to becoming a Girlguiding volunteer, and men are welcome too as Unit Helpers or in other support roles. Volunteers under the age of 18 can become Young Leaders. Training will be given – mostly it’s on the job; there are also e-learning opportunities and local training sessions, depending on the role you choose to take on.

Girlguiding is the leading charity for girls and young women in the UK. If you’re looking to work with young people, gain voluntary experience or develop skills from first aid to fundraising (and all sorts in between), it’s time to get involved! If you are not convinced yet, look out for the National Recruitment Campaign by Girlguiding UK during October.

To register interest or to find out more, contact Trix Stephen, District Commissioner, on 07770324173 or trix@tayview.net.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 October 2017 21:08

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World Porridge Day Breakfast

porridge9.30 to 11.30 am, Thursday 12 October 2017 at Birnam Arts
World Porridge Day will be celebrated this year with a breakfast at Birnam Arts. This is an occasion for all - families and children are especially welcome. We may even have a storytelling session for the wee ones.
We will be hard at work that morning stirring huge pans of porridge! You can top your bowl with milk, cream, or yogurt and then smother it with your choice of sugar, golden syrup, honey or fruit! There will also be granola, oatcakes with cheese, flapjacks plus tea, coffee and fruit juices. So come and have fun and at the same time support a very worthy cause.
All proceeds go to support Mary's Meals, a charity which is now providing a life-changing daily meal for well over one million of the world's best poorest and malnourished children.
In Malawi and Liberia, where the charity has its largest feeding programmes, the children receive vitamin enriched maize porridge every school day. The average annual cost per child has been kept to just £13.90!
World Porridge Day celebrates the huge differences this daily mug of porridge makes to the lives of chronically hungry children.
Please join us for your bowl!

Last Updated on Saturday, 30 September 2017 16:32

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Scottish Wildlife Trust Loch of the Lowes

lolOpening hours change at the end of October – Throughout October Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Loch of the Lowes visitor Centre continues to be open 7 days a week, 10am-5pm. From 1st November (until 1st March 2018), the centre’s hours go down to Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 10.30am-4pm.
October is the month when frosty mornings, fine mists and autumn’s deep gold and red hues spread across the landscape. Hedgerows and fruit trees give up their crops of purple elder berries and brambles, raspberries and crimson rosehips, while grasses wilt into pale yellow mounds around the harvested fields.
Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th October, 11am-4pm Deer Me! We have several types of deer around Loch of the Lowes and over this week-end you can discover fascinating facts about Scotland’s deer. Quiz and a nature trail.
Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd October, Hedgerow Harvest.11am-4pm, learn how to identify the fruits and fungi all around us. Quizzes and a nature trail.
Saturday 14th October, 7-9pm. Booking is essential for this event (01350 727337) Adult £8, Conc £6 and child £3. Perthshire has some seriously stunning moths! To celebrate National Moth Night, join us for an illuminating evening about moths and how to survey them.
We all look forward to welcoming you to Loch of the Lowes in the coming weeks.
Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre (01350 727337)
Dunkeld, PH8 0HH. Admission Adult £4, Conc £3.50, Child 50p, SWT Members FREE.

Last Updated on Saturday, 30 September 2017 16:51

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Heritage Walks

heritagewalksYou will have seen blue plaques going up in Dunkeld and Birnam over the past few months and these are linked with two beautiful Heritage Walks leaflets produced by local people. These are available from a variety of outlets in Dunkeld and Birnam and if you want to find out more about our local history, it is well worth following the walks around the village. It is hoped that this project will also encourage visitors to stay longer in the area and explore the village.
The launch of the walks was on Saturday 2nd September and featured many of the historical characters featured on the plaques. We would like to thank everyone who dressed up to play the part of famous people who are part of our history, from Beatrix Potter to Queen Victoria, from Robert Burns to Niel Gow and all those who researched and produced the maps and plaques.   

Image: Queen Victoria and Maharajah launch the Dunkeld and Birnam Heritage Walks. The blue plaques that have gone up on buildings Dunkeld and Birnam are linked with two new Heritage Walks.

Last Updated on Saturday, 30 September 2017 16:35

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Connect… Linking Asheville and Dunkeld & Birnam

ashvilleNews from our twin town, Ashville
Ed: Welcome to a new column in The Bridge bringing us news from our ‘sister city’ or twinned town’ of Ashville.
Every edition we hope to hear from someone in Asheville about what’s going on there – and we will share our news with them. This month we have invited Fiona Ritchie, chair of the Friends of Ashville group to contribute an article about visiting our Twin Town: Asheville, North Carolina.
The Asheville Sister Cities office greets the world with a hearty “Dobro pozhalovat’, Bienvenidos, Bienvenue, and Kalós orísate!” Now added to the roster is: “Ceud Mìle Fàilte”. This comes on the back of two successful visits – here and there – when Dunkeld & Birnam and Asheville were formally joined as twinned communities. Our small delegation that travelled west last month included Alasdair Wylie of Kettles (Secretary of Dunkeld & Birnam Friends of Asheville) and Brenda Roddy of Jessie Mac’s (Chair of Dunkeld & Birnam Tourist Association). Fuelled by caffeine from the city’s many coffee shops, Brenda spent time in Asheville encountering like-minded small businesses and local musicians who hosted her for an Irish music session. We were all struck by the warm hospitality, affirming what Barack and Michelle Obama discovered on a Presidential vacation: Asheville is a prime tourist destination. So we are delighted that our joint proclamations have been officially signed and that we have created a strong foundation upon which to build a mutually beneficial relationship.
In Asheville, we felt a creative spirit in the lively downtown with plenty of opportunities to enjoy music and theatre. Then again, there are more breweries per capita than any other American city, so you could find yourself a bit distracted! Asheville’s progressive ideals are expressed in its recent sustainability report, setting out ambitious carbon emissions and waste reduction targets.
There are 26 community gardens, over 16 miles of bike lanes and 10 farmers’ markets contributing to the quality of life. Dunkeld & Birnam strives for many of the same things, with our organic growing project @thefield, our community orchard, our own Eco School, and artistic hub at Birnam Arts. Now we have the chance to support each other by sharing experiences and pursuing areas of interest that are relevant for both communities.
The allure of the outdoors is ever present in Asheville and there are lots of adventure-based businesses to entice you to explore on foot, or by bike, kayak and zip line. Getting there is half the fun as the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway connects Asheville to the surrounding forests and slopes of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Asheville is truly the perfect place for us to spread the news that Dunkeld & Birnam is Scotland’s up-and-coming adventure sports hub.
So what’s next? Twin towns/sister cities promote international understanding through people-to-people relationships. This feels refreshingly empowering in the current global political climate. In the months ahead, you’ll meet some of the volunteer citizens who run Asheville Sister Cities when they write for you here in The Bridge. Meanwhile, thanks for all the amazing encouragement we received from throughout our community as we moved towards twinning with Asheville.
Fiona Ritchie
Chair, Dunkeld and Birnam
Friends of Asheville, NC

Last Updated on Saturday, 30 September 2017 16:30

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Exciting Plans for Dunkeld Guide Hall

guidehutTucked away behind the school the Guide Hall in Dunkeld has been home to the Girlguiding movement since the 1930s. The photo shows two guides dressed up for the Girlguiding Centenary in 2010. Over the decades it has been a huge asset to Guides and Brownies, and for the last few years Playgroup has also operated out of the Hall.
However just like the Guide Uniform has changed over the years, the Guide Hall needs to move with the times.
Modern buildings need to be accessible to all and have all the facilities expected in the 21st Century. So, the volunteers in the Friends of Guiding group have been working on a project to build an extension to the rear of the Guide Hall. The extension will have new toilets and a disabled toilet with shower, a new larger kitchen and two big store rooms for the Guides and Playgroup equipment.
A new entrance foyer will form a new entrance at the side of the hall and a suite of audio visual equipment will bring the hall bang up to date.
All this needs money – a total of £175,000! The good news is that Friends of Guiding have been successful in securing grant support of £160,000, leaving just £15,000 left to find.
To help fill the funding gap Friends of Guiding are setting up a JustGiving page to allow people who would like to support our vision for a Guide Hall for the 21st Century to contribute by donating online. The page should be ready shortly - just try searching Just giving Dunkeld Girlguiding.
Or if you prefer cheques can be sent to Trix Stephen, District Commissioner, Tayview House, Oak Road, Birnam – made payable to Dunkeld + Birnam Girl Guides District.
We thank you in advance for your support and hope to be able to start on the project next spring. Watch this space!

Well-deserved Awards for Guiders
3 Guiders received Long Service Awards from Girl Guiding UK during the month of May. Trix Stephen & Kate Wright received their awards during the annual weekend camp. Karen High presented Trix with her 20- year brooch and certificate while Kate received her 10-year brooch and certificate.
Evelyn Menzies was presented with her 40-year brooch & certificate from Wilma Hutchison (County Commissioner). Evelyn also received gifts and flowers as a leaving gift as she is retiring from Girl Guiding at the end of June.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 01 September 2017 12:17

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Dunkeld and Birnam Unplugged

unplugged

Make Your Pledge!
In 2015, our community produced 100m of Climate Bunting! Hundreds of people, age 2-106, made a flag to show what they love and why they want climate action. It went to the Paris international negotiations on a Climate Agreement and has been on display at many events. This year, you can pledge climate action online at https://www.wearedonation.com/campaigns/dunkeldbirnam-unplugged/pledges/create/ and illustrate it on a flag at a Climate Cafe, Summerfest or Big Apple Day to display alongside the bunting!
We will report on what has been achieved by all our pledges together in The Bridge!
Throughout the week there will be drop off points to recycle and reuse all sorts of items, including wee electrical items, bras etc. See posters for drop off points around the community.
Thanks to Local action Partnership, Perth & Kinross Council & highland Perthshire communities for Highland Perthshire Decides support - All events are free to attend.
For more information follow: facebook.com/liveearthbirnam and @Climate_cafe on twitter.

Last Updated on Friday, 01 September 2017 12:07

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New Memorial Bench Unveiled

benchA memorial bench with a twist has been unveiled on the banks of the River Tay at Dunkeld to remember Sydney Draper, a former forester to the World Bank who died in July 2015 aged 90.
The new bench in the grounds of Dunkeld House Hotel was commissioned by Woodland Heritage to commemorate Mr. Draper, a long-standing supporter of the charity. It has been carefully crafted to appear as though it is twisted and made of several different sections of timber, whereas it has been crafted from a single piece of native oak by local artist Nigel Ross.
Mr. Ross’s creations may be found throughout the UK, from London’s Canary Wharf to the Ness Islands in Inverness.
It was through Mr. Draper’s generous support of Woodland Heritage that the charity was able to support the renovation of Dunkeld’s ‘Big Tree Trail’ in partnership with the National Tree Collections of Scotland and the Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust. Woodland Heritage Trustees felt it was a fitting memorial to Mr. Draper to commission the new piece by Nigel Ross to sit on the banks of the Tay at Dunkeld.
Tom Christian, a Trustee of Woodland Heritage, said:
“Sydney loved Dunkeld and returned here on his 90th birthday to plant a commemorative tree. Environmental education was very important to him, which is why he made his generous gift to help support the costs of a new tree trail here at Dunkeld, to tell visitors the amazing stories of the trees around us, the landscape they sit in, and how vital trees and healthy forests are to life on earth.
We are enormously grateful to Sydney, and to Dunkeld House Hotel and Land Rover Experience Scotland for their help in making this fitting memorial possible”.
Visitors to Dunkeld will now be able to sit and rest a while, courtesy of Sydney Draper, as they enjoy the idyllic riverside walks by the Tay.

Image: L-R: Bill Wilson (friend of Sydney Draper), Dougie Reader of Dunkeld House Hotel, Nigel Ross (artist who created the bench), Margaret Wilson (friend of Sydney Draper), Victoria Brooks (Land Rover Experience Scotland) and Guy Corbett-Marshall (Woodland Heritage).

Last Updated on Saturday, 01 July 2017 20:27

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Dunkeld & Birnam Community Orchard

orchardHave you been down to the orchard recently? Over the past few months volunteers have been quietly working away to care for the amazing variety of fruit we have there, something around 180 trees with more than 30 varieties of apple, as well as plum, pear, cherry and gage. It's exciting to see the baby apples that will hopefully develop into another bumper crop. But it's soft fruit season first, with a few of the redcurrants outside the fruit cage almost ripe and the gooseberries not far behind. Within the cage (check out our lovely new gate for easier access) we have more currants (red and white), blackcurrants, gooseberries, blueberries and brambles. It's always a challenge to catch them before the birds do so regular visits pay dividends over the coming weeks. We also have new decorative wooden "fruits" on the roadside fence, along with updated notices and new bunting - thanks to Katharine for these!
Next official workdays are Fri 14 July and Fri 11 August (both 2-4pm), followed by our main event of the year "Big Apple Day" on Sat 9 Sept (11.30-14.30).
Excitement is building to see who will take home the coveted photo competition trophies this year. Don't forget to send your entries (one per person; junior and senior categories) to mel@cavecrag.com by Fri 1 Sept.
Finally, don't forget our Facebook page where we regularly share pictures of this wonderful place. You can get in touch with us via dandb.orchard@me.com

Last Updated on Monday, 03 July 2017 19:38

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Re-instated Bus Service - don't forget to use!

save our busThe bus services are being reinstated to and from Edinburgh on June 5th.
The southbound service will leave Birnam at 11:20 arriving in Edinburgh at 13:09.
The return journey will leave Edinburgh at 19:10 arriving in Birnam at 21:15.

Image: Pam Green, Chair of the Save Our Bus Group, handing over the petition to John Swinney and Fergus Ewing at the cabinet meeting in Pitlochry on 6th February.

Last Updated on Friday, 02 June 2017 10:39

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Elder Awards from the Moderator of the Church of Scotland

churchNine Elders received long service awards from the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, the Right Rev Dr Russell Barr in January.

From left to right with the Minister, Rev Fraser Penny: Mrs Ann Young; Tom Ferguson; George Reid; Wattie Barbour; The Moderator; Gordon McIntosh; The Minister; John Gray; Mrs Brenda Simpson (on behalf of Keith Simpson); Jim Kirk and John Meldrum.
moderator
George Reid receives a certificate from the Moderator of the Church of Scotland in recognition of an amazing fifty five years of continuous service to the Church as an elder.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 February 2017 21:21

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