Community News & Notices

Community Council News and Minutes

This page contains minutes and other items of interest from the Dunkeld & Birnam Community Council, from January 2016 on. Click on any document title to see the full document.
Visit our Facebook and Twitter pages for updates.

March 2018


January 2018

November 2017

 September 2017

 May 2017

 April 2017

 March 2017

 February 2017

 January 2017

 December 2016

 November 2016

 October 2016

 September 2016

 August 2016

July 2016

 June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

 March 2016

 February 2016

The Black Watch Battalion Army Cadet Force

Officer Commanding Korea Company; The Black Watch Battalion Army Cadet Force; The Royal Regiment of Scotland Major Noel Murdoch, has been appointed as the Officer Commanding, Korea Company, The Black Watch Battalion Army Cadet Force, The Royal Regiment of Scotland. Korea Company has Detachments in Pitlochry, Blairgowrie, Dunkeld, Stanley and Queen’s Barracks Perth.
Major Murdoch joined the army in 1982 serving with the Scots Guards, The 2nd Battalion 51st Highland Volunteers and since 1996, The Black Watch Battalion Army Cadet Force.
Major Murdoch is at present a Police Officer serving with Police Scotland in Divisional Headquarters, Glenrothes.
Dunkeld Detachment is commanded by Staff Sergeant Craig Ross a native of Dunkeld who can be contacted on Mobile Telephone 07429113439. Any interest in joining The Black Watch Battalion Army Cadet Force in the Dunkeld area should be directed to Staff Sergeant Ross.
The Headquarters of The Black Watch Battalion Army Cadet Force, Queen’s Barracks, Dunkeld Road, Perth, PH1 5BT, Telephone 01738 626571.

Christian Aid 2018


In 2017 our community sent a fantastic total of £3,320 to Christian Aid, a large part of which came from events during Christian Aid week itself. Added to that we had the secondhand toy sale in the Duchess Anne on Santa Day has become quite an attraction for children and families and also raises quite a bit of money for Christian Aid and CHAS.
As a warm-up for Christian Aid Week this year our local group is organising a Quiz Night on Friday May 4th at 7.30pm in the Duchess Anne. Cost will be £3 per person and you can either come on your own and be allocated a team on the night or why not make up a team (of up to 4) from friends, family, church or colleagues and pit your wits against others for a bit of fun. There will be wee nibbles (like crisps) on the tables but please bring your own drinks along. To enter a team (or as an individual) please contact Jean Peacock on
Christian Aid Week runs from the 13th – 19th May. The local organising group drawn from the three local churches is planning the following fund-raising events:
Second Hand Bookstall at the Duchess Anne on:
Saturday 12th
Friday 18th
Saturday 19th
Donations of books always needed. These can be brought to the Meeting Place at the Duchess Anne on Friday mornings.
The proceeds from The Meeting Place on Friday 18th will be going to Christian Aid.
Bread and Cheese Lunch at the Duchess Anne on 13th May at 12.30pm.
Adults £5, Primary School Children, £2.
Door to Door collection during the week.
Street Collection on Saturday 19th
If you feel you could shake a can, deliver and collect envelopes or help with the book stall contact Fraser Penny (01350 727249) or John Gray (01350 728697) Christian Aid supports projects of many kinds to help people of all faiths and none. Please give generously to support the world’s poorest communities.

Youth Group

The Church Youth Groups meet on Thursdays in two age groups. The younger group meets in the Duchess Anne and the senior group in the Chanonry. Starting each time at 7pm and finishing at 9pm.
For details of which night each group meets e-mail Fraser Penny on

Church of Scotland Congregation AGM

The Annual General Meeting of the Church of Scotland congregation will be in the Duchess Anne on April 3rd 2018 at 7.30pm. A summary Financial Statement will be available a couple of Sundays before and full copies of the accounts can be obtained from John Gray (728697).


Donations to Perth Foodbank can be made any time - there are boxes in the Duchess Anne and Little Dunkeld Kirk.

Tools With A Mission

I am starting to collect any soft goods like sewing kit items, dress making and tailoring things, craft work and wool to send abroad with the TWAM organisation - as we did with the tools. If you have anything you would like to donate, please let me know or give it to me at the end of a service.
Tools With a Mission will be delighted to send these out to Africa and when we have finished our collection, will come and collect it here. There is a full list pinned to the Duchess Anne notice board in the passageway.
Thank you, Brenda Simpson, 01738 710094.

Parish Church Singing

The Parish Church Choir has stopped doing pieces in 4-part harmony every week and instead there is now a less formal singing group to make contributions to services.
Anyone can join in – all you have to do (apart from being able to hold a tune!) is come along at 10.30 any Sunday morning when songs to be used that day will be rehearsed. You don’t have to commit to singing every week but just as and when you are able.

Plastic Free Perthshire

An opportunity for Dunkeld & Birnam to lead the way on plastic
Plastic has been on everyone’s minds recently. If you were one of the 17 million people who tuned in to Blue Planet 2 last year, I’m sure you were just as appalled as I was to see the impact of plastic on our oceans. The images of seabirds, turtles and whales suffering from eating plastic were heartbreaking to watch. This made many of us take a step back and think about the impact that our everyday actions are having on oceans.
But plastic pollution isn’t just bad news for oceans - it’s bad news for Dunkeld & Birnam too. Our healthy environment is one of the foundations of our local economy, but plastic pollution poses a real threat. When plastics find their way into our rivers, on to our hillsides and even into wildlife, they damage the beautiful environment that our town depends so deeply depends on.
So what can we do? That’s where Plastic Free Perthshire comes in. Plastic Free Perthshire aims to help businesses realise the opportunities of reducing plastic use, and work with our community to protect our local environment by cutting plastic use. The three types of plastic we want to tackle are: straws, takeaway cups, and plastic bottles.
More and more businesses across Scotland are putting in place solutions to help them cut back on these items in ways which work for them and customers. I want to help businesses in Dunkeld & Birnam do the same!
Wondering how you can reduce your own plastic use?
Three easy things to you can do are:
Get your own reusable takeaway cup (coming soon to Kettles of Dunkeld!)
Use a water bottle instead of buying plastic bottled water
Say no to plastic straws when you’re out for a drink
We’ve got a real opportunity to put Dunkeld & Birnam on the map as a town which protects its local environment and takes plastic pollution seriously. By leading the way on plastic, we can show the rest of Scotland how it’s done and create an exciting new reputation for the whole town.
I’ll be speaking to businesses over the next few weeks to help them reduce their plastic use. If you’d like to find out what opportunities there are for your business or would like to find out more about the project, please feel free to get in touch with me and I’d be happy to help.
Jamie Wylie, Plastic Free Perthshire,
07715 862 906 @PFPerthshire

There’s a lot going on at Amulree Hall…

Dance on 16th March
Music by Tay Ceilidh Band (Callum Wallace)
Monday mornings Bumps and Beyond
Young mums meet up from 10am
Fri morning Fitness with Marcin 10am
Dancing every second Mon
7.30pm till end March
will hopefully recommence in Feb
Thurs morning 11.30am.
Every second Mon 7.30pm Sept- April.
All are welcome to attend any of the above activities, there is no age limit !! sco29092

March at Loch of the Lowes

March is a very exciting month at Loch of the Lowes: for the Visitor Centre, it marks the start of summer opening hours - 7 days a week (10am-5pm); and is usually the month when our ospreys return to their nest.
Last year, the male osprey, LM12, returned on 17th March, with the female, LF15, flying in to join him on 23rd March. Will this be repeated this year? We will be posting news of any osprey action on our social media (details below) and on our Blog. Best of all, why not come up and scan the skies for a chance of the momentous sight of an osprey completing its 3,000 mile migration and landing safely back on its nest. If you or anyone you know would like to take part in the 24 hours osprey nest protection program (Osprey Watch) please contact the Perthshire Ranger (
All training is given and the role brings with it the bonus of fabulous views not only of osprey behaviour but of beaver, otter, great crested grebe and all manner of species throughout the breeding season.
Volunteering with Scottish Wildlife Trust is an excellent way of meeting new people, gaining knowledge of our diverse wildlife and environment and is even proven to be beneficial for both physical and mental well-being. We have many different roles available in the visitor centre and out on the reserve.
Also on 15th March, 7.30pm-9pm, we are delighted to have Jim Crumley coming to Birnam Arts to speak about Nature Writing. The funds raised from the evening will be divided equally between the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Birnam Arts and we hope you will come along and enjoy a fascinating talk while contributing to two very worthwhile causes. Tickets are available from Birnam Arts and Loch of the Lowes: please spread the word! (Adult £10, Conc £8, Under 26’s £5), booking essential.
As I write, it is already very spring-like up at Loch of the Lowes. Wigeon, coot, goldeneye, mallard, heron, little grebe and  goosander are currently on the loch and in the feeding station, siskin, coal tit, great tit, blue tit and yellowhammer along with robins, blackbirds and very lively, vocal great spotted woodpeckers. The woodpeckers have been drumming on the trees for the last few weeks, marking out their territories.
We all look forward to welcoming you to Loch of the Lowes in the coming weeks when we hope (fingers firmly crossed) our ospreys will have returned.
Loch of the Lowes, Scottish Wildlife Trust, 01350 727337
Facebook: Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre and Wildlife Reserve.
Twitter @lochofthelowes Admission charges Adult £4, Conc £3.50 Child 50p Family £7.50 SWT Member FREE

Birnam Hotel Ceilidh Weekend

March 16th and 17th
Dance – Friday 16th 8.30pm to12.00pm
Gary Donaldson’s Band
Birnam Inn - Informal Music Saturday Afternoon
No charge
Dance – Saturday 17th 8.30pm to12.00pm
Ballochmyle Band
Payment £5 on entry both nights
More Information 01796 482539

3 Churches Charity Shop MEN'S SALE

MEN’S SUITS All £10 each

McCalls of Lisburn
Checked Wool SUIT 40R
Waist 32/33 inches - Inside leg 32 inches
Brook Tavener
Dk Grey Wool SUIT 42R
Waist 42 inches - Inside leg 31 inches
Double Breasted SUIT
Navy light stripe 44 R
Waist 35 inches - Inside leg 32 inches
Double breasted SUIT
Blue pinstripe with turn-ups 42R
Waist 34 inches - Inside leg 33 inches

M & S Navy Blazer
Double Breasted - 44 Reg
M&S Navy Jacket
Single breasted – 42 Reg

Wednesday Afternoon Club

If you fancy dropping in to The Wednesday Club for a cup of tea and a blether and a bit of company, then come along on Wednesday Afternoons 2-4pm to the Meeting Room, Birnam Arts Centre. The last one for the year will be the last Wednesday i.e. 28th March.
Look forward to seeing you.


A Bridge Too Far As Mad March Approaches!

Perthshire based charity, Bring Back The Smile To Nepal, will be out on a limb and going the extra mile next month, in a mad March of fundraising.
Anna Gurung (who founded the charity following the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal in April 2015) will be returning to Nepal to mark the third anniversary of the disaster, as the charity steps up its house rebuilding programme. Firstly though, Anna and her friend Paula, will be completing a Mad March of fundraising – with one strenuous and one scary activity.
The month of March will see the two girls running the Inverness Half Marathon followed by plunging 50 metres in a Tandem Buggy Bridge Swing, from The Garry Bridge, near Pitlochry.
“We must be as mad as the proverbial March Hare”, said Anna as she prepares for the events, “but our projects in Nepal are really important to us and we’ll do whatever we can to raise funds.”
You can support Anna and Paula’s efforts by donating or sponsoring them, via the charity’s website If you would like to follow their progress, other your support – or perhaps even join them, please follow the charity’s facebook or twitter pages.

Concert at Caputh

Bruce DaviesBruce Davies is appearing at Caputh Church on March 16th at 7pm
We are looking forward to having such a talented performer to help raise funds for our lovely church.
Bruce gives over 200 performances each year over the UK and has toured in the USA as well as performances in Germany, Canada, Nigeria and Australia.
Bruce is primarily a folk singer with acoustic guitar accompaniment.
An evening not to be missed!
Tickets on the night £6 Concessions £5

Men's Breakfast

Every second Wednesday a group of men meets in the Chanonry to start the day with a cooked breakfast together, discuss events, both local and international, and enjoy each other's company. In March we meet on the 7th & 21st and in April on the 4th & 18th all starting at 8.30am. There is no need to book; just turn up and enjoy and all are welcome.

The Meeting Place

Friday Mornings from 10.00 to 12.00 at Duchess Anne Hall
All Welcome

The Heart of Scotland Forest: what? where? why?

In July 2017, The Heart of Scotland Forest Partnership was launched. Its vision is to create a restored and vibrant landscape that provides opportunities for wildlife to thrive, for local employment and for people’s enjoyment. The land at Dun Coillich – your community land, managed by Highland Perthshire Community Land Trust (HPCLT) – is part of this, together with Forestry Commission Scotland, the John Muir Trust, the Kynachan Estate, the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust. The plan is to connect woodlands across Highland Perthshire from Schiehallion to Loch Tummel, creating wildlife corridors across 3,000 hectares.
If you like the sound of this, come along to HPCLT’s AGM and find out more; it’s at 2pm on Saturday 24th March at Kynachan Hall, Tummel Bridge. The meeting is open to all – you don’t have to be a member. The AGM will be quite short, and will be followed by a talk by Dr David Hetherington, Ecology Adviser with the Cairngorms National Park Authority and a Trustee of the native forest restoration charity, Trees for Life.
There will also be light refreshments, displays illustrating some of the exciting work being done by HPCLT, including our Rural Skills training for young people, and the chance to talk to some of the people actively involved in HPCLT.
Dr Andrew Walker, Chair, HPCLT; 01887 830461,,

Santa Day Committee Update

Following a successful AGM on 8th February 2018, a new management committee was elected for the Dunkeld & Birnam Events Group (Santa Day).
Lachlan MacEwan will remain as chairman, Christine Walker, assisted by Cat Waldron and Alasdair Wylie, will form the finance team, Gillian MacEwan is the secretary and Sue Savill is the minute secretary.
Several of those who attended also offered to provide support in the lead up to and during the event. We would like to thank all those who attended and for their continued support.
We have a new Facebook page - Dunkeld Santa Day.
We are also on Twitter (@DunkeldSantaDay) and Instagram (dunkeldsantaday).
Please feel free to contact by any of these means or on our new email


The start of the Orchard Year

In this the tenth year since the Orchard was planted, an enthusiastic group met in February to plan the year ahead.
First up for discussion was the month to month care of the Orchard.
The early part of the year up till the end of March is always a busy time, the most pressing job being pruning, particularly the apples.
The group decided to work together in four teams to make the task of tackling 134 apple trees less daunting!
A new problem for us this year is a disease called canker.
The diseased wood should be cut out and burned – but where safe to burn it? If anyone in the village can help us out with this, please contact us by email, phone, personal contact or Facebook (Dunkeld and Birnam Community Orchard).
We shall soon be planting some wild flowers. Our present plan is to take plugs of wild flowers from our own gardens - snowdrops, primroses, cowslips, ox eye daisy, lady’s smock, red campion. Again, if you have some “interesting” wild flowers, we’d like to hear from you.
Calling all Children!
Friday 30 March is in to the school holidays
An Easter Egg Hunt is a definite. There may be a Bug Hunt. And of course, bring a picnic! Time 11.00-12.30 (weather permitting).
We have lots of plans for Big Apple Day on Saturday 8 September and for celebrating our 10th Birthday in October.
More later, but one thing we shall be collecting is Memories of Planting Day, and indeed any art work, stories or poems connected with the Orchard.
These could be handed in any time to Katharine at the Old Police House.
The Eco Group at the Royal School is already getting the ball rolling.
Enjoy the Dunkeld and Birnam Community Orchard …because that is exactly what it is. We would welcome extra help with pruning in March, and also at Harvest time between the end of September and the beginning of November. But even if you can’t give us your time, please visit the Orchard because it is there for all of us to enjoy in all its lovely seasons.

Community Council Matters

Correspondence with the Community Council can be made through email: or:
or post: Dunkeld & Birnam Community Council,
Wester Ballachraggan Farmhouse, Amulree,
Dunkeld, Perthshire, PH8 0EA
Date of Next Meeting: Monday 12th February
Time of Next Meeting: 7pm
Venue: Birnam Institute
To read the minutes of previous meetings and to find the agenda for forthcoming meetings see:

davidfoxCommunity Council Matters
David Fox
Community Councillor
Hello everyone. It’s a busy time for the Community Council and for many of the local groups and individuals who are working hard for our community. Initiatives and projects include those to improve our rail and bus service links, the A9 co-creative work which aims to deliver the best possible design option for our stretch of the new dual carriageway, and efforts to retain Post Office facilities for Dunkeld.
As I have responsibility for links with the local Policing team, I thought I would share some of the advice from our Police colleagues. Firstly, we are fortunate to live in an area which does not tend to attract the levels of crime that others may unfortunately suffer. However, Police advice is that we should all remain vigilant, particularly in respect of rural crimes, such as deer poaching or thefts of agricultural machinery etc. If anyone should see a vehicle or people acting suspiciously, they should not hesitate to inform the Police; either on the nonemergency number of 101 or, if they believe a crime is in progress or about to occur, on 999. Many thieves are opportunists, so valuables should not be left on view in parked cars. Finally, a number of local Birnam residents have expressed concern about speeding motorists on Perth Road, through the village. I have spoken with the Police and discussed enforcement options, but would ask that if anyone has any information or car registration numbers, please inform the Police and they will follow up.
Time is running out for local people to submit their ideas for A9 dualling options, for the pass of Birnam to Jubilee Bridge section. Community engagement events are being held, at which anyone can learn more and submit ideas. However, if anyone is unable to attend any of the events they can visit the website, which is packed with useful information and provides the opportunity to submit ideas electronically, in most formats. As David Levy said at our last meeting, “We’ll get the best possible road for our community, if we fully engage in its design”.
We have recently been informed that the Post Office intends to commence a new mobile Post Office facility for Dunkeld. This follows the closure of the Dunkeld office and subsequent concerns expressed by local people and the Community Council. There is no definitive start date for the service, or how it will be advertised locally, however they plan to commence it around mid-March. The mobile Post Office will park in the...

House Group

Once a fortnight, on Tuesdays, a fellowship group meets for Bible Study, discussion and prayer in the Chanonry at 7pm.
Dates for the next few weeks are: March 13th / March 27th
All are welcome and if you would like to know more, contact John and Mara Ferguson on 727585 or Fraser Penny on 727249.

Dunkeld & Birnam Art & Crafts Fairs 2018

Thank you to all those who supported the 2017 craft fairs.
The dates for 2018 are:
Spring Fair 7th and 8th April
Summer Fair 6th, 7th and 8th July
Autumn Fair 6th and 7th October
All the fairs are held in The Drill Hall, The Cross, Dunkeld from 10am to 5pm each day and admission is free.

Pitlochry and District U3A

U3A stands for University of the Third Age, a world-wide organisation for people who are no longer in full-time employment, with no lower age for membership. There are hundreds of U3As throughout the UK. Sometimes perhaps people are put off by the “U” part of U3A, thinking that there are formal classes; there are no classes, no teachers, and everything we learn or participate in is organised by ourselves. Don't be put off by the “3A” part; we are all older than we were but we have experience and skills that we’ve gained during our first and second ages, all ready to share.
For more information get in touch with Meg Ross at: 01796 483281 or

Scottish Wildlife Trust Pitlochry & Highland Perthshire Group

On Monday 19th February in the Tryst Hall, Pitlochry at 7.30pm Susan Davies will talk about ‘Making a difference for wildlife. What the SWT is doing now and what is the future vision’.
For more information contact Richard Horobin:
On Monday 19th March in the Tryst Hall, Pitlochry at 7.30pm Eilidh McNab will talk about ’What’s happened on Duncoillich as the trees return’.
For more information contact Richard Horobin:
On Monday 16th April in the Village hall in Blair Atholl at 7.30pm David Hetherington will talk about ‘Restoring a functioning natural world, the case for getting the lynx back’. Please note change of venue for this talk.
For more information contact Richard Horobin:

Dunkeld and Birnam in Bloom

bloomAs we are now approaching Spring, we are starting our planning for the coming year. The snowdrops are beginning to flower in Torwood Park, where they seem to appear before anywhere else. Last year the bed in Torwood Park was becoming more established and had lots of colour right through the Summer. Most of the planting there has been made possible through donations of plants which were not needed by members of the community, and odds and ends, from splitting our own plants in other parts of the village, consequently keeping costs to a minimum. We hope this coming year to improve the other bed in the park, near the entrance, as it has become very bare over many years. We intend to remove old overgrown shrubs and replace them with more colourful planting and hopefully, funds permitting, lay new gravel.
The adjoining Old Hostel Walk, has also been planted with more daffodils, and some aconites, and fritillary. On a dry afternoon in Autumn, some of the children from the Royal School helped us to plant lots of different ferns, which were very kindly donated by Dobbies Garden Centre. Their enthusiasm was commendable and we are very much looking forward to seeing the results when the Spring hopefully arrives!
Any donations are very welcome, as we have to somehow raise funds to cover the cost of all our bulbs, compost, Summer planting and tools etc. As ever, we greatly appreciate any help, even for an hour or two now and again. You know what they say - "many hands make light work"!

An Evening of Words & Music @ the Birnam Reader

(bookshop & coffee house)
Friday, 23 February 2018 @ 7pm
Walking with Ghosts & ‘Songs from the Mountains’ - Alan J. Laing & Kenneth Maciver
Tippermuir Books is delighted to host an evening of words and music @ The Birnam Reader (Station Road, Birnam). Come along and hear Alan read from and discuss his new book Walking with Ghosts: New Prose & Poetry from Perthshire & Beyond. And, listen to Kenneth Maciver sing from his repertoire of ‘Songs from the Mountains’. And, of course, enjoy a cup of great coffee/tea; and tuck in to some delicious homemade cakes.
Book your seat by visiting or messaging the Birnam Reader - thebirnamreader/.
Alan J. Laing lives in Perthshire. In the last four years he has won three awards from Mountaineering Scotland for his fictional stories involving walking, climbing and mountains, as well as one award for poetry. Climbing and walking has been a lifelong hobby of his.
Kenneth Maciver is a classically-trained singer and a founder member of the Jambouree Choir. Kenneth has won a number of prestigious awards for his fine baritone voice, is in great demand as a soloist, and has sung with the Scottish National Orchestra.
‘Whether it’s high drama, Flight of fantasy or chuckling comedy, most of Alan’s writing relates to mountains and mountaineers, a world where he is completely at home.' Neil Reid, Mountaineering Scotland.

Highland & Strathtay Decide


Highland and Strathtay Action Partnership and Perth & Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership are putting local communities in charge of how money is spent

Guerilla Gardeners Wanted!

The Beatrix Potter Garden is somewhere that adults and children alike can enjoy - its plants, its pond and its history.
But with Councils everywhere no long able to maintain the same levels of ground maintenance, there’s a risk that it will become overgrown if we don’t take a
more active role in trying to keep it tidy. The hard work of laying it out has been done.
It’s more a question of a few people turning up 3 or 4 times a year just to keep tidy. If you’d be willing to spend a few hours every month or two, please get in touch. All it takes is 6 or 7 people (and we already have 3).
It’s an attractive, restful garden for visitors and local people alike. Let’s try and keep it that way.
Drop me an email on (my children’s choice, not mine) Dr Mike Silburn.

Gien a Haund - Providing Support To Older People

The Festive period has seen a number of requests for help, some relating to the weather and some to more simple challenges - like fixing computers. On the IT front, we now have a few IT savvy volunteers. Alex has managed to fix a neighbour’s tablet, while Alison and Eve can provide help around getting the best from your computer - such as ordering repeat prescriptions.
We’ve taken a few lunches out to Lunch Club members unable to get to the Club because of ill health and we’re starting to look at the demand for occasional hot meals for older people in the community. If there is a demand, we’ll also be looking for volunteers for this!
You may also have seen posters in some of the local shops, bus stations and the Surgery looking for volunteers to provide occasional help - picking up a prescription or shopping and the like. We’re working with the Craigvinean Drivers Group on this one, to expand the range of support which, collectively, we’re able to provide. We’ve already had our first response to this campaign, but we really need more folk to come forward if it is to fly.
Perhaps our biggest growth area though has been that of Befriending. More older people are telling us they would like someone to visit them - although so far, we’ve just about kept up with demand. As more of us live longer, but further away from our children, so more of us will come to rely on the companionship of people other than our immediate family. So we’ll need to rely on each other. The need for people willing to commit an hour or so of their time on a regular basis is only going to grow.
If you could spare an hour every week or so and are interested in becoming a Befriender, please Contact
If you’re not able to make a regular commitment, but would still be interested in helping our older residents when you can, please contact

Make Sure You Have Your Say On Future Council Service Priorities

Perth and Kinross residents are being asked to tell the Council about their priorities for the coming years through an online survey which will feed into the budget-setting process next year.
Like all local authorities Perth & Kinross Council is preparing for the significant financial challenges which lie ahead. Public views gathered in the survey will help Councillors make informed decisions when considering the options for the 2018/19 financial year and beyond.
The survey is open from now until midnight on Sunday 4 February 2018 at A summary of responses will be included in the report considered by the Council when agreeing the budget later that month.
Council Leader Ian Campbell said: “It will not come as news to anyone that Perth & Kinross Council faces major financial challenges as we head into the next financial year. Public sector budgets are tighter than ever and there will be some hard decisions to make.
“The Council has a good strong record of prudent financial management, which has been recognised by external auditors over a number of years. However, demand for services has continued to increase across the board, and it is important to look at how these are delivered while managing reducing budgets.
“I would urge as many people as possible to take the time to fill in the online survey to make sure that your views are taken into account when the Council meets to agree the budget next year.”
The survey asks residents to tell the Council how they feel about different service areas. Respondents are asked how they would make savings from the
Council budget, and to share any ideas they may have for helping the Council generate additional income to offset the savings required.
The webpage also includes information about how the Council budget is currently spent.

Dunkeld Community Market

marketDunkeld Community Market organsied by Dunkeld & Birnam Events Group - 2nd Sunday of every month at St.Ninians Gardens from 11am to 3pm.
Following them on Facebook for more details.

King’s Seat Hillfort Archaeology

pkhtProject: Findings from the first season
“Hugely important” evidence of Pictish metal working found at King’s Seat, Dunkeld!
This September marked the first season of excavations in an exciting three year project investigating the hillfort of King’s Seat, above Dunkeld. Over 70 volunteers and local school pupils joined Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust, Dunkeld and Birnam Historical Society and professional archaeologists from AOC Archaeology Ltd to unearth an impressive assemblage of early historic metalworking artefacts and possible slingshot ammunition.
The King’s Seat Hillfort Archaeology Project offers volunteers from the local and wider community, including local primary and secondary schools, the opportunity to help professional archaeologists uncover the history of this enigmatic hill top site whilst receiving training in archaeological skills. The project is a partnership between Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust (PKHT) and the Dunkeld and Birnam Historical Society (DBHS) supported by professional archaeological contractors AOC Archaeology Ltd and funded by Heritage Lottery, the Gannochy Trust, and Scottish & Southern Electric’s Griffin and Calliacher Windfarm Community Fund.
King’s Seat hillfort is located to the north of Dunkeld on a major bend in the river Tay and has long been inaccessible due to rhododendron growth over the summit. However, thanks to a gargantuan effort from DBHS volunteers in 2016, the summit of King’s Seat is now free from vegetation, meaning that the fort can to be visited, appreciated and excavated.
The fort’s defences surround a central ‘citadel’ enclosure measuring about 35m x 25m, situated at the summit of the hill with a cascading series of ramparts below that enclose a flight of lower terraces.
The first season of excavations at King’s Seat took place in September with 39 volunteers and 35 primary and secondary school pupils climbing the steep slopes of the hill to help with the dig over the two week duration.
Four trenches were opened this year:
Trench 1 – located over a series of terrace steps down the west side of the summit;
Trench 2 – over a large mound situated at the highest point of the hill adjacent to a large glacial erratic boulder;
Trench 3 – positioned over what looked to be the end of the summit rampart next to a possible entranceway; and
Trench 4 – looking at the flat area enclosed by the rampart surrounding the summit of the hill.
The excavations revealed that the rhododendron growth on the summit of the hill and remodelling of some of the lower banks by the Atholl Estate in the Victorian period has had a significant impact on the condition of the shallow archaeological deposits. Despite these challenges there have been some very important and interesting discoveries:
The enclosing rampart walls and banks of the hillfort were found to have different constructions with the lower terrace walls being made of earth and large stone boulders whilst the summit enclosure forming a more coherent formal wall with inner and outer faces....

Dunkeld and Birnam Community Growing @the field

fieldAn Invitation to the Field
The Field will be getting busy in February, spreading dung filling boxes with compost to warm up and planting out in the polytunnel so lots of jobs for volunteers. Come along on Thursday or Saturday mornings and share the coffee banter and preparation for what we hope will be another successful growing season. We are still enjoying some of the 6000 leeks we planted this time last year, as well as lovely kale, sprouts, cabbage, onions, beetroot, parsnip, carrot, tatties and swedes. Our winter veg have survived the frosts and are all the sweeter for it. Hopefully the frost will have thinned out the pests, particularly slugs which deeved us last summer. Not that we are averse to biodiversity but…
We welcome new and old members and this is the time to renew your membership, forms are available on our website. Renewing members will be sent a form and we look forward to their continuing and valued support.

Vacancy: Deputy General Manager

vacancyBABirnam Arts and Conference Centre is a 125 year old Scottish charity that has, in recent years, evolved into a vibrant and award winning arts and community centre based in the re-developed Birnam Institute.

Happy 4th Birthday to CAP Highland Perthshire

For four years, the Christians Against Poverty Highland Perthshire Debt Centre has been supporting local people to manage their finances and become debtfree.
CAP can give the time and resources needed to support people practically and emotionally as well as helping them find a solution to the problem of debt that they find themselves in. Many clients have said that even after the first visit from the local CAP Debt Coach they felt reassured that there was a solution for them … and that someone was now sharing the load with them. CAP also provided Christmas Hampers to families who found themselves struggling at this time.
Everyone is different and CAP’s holistic approach ensures that everyone is treated with respect and supported in a way best suited to them. We can meet clients in their own homes and our befrienders support clients while they walk their journey out of debt; helping them with shopping, taking them out, or just being a listening ear. Often clients say that their befriender was a real ‘life-line’ for them during a difficult and dark period.
We at CAP are humbled to journey with people until they see light at the end of the tunnel … and it’s been a real joy to see lives transformed once people are debt-free and in control of their finances. There is always a way out! CAP also offer Money courses for anyone who would like help in managing their finances more effectively.
Don’t leave it till you are struggling… find out more at or call 0800 328 0006
Debt Centre Manager: Angela Hanvey 07513 652597 (Tues/Wed)

Blythswood Shoe Box Appeal 2017 Thank You

A huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who contributed to the Shoe box appeal for Blythswood again this year and many thanks to Ann Rees for taking care of the organising, covering dozens of boxes and making sure they got down to Perth on time. This year we broke our own record by sending 125 boxes plus a lot of extra items (which help make up other boxes) and cash donations.
These gifts bring tremendous joy to people who have so little and are therefore much appreciated.

Update on Inver A9 Tree Felling

treefellingForestry Commission Scotland tree felling on along the A9 at Inver is now well underway, removing the conifers from beside the rivers Braan and Tay, an overhead powerline, a high pressure gas pipe and the A9.
The first phase, felling trees along the overhead powerline and the A9, has been completed successfully. The focus is now on felling and processing the remainder of the spruce trees, which are severely affected by rot and have started to blow over.
Monday 20th November will see the start of the access point upgrade to facilitate moving timber from the forest to the access point and haulage of timber away from site.
This will come with another week’s worth of traffic management on the A9 northbound, with delays of up to 5 minutes possible.
The next tricky phase will be to fell the large fir trees away from the path and the high pressure gas pipe underneath it. The site will remain closed to the public until all timber has been removed from the forest and the path has been cleared of debris. We will do our best to re-open the path before Christmas, so please help us do so by staying safe, adhering to all signs and following diversions.
We aim to re-plant the site in spring with a mix of broadleaved species.
On Tuesday 14th November a group of children, teachers and parents from the Royal School of Dunkeld visited the site to learn about the tree felling and how we manage the environment on site. See young roving reporter for an excellent report that some of the pupils wrote about their visit.

Eva Sparreboom,
Tay Forest District, Forestry Commission Scotland

New Elders

On November 5th the Church of Scotland congregation welcomed six new elders on to the Kirk Session.
Crawford Gillies, who had been ordained already was admitted and John Ferguson, Alison Gillies, Mara Maggio, Jackie McLean and Sheila Mannion were ordained and admitted to the eldership in this parish. We are delighted to welcome these new elders onto our Kirk Session.

RSPB Scotland Big Garden Birdwatch Event

27 January 2018, 11am – 3pm
The Beatrix Potter Garden
Free : All Welcome
Fun activities for children as well as lots of information on the Birdwatch Survey
For more information contact:
Lauren Shannon, Community Engagement Officer
Tayside and Fife Office Ground Floor,
Robertson House,
1 Whitefriars Crescent,
Perth, PH2 0PA
Tel 01738 783233
Mobile 07703 889105

Applepressing at Auchtergaven Primary School

applepressingAndrew Lear a.k.a. Appletreeman, our very own Bankfoot local apple expert, came in to Auchtergaven Primary School at the end of October to give a demonstration of apple pressing to the P1/2 and P2/3 classes.
Both kids and teachers found it very interesting and there were opportunities for the kids to get involved hands-on with the machinery for first mashing and then pressing of the apples.
A variety of apples were brought in by parents and kids, some of which were picked at the Dunkeld and Birnam community orchard.
Feedback from the kids overheard on the day included “This is the very best apple juice I’ve ever drank!”

Dunkeld Deer Management Forum Newsletter September 2017

The last meeting of the Forum was well supported and for the first time we have comprehensive coverage of Deer management in the Dunkeld area. The data which we have gathered suggests increased effort is required to manage the local population of Fallow, Red and Roe deer. We also have good representation from other stakeholders in the community and many interesting topics were raised from Deer Vehicle Collisions to the interaction of deer, riparian woodland and beavers. The A9 between Ballinluig and Bankfoot is a hot spot for DVCs especially at dawn and dusk in the Autumn and in May. Please take care and be prepared for deer on the roads over the next few months. SNH has published advice to drivers on their website. Police Scotland would encourage the public to report any accidents, injured deer or carcases by the roadside on any roads.
Deer also congregate around towns and villages, they are a delight to watch and provide a tourist attraction. The forum would however like to advise the public not to feed wild deer. Deer are free from most livestock diseases but if they congregate around feeding points on a regular basis they are at a higher risk of disease. In this area deer do not lose much condition over the winter and our local habitat provides them with ample browsing and shelter so Rudolf might not benefit from being fed carrots! If anyone has any comments to make on this article or any issues regarding deer in the community you can contact the Forum through the Community council: or

SOBBS Update

Save our Birnam Bus Group heard on 14th November via the Community Council that Stagecoach were planning changes, to our 23 bus service to Perth that will be introduced on Monday 20th November.
The plans are that the bus will no longer start and finish at Perth Bus Station and will only go to and from Mill St (except Sundays). This will be a major blow to residents in Highland Perthshire who want to travel on from Perth bus station to other parts of Scotland or catch the train especially if they cannot use the Dunkeld and Birnam station because of the low platforms here.
Already a member of our group has expressed dismay as she had planned to go to Perth bus station for onward travel to London. She is very worried about what she will do as she cannot change buses in Perth with luggage because of disability.
There is also going to be a cut to the evening service, for example:
For the significant number of people commuting to and from Perth on a daily basis the reduction in service at the end of the day is not good. There are currently 3 buses leaving Mill Street between 4.30pm and 6pm but in the new timetable there is only 1. This means anyone finishing work and unable to catch the 17.20 bus will have to wait another 65 minutes until the next one.
We are very concerned that Stagecoach is again reducing the service to Birnam and Dunkeld.
We have been in touch with our MSP John Swinney to express concern and we would like anyone who has a view on these changes to get in touch with us and we will consider what to do next.
Contact Pam Green: or 01350 728 926

Harvest Lunch Thank You

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Harvest Appeal for a Salvation Army project to provide clean water for communities in Kenya and other parts of Africa. The money we give will help with the building of sand dams.
Between the collection and the proceeds from the Harvest Lunch on November 5th we were able to send £1,701 to The Salvation Army.

Dunkeld Cathedral Art Exhibition

The Annual General Meeting will be held in the Duchess Anne on Wednesday 31st January 2018 at 2.30pm. All welcome.
For further details please contact: or phone Margaret Scott 01738 710399

Dunkeld and Birnam Historical Society Talks Spring 2018

It seems strange to be talking about spring already but here is our spring programme to which everyone is welcome to attend.
All meetings take place in Birnam Arts at 7:30pm
Monday 19th February 2018: AGM followed by Ian Sinclair on “Experiences of the Beadle at Dunkeld Cathedral”
Monday 19th March 2018: David Strachan (Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust). The exciting finds from the Kings Seat excavations in September 2018.
Monday 16th April: David Leggat. The History of livestock markets and Movements.
At the AGM we will also be giving details of our next outing which will be to Culross on 16th May.
If you would like more information, please contact us at:

Dave Roberts, Secretary

The Deaf, The Daft & The Ditsy

Connie HorseThe Deaf, the Daft and the Ditsy, a four legged journey across the Hebrides.
If I was to sum up our adventure in one word it would be "humbling". On the 10th August I set off to the Outer Hebrides with my rescue animals, dog Pip, who is deaf and my ditsy mare Connie. Our plan was to walk/ride the length of the islands to raise funds for Blairgowrie Riding for the Disabled in Perthshire Scotland, of which I am Chair. We were undertaking the adventure unsupported, which meant we were, or rather Connie, was carrying all of our camping, corralling and cooking equipment.
We set off from the southerly island of Vatersay and headed north, covering both Vatersay and Barra in two days. Crossing our third island, Eriskay, some of the rare Eriskay ponies came trotting down the hillside to say hello.
Continuing onto South Uist I couldn’t wait to start the Machair Path, 36km of sandy trails and beaches, what more could we ask for? Two days later we arrived to a warm welcome at Howmore Hostel. We’d had our biggest day, over 9hrs and 32km after getting lost, arriving at a fence with no gate and having to back track and then getting into boggy ground, before jumping a ditch and having our panniers end up under Connie’s belly!
Howmore, which is a Gatliff Trust Hostel, had never had a horse stay, warden Betty had been there for 30 years, her mother was warden before her and her daughter looks set to take up the reins.
We remained northerly bound and spent a storm bound day at the Community Riding School in Benbecula, a wonderful community led initiative. We then briefly touched on Grimsay before crossing North Uist where we crossed over the tidal beach to the truly stunning island of Valley. Uninhabited but with beautiful, albeit hauntingly old mansion ruins we spent the afternoon watching the tide come in, leaving us island bound, exploring the bays and routes bareback, stopping off for lunch on the beach with Pip and Connie roaming free. It was to be our favourite day of the trip, our own island, all to ourselves!
We then headed again north and had a very welcome day off on small but beautiful island of Berneray. Although beaches were around each and every corner, you never took their beauty for granted.
Another short ferry crossing brought us onto Harris where we took the Old Road to Tarbet. A former packhorse route it led me to wonder what it was like, back in the day when horses would have been part of everyday life on crofts. It was a lovely, albeit boggy path which climbs up to a bealach, which gives stunning views across the loch behind. Unfortunately we went into a bog, Connie floundered, sending me off over her shoulder crashing onto solid ground. We’d lost a boot, which was no surprise...

The Tale o the Wee Mowdie

bookTippermuir Books announces the arrival of The Tale o the Wee Mowdie, a book we hope you will agree children and adults will love.
As you are no doubt aware there is a great deal of interest in Scotland (and beyond) in books translated into Scots. Several titles, including Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo and David Walliams’s The Billionaire Boy, have been rather successful as Scots translations.
The Tale o the Wee Mowdie is the latest children’s book to be offered in Scots.
Drawing on the success of the book in English, German, and other languages Tippermuir Books made the decision to provide a Scots translation of The Story of the Little Mole in co-partnership with its German publishers. We have produced a book with high production values at a very reasonable price (£6.99) and one we are confident will make not only a delightful gift but an educational one too.
Books can be ordered directly from Tippermuir Books (with free postage and packing), from Amazon, or other online booksellers.
The book will be available very soon from bookshops across Scotland - in the meantime copies can be ordered from us directly or from any bookshop.

Poetry Corner

Prelude Tae Winter at Balhomish
Blaw's snell the wund on yonder hill,
Whaur Gimmers hunker doon;
Wi' Kye noo a' agin the byre,
Thon Ferm fir noo is still.

Lang up the Strath abin the murk,
There's noo a skoosh o' snaw;
It's slaistered a' they hills and glens,
Far doon frae Beinn a' Glaw.

Doon by the loch, cauld nicht draws in,
The daylicht fades awa;
A Howlet keeks oot o' his Bield,
Unblinkin doon below.

Bit life gaes on by thon wee weir,
A Burnie noo is born;
It loups the fa'as when on its way,
Tae jine the Mither Tay.

Jack, Birnam

Birnam and Dunkeld SWI

The first meeting of the new session of Birnam and Dunkeld SWI was a talk and demonstration on defibrillators by a defibrillator group from the Pitlochry High School defibrillator group. They demonstrated cardio pulmonary recussitation (CPR) .They familiarised us with the public access defibrillator and how to use it.
The next meeting will be in the Birnam Institute on Tuesday 17th October at 7.30 p.m. The talk will be by Neil Butler of the Stewart Tower Dairy. The competition is for an individual trifle and a milk jug. All welcome.

Probus Club


Meetings for the year ahead. All 10am for 10:30 in the Birnam Institute
14 Nov – The Happiness Business. What we do to make ourselves happy. Talk by Roger Stark Lades Morning
5 Dec – Allenby and Palestine 1917/18 Willie Couper
9 Jan – Lockerbie Revisited Talk by Stephen Mannion
13 Feb – Police Trauma Treatment Centres Talk by Graham Addison
10 March – Pitlochry Festival Theatre – Past Present and Future Talk by Kris Bryce
19 April – Annual Dinner Uisge Restaurant, Murthly
8 May –AGM

Girlguiding Dunkeld – Guides & Senior Section in Switzerland

A big THANK YOU to all who have contributed to the fundraising over the last year to make this trip possible!

While assembling 41 people at Edinburgh airport in the early hours of Saturday 1st of July, the thought crossed my mind that the busiest day of the travelling year may not have been the best day to start this venture – but precisely because we were such a big group, this was the only week that Kandersteg  International Scout Centre (KISC) was able to accommodate us. After a little bit of nail-biting because something seemed to have gone wrong with the number of bags we were allowed to check in, everyone eventually made it to the boarding gate. We were on our way!

The less than perfect weather on arrival didn’t dampen spirits – there was enough to do to find dorms, settle on who was going to sleep in which bed, and generally get to know the centre and the surrounding area.


But by Sunday afternoon, a bit more action was needed – and what do you do with Scottish Guides when it’s too wet and chilly to do anything else? You take them to the open-air swimming pool!

The day ended with an impromptu campfire with the Torwood Scouts from Falkirk, ably (and loudly) run by our Senior Section. It was the Scouts first day, and after travelling all day, some of the boys didn’t quite know what had hit them!

On Monday the weather started to improve and it was the start of our organised activities. The Guides went rock-climbing, which gave everyone a sense of achievement – whether they got to the top, or simply managed to get a little bit higher than they would have expected.

For the Senior Section the cold waters of the Lütschine provided some great White Water Rafting, followed by a visit to the pretty town of Interlaken. The picture shows them having their lunch at the most scenic spot imaginable.


The International Evening at KISC concluded the day. Our display of all things Scottish was much appreciated (particularly as it included such local goodies as smoked salmon and a lot of homemade tablet), though we were by no means the only Scots there that week.

On Tuesday it was the Guides’ turn to go White Water Rafting on the slightly more sedate Simme river. While some girls (and leaders) had to overcome a bit of nerves, they all agreed afterwards that it had been brilliant fun. The Senior Section meanwhile went off to hike to a mountain hut to spend the night, followed by a climbing session the next day.

For the rest of the group, Tuesday night was taken...

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

Kings Seat Community Archaeology Project

hist socThis fascinating project is a new venture in partnership between Dunkeld and Birnam Historical Society, Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust and AOC Archaeology to find out more about 'The Fort of the Caledonians', a hillfort situated on a prominent hill located at a major bend in the River Tay by Dunkeld. It is a citizen-science project funded by Heritage Lottery, the Gannochy Trust, and Scottish & Southern Electric Community Fund. It is an exciting opportunity for professional archaeologists to work alongside volunteers and students to archaeologically excavate the hillfort in order to better understand the impact that vegetation is having and increase knowledge of this mysterious, unstudied site.
For two weeks in September, many volunteers were working on the site under the guidance of professional archaeologists and visitors to the site including pupils from the Royal School of Dunkeld and Breadalbane Academy have been able to watch this interesting project develop. There have been many interesting finds but at the time of writing this it is to early to say anything definitive as more research needs to be undertaken off site.
However finds include moulds that may once have been used in the creation of metal objects by skilled craftspeople and querns once used for grinding grain.
The items give weight to the belief that a powerful chieftain may once have ruled from the so-called Fort of the Caledonians.
They could also help archaeologists to accurately date the habitation of the fort and begin to piece together its lifespan for the first time.
The site is now being back filled and returned to its original form as it is a scheduled monument. The next stage of the dig will take place in September 2018.
If you want to know more about this project, the Bridge will feature articles and it is intended to use the March 2018 Historical Society meeting to have an update on the initial findings from David Strachan of the Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust. In addition you can go to their website and read a blog about the project

Image: David McDougall at Kings Seat with an important Find.

Café Scientifique

Our local Café Scientifique will be holding the following meetings this autumn. Meetings start at 19:15 and all are welcome. Updates can be found at our website:
Tuesday, 17th October (Royal Dunkeld Hotel)
Dr Martin Dominik, School of Physics and Astronomy, St Andrews.
‘The light’s for turning’ - Finding anything from black holes to planetary moons using the gravitational microlensing effect.
Tuesday, 21st November (Café Calluna, Pitlochry)
Dr Mark Claire, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, St Andrews
‘The long-term co-evolution of Earth and Life’ - How Earth changed life and life changed Earth.
Tuesday, 12th December (Royal Dunkeld Hotel)
Prof. Philip Lightfoot, School of Chemistry, St Andrews
‘The Crystal Maze – discovering new materials through crystallography’. Finding useful new chemical compounds and improving old ones.


Poppy Collecting

Dunkeld & Birnam British legion will not be doing any poppy collecting this year. Poppy Scotland were to arrange an alternative but we have had no word

Forest Enterprise Scotland

Would like to offer an opportunity to lease a small area Craigvinean Forest near Dalmarnock for small scale timber processing and seasoning of privately acquired timber. This is not intended to include firewood. Good vehicle access to the site.
Further details/enquiries:
Peter Fullarton, 0300 067 6380 or

Dunkeld Auto Services

Earlier in the year the opportunity arose to purchase what was GM Auto located at Unit 1-3, Cally Industrial Estate, Dunkeld, PH8 0HU.
As a mechanic to trade and having always had a passion for vehicles, specifically the repair of, I decided to go ahead and for the past 6 months have been steadily working toward opening on a full-time basis. I take personal pride in attention to detail and turning out work of a very high standard.
Now fully qualified as an MOT tester I have completed my final trip overseas in the Oil & Gas industry and will now be open for business permanently.
For those customers who have continued to use the garage throughout this period I thank you and I look forward to welcoming customers new.
Ryan O’Connor

Girlguiding Dunkeld

Girlguiding Dunkeld – Guides and Senior Section in Switzerland
A big THANK YOU to all who have contributed to the fundraising over the last year to make this trip possible!
While assembling 41 people at Edinburgh airport in the early hours of Saturday 1st of July, the thought crossed my mind that the busiest day of the travelling year may not have been the best day to start this venture – but precisely because we were such a big group, this was the only week that Kandersteg International Scout Centre (KISC) was able to accommodate us. The less than perfect weather on arrival didn’t dampen spirits – there was enough to do to find dorms, settle on who was going to sleep in which bed, and generally get to know the centre and the surrounding area.
But by Sunday afternoon, a bit more action was needed – and what do you do with Scottish Guides when it’s too wet and chilly to do anything else? You take them to the open-air swimming pool! The day ended with an impromptu campfire with the Torwood Scouts from Falkirk, ably (and loudly) run by our Senior Section. It was the Scouts first day, and after travelling all day, some of the boys didn’t quite know what had hit them!
During the week the weather started to improve and it was the start of our organised activities including Rockclimbing; white water rafting, a hike to a mountain hut to spend the night; Climbing sessions; .KISC Kander- Challenge, Culture-craft workshop; ‘Come Dine with Me’; An opportunity to learn about the history and the global aspects of Girlguiding; a cable car ride up to Oeschinensee, and of course …. Campfires!
It was a great week, and the memories will hopefully last a long time.

Girlguiding Dunkeld – Join Us
Did 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...

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.

Birnam Arts Is Seeking New Charity Trustees

We currently have vacancies on the Board of Trustees and are seeking to broaden our Board’s skills and expertise. If you are interested in the Arts, enthusiastic about Birnam Arts and have a strategic vision then please contact John Anderson, Chair at for further details.

Free Digital Skills Sessions

Free Digital Learning Skills are starting at Birnam library on Friday afternoons from 2-4.30pm.
Sheila, the new Digital Skills Volunteer Coordinator working with Culture Perth and Kinross Libraries, can help learners to use their own devices or guide with learning on one of our public access computers.
She has set up an informal programme that learners where they can register with where they can learn with support as well as on their own.

NTS Nature Nippers!

Nature Nippers: Secretive Squirrels
Wednesday 6th September, 11am – 12 noon
Do you have a 2-5-year-old who loves being outside? Then join the Rangers to find signs that squirrels have been  in the Hermitage woods. Our friendly puppet sidekick ‘Sandy the Squirrel’ will join our search for his friends and we will also make squirrel feeders and crafts to take home.
£4 per child. Meeting in the lower Hermitage car park. Children must be accompanied by an adult and wear wellies and warm, waterproof clothing. Book by phone or email: 07734366703 or
Fantastic Fungi:
Saturday 23rd September & Thursday 12th October 10.30am - 12.30pm
This event is a perfect beginner’s guide to the fascinating world of fungi. The Rangers will show you a large variety of fungi to help you learn basic I.D. and folklore at the Hermitage. Suitable for adults and older children. Adults £5; Children £3. Meet at the Hermitage lower car park.
Nature Nippers: Autumn Art:
Wednesday 4th October 11am - 12 noon
For all creative tots aged 2-5 years old this is a great chance to get arty in the beautiful hermitage woods. We will be exploring autumn colours, finding ‘the stick man’ and making cool crafts to take home from natural materials we find on the forest floor. £4 per child. Meet at the Hermitage Lower Car Park.

And coming up, details in October Bridge:
Squirrel Scampers :
Tuesday 10th October 10.30am - 12noon
Battle of Killiecrankie :
Wednesday 18th October 2.00pm - 4.00pm

Can You Help Volunteers Wanted

Do you have an hour or two to spare per week?
Are you friendly and enjoy socialising?
Tenants from Servite House, Willowbank sheltered housing complex are looking for a person to run their weekly Gentle Seated Exercise Class. This has started on a Friday morning at 11am. No experience needed as training will be provided.
We are also looking for a volunteer to help out, when needed, at our tenants’ events and coffee mornings.
Induction provided – Disclosure Scotland check required
For more information contact:
Gary Flew, Volunteer Coordinator, 01382 237179 –
or contact the Sheltered Housing Scheme Manager, Heather Campbell – Dunkeld 01350 237158 or email:

Up-Cycling Group

If you’ve been in Birnam Arts after Zumba on a Monday evening, you might have been wondering where the blethering, hammering and laughing is coming from...
Every Monday evening, from 7.30-9.30pm, the Arts Workshop becomes a space for folk to get together, share skills, ideas and get stuck into all sorts of up-cycling projects.
Masses of old curtains, furniture, lamps, lampshades, glasses and mirrors that have been rescued from clear outs are being recycled into useful material for community projects. More than £100.00 was raised last Christmas for UNICEF by selling cushions and bags from unused material that has been donated to the group.
In line with a School priority to enhance the enjoyment of reading, the group have now made cushions, bags, bunting and curtains for a Book Shed at the School nursery. The School Library has had a bundle of new cushions and bunting made to brighten up and make their reading space more comfy and fun.
New bunting for our local library was made to add colour to their brilliant open day. And at School, all the children are now able to enjoy a pop-up reading space every week outside on recycled carpet squares and outdoor cushions.
Older children have been decorating new fabric book bags (made up blank with ribbon ties by Up-Cycling Group) so that they can be used as borrow bags from the School library with a book, toy and game in each.
During Dunkeld & Birnam Unplugged, there will be two new free skills sessions on offer. One on Make’n’Mend with Roobido from Pitlochry where you can learn basic skills, like putting in a zip and make a simple item. A taster session on Up-Cycling Furniture will be offered too, where you can get a chance to see and try out a few new techniques. Both will lead to classes being offered for subsidised prices over the autumn/winter. The Up-Cycling Group was established after Dunkeld & Birnam Unplugged sessions last year, it is free and open to anyone interested to get involved.
If you might be interested in getting involved with the Upcycling Group or to book a place on one of these sessions or follow up classes, contact Jess on:

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.


Hidden treasure?

Search your attic and cupboards for those long forgotten items that you always wanted to know more about -and bring them to St Mary's Church, Birnam on Saturday September 9th between 10am. and 1pm when experts from Lyon and Turnbull will be on hand to give their expert opinion. Only £5 an item and coffee and cake will be served. You may get a pleasant surprise!
Jane Anderson 01350 723203

The Balsam Pullers

balsalmInto nature conservation - Why not join the balsam pullers?
Some of you may know that there is a small group of dedicated balsam pullers who meet at various venues around Dunkeld and Birnam from early June to late August.
Pulling is very therapeutic, and the Dunkeld pullers work for just one and a half hours each Monday morning then make for the cafe for coffee and scones.
Very civilised!
They are controlling the spread of himalayan balsam which is an invasive species not native to Britain. This plant, although some people like its pink flowers, spreads so that other plants can’t grow beneath it. Its rich nectar attracts the pollinators away from other flowers. This means that plant and insect biodiversity is limited. Also, once the plants die back in the winter, the soil is left bare so there is more likelihood of erosion and flooding in riverside areas.

Wanted For Birnam Arts

Wanted - Birnam Arts are appealing for the community to rummage around their lofts, garages and basements for an unwanted display case in need of a new home!
The Beatrix Potter exhibition are looking to display some new acquired artefacts and in need of a case, roughly: 150cm tall, 50cm deep and 100cm wide.
Please contact Dave Amos on 01350 727674 or

Dunkeld & Birnam Historical Society - PKHT

kingsseatDunkeld and Birnam Historical Society in partnership with the Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust. As you will may be aware we have been successful in applying for funding for a four year project on Kings Seat and we would be grateful if you could publicise it especially about the opportunity for volunteers to be involved. If you want more information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

The project will focus primarily on engaging local residents and school children with the archaeological and intangible heritage of King’s Seat Hillfort, Dunkeld. It is proposed to carryout a community excavation of the hillfort over three years and in the fourth year to publish the findings and incorporate the information into outreach material to provide interpretation for the local community and visitors to the site. Depending on individuals interest and needs there are a variety of ways in which people can directly engage with this project and gain a better understanding of their local heritage and King’s Seat hillfort.

Local school children will be directly engaged with the project and learn about the process of archaeological excavation and about their local heritage. The schools will be visited by an archaeologist each year, who will introduce to the project. Pupils will participate in activities designed to explain what archaeology is. Following this visit a number of both primary and secondary students will visit the community excavation and become an archaeologist for the day, where they will be trained and take part in the excavation. A follow-up visit will be made to the schools to reinforce what the pupils have learned and to answer any question pupils may have. In the fourth year of the project pupils will help design and provide content for a children’s guide/activity sheet for King’s Seat, which will accompany the Heritage Trail Interpretation Leaflet. This will engage pupils with the process of heritage interpretation and allow them to communicate what they have learned about King’s Seat hillfort to other children.

Local volunteers of all age groups will be trained and mentored by professionals and will participate in archaeological excavation and recording of the hillfort and the intangible heritage and place-name study. As well as volunteers gaining surveying experience, developing team working skills and an increased appreciation for their heritage, the results of these surveys and excavation will greatly increase knowledge of King’s Seat hillfort.

The excavation will be open to all to allow local residents and visitors to view and learn about the process of archaeological excavation. Guided site tours of the ongoing excavation will be given to visitors. The excavation will take place in September, coinciding with Scottish Archaeology Month, and will be advertised both locally and nationally and part of Perth and Kinross Archaeology Year 2017.

There is guided walk on Wednesday 13th September at 10:30.
Prebooking is essential phone Gavin Lindsay on 01738 477082
Details are available in the PKHT Archaeology year guide of events

A living history community event will...

Scottish Deli Opens Into The Evenings …

From Saturday 12th August we will be opening The Scottish Deli into the evenings with a focus on a great selection of wines and Scottish craft beers and a delicious range of tapas-style food – some with a Scottish twist. We’re really excited to be offering something a bit different and are really looking forward to getting going. The deli will still be open in the day offering all our usual sandwiches, soups, cheese and specialty food too.

St. Anne’s, Dowally

The congregation has taken the decision to stop services at Dowally Kirk. It was not an easy decision to make but necessary for a number of reasons.
Attendances have not been big there for a long time but recently have been so small that it was felt it was no longer sensible to continue. Repairs and improvements to the building could never be justified on the basis of numbers and the fact that it is only four miles from Dunkeld.
Added to that, the proposed new A9 will change the situation. Access will be difficult and the plans show the road will take in the car park, right up to the graveyard wall. For these and other reasons it was decided the time was right to close it and try to sell the building.
A meeting was held after a service at Dowally in April when folk who attend discussed what to do. Reluctantly, it was unanimously agreed that closure was the best option. Based on that discussion, the Kirk Session took the formal decision to cease worship there and the congregation as a whole voted in favour of the proposals on June 18th. The Presbytery of Dunkeld and Meigle concurred on June 20th. At its next meeting, the Kirk Session will make plans for the closing service some time later in the year.

Beaver and Cubs

Dunkeld and Birnam Beavers and Cubs have had a very exciting term.
The Beavers have been splashing about in burns, going on bike rides and playing tennis at the Tennis Club.
They also had an amazing evening being piped over the bridge to meet Danish military veterans. The Beavers and veterans exchanged flags and enjoyed some chat and time together.
The Cubs have met with staff from Corbenic to hear about different countries and cultures which included Brazil, Namibia, Sri Lanka, Denmark and Hungary. They helped to do some weeding and planting up, to brighten things up at the school.
The big excitement though was our group camp! 19 Cubs and 17 Beavers went to Meggernie Scout Centre in Glen Lyon. The Cubs spent a night in tents and the Beavers enjoyed time in shared bunk bed rooms. The Cubs and Beavers spent time learning camping and survival skills, including how to put up tents and making and cooking bread on a fire.
The Cubs and Beavers worked together on a Survival Challenge building shelters and learning about food and water requirements.
Everyone had an amazing time and everyone went home very very tired, the Leaders and parents on the camp have only just recovered.
We will be finishing the term with a Group BBQ and games.
We are already looking ahead to our next session, which will include record number of Beavers and Cubs in Dunkeld. If anyone would be interesting in volunteering with us please get in touch. Also, if anyone or any organisations have any thoughts on any ways we can work together or help each other out please get in contact also.

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).

Royal School of Dunkeld - 450 Years Old!

HRHOn the 27th of June, the Royal School of Dunkeld held a Royal Garden Party to commemorate 450 years of the school.
We invited HRH Prince Edward and he came to our cathedral service and our Royal Garden Party. He was very friendly!
First he had lunch at the drill hall, then he went to the cathedral service and finally he went to the Royal Garden Party! He arrived by helicopter and landed and got taken to the Drill Hall in the square for a buffet lunch which was organised by Tiffy and Flora Shedden with food provided by lots of local food producers.
Next he went to a Cathedral Service which was led by Mr Penny. Molly Gauld, Darragh MacPhee and Ruaraidh Walker, who are all in Primary 7, did readings about the school. Pete Clark, who had written a new school song, performed this for everyone too. Laura Nicoll, who used to come to our school, also sang a Gaelic song.
Then he was taken from the cathedral to the drill hall to meet members of the public.
Eventually he arrived at the school and was played in by an amazing pipe band. The pupil council got to meet him in a Royal line up and he talked to us about our costumes.
Nursery to Primary 7 all had tents with different themes: there was a 1960, 70s and 80s tent, A Mary Queen of Scots tent, a Victorian tent, a Jacobean tent and a WW1 and WW2 tent. HRH Prince Edward went around the different tents and saw all of our work that we have done over the past year. We had to get into character and act like someone from our time period. One person from each class went to represent their class in front of Prince Edward.
We had a performance stage which each class got up and did an act from their time period. The Gaelic mod singers also sung their songs and Breadalbane Ceilidh Band also came and played for us. Faye Saba, from Primary 6, played Amazing Grace by herself on the bagpipes in the Tea Tent.
At the end of the Garden Party, Prince Edward cut the ribbon on the Royal Lord Lyons patent which we recently had restored. Nursery also presented him with a silver tea caddy which they had engraved for him. The Royal Tea they had made was served to him in the Royal Tea Tent.


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Police Scotland - Reassurance Message Finsbury Park June 2017

Message from Assistant Chief Constable Nelson Telfer

Following the incident of Monday 19 June 2017 in Finsbury Park, London, I assure you that Police Scotland remains united with all communities. Obviously this comes soon after the attacks in London and Manchester as well as other attacks abroad. Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected.

Pitlochry Station Bookshop

The Bookshop is now operating summer opening hours.
This means that on Sundays until the end of September, the shop will be open for sales and donations from 11.00am until 3.00pm. This is in addition to our normal hours from Monday to Saturday of 9.00am to 4.30pm.
The end of the financial year allows us to look back at our fund-raising. Since 2006 we have raised a total of £208,371 from selling on the books which have been donated to us.
This sum has been divided equally amongst different charities. Some have received less money that others simply because they joined our list at later dates.
The list of charities with money received from the Bookshop is:
Cancer Research UK £37,356; Children’s Hospice
Association (CHAS) £37,235; Highland Perthshire
Shopmobility £37,190; Mercy Corps £37,100; Scotland’s
Charity Air Ambulance (since 2014) £22,100; Tayside
Mountain Rescue (since 2016) £6,200; Amnesty
International (2006-2016) £31,190.
More details about the work of each charity are on the Bookshop website at:
We hope that our customers, book donors and volunteer workers are pleased that all our efforts have made such significant contributions to the work of the charities. Thank you. We look forward to everyone’s continued support in the future.

Teddy Bears Picnic & other news from Glendelvine Primary School

Glendelvine School has recently enjoyed visits from local gymnastic rugby and cricket coaches, local author Pauline Tait and Perth Gospel Church. On Red Nose Day we all dressed up and competed in a Scavenger Hunt raising a fantastic £108.63 for Comic Relief.
We're all looking forward to our trip to the Forth Road Bridge followed by Sports Day. The Baking Club is fully booked with lucky participants enjoying making tasty treats.
Our Eco Craft Club are busy making items in preparation for our Summer Fete.
Our Parent Council are running a Teddy Bears Picnic themed Summer Fete on Saturday 10th June from 10am to 2pm.
Everyone is invited to bring a picnic and join in the fun.
There will be an interesting selection of stalls including a bouncy castle bottle stall, eco-crafts, cake and candy, fruit kebabs, smoothies, bric-a- brac, Teddy Tombola, tattoos plus teas, coffees and ice cream. Other attractions include a fire engine and a vintage tractor. Funds raised will assist the purchase of a range of spelling development activities including computer software.
Following our Fete we are looking forward to Eco Week with activities and events for the whole school organised by our Eco Committee. We have a busy few weeks ahead before we relax during our summer holidays.
We look forward to welcoming our 2 new Primary One pupils in August.

Dunkeld & Birnam Tourism Update

We’re getting a new website, thank you Griffin Calliachar Community Fund! We spent the winter getting the money and selecting a company to design the site and look at our brand. Vital Hike, a small, enthusiastic company from Newport on Tay won the job and will come to our AGM on June 14th to outline the process and some of their ideas.
If you’ve got suggestions, this is the time to tell us – we’d love to hear from you.
The new website will focus more on the villages of Dunkeld and Birnam as communities and businesses, letting visitors know what it’s like to live here and how the rest of us explore the area. It will also help to promote some of the excellent community run events, like the Highland Games and Santa Day.
We want to do a few things differently, like maybe change our name so that it includes all businesses – because tourism brings business to everyone, even if you don’t work directly in tourism.
We have a small committee and a number of groups working on projects like the new website and membership. If you think that you could help with any of this, and we’d welcome some non-business people too, get in touch for a chat.
Brenda Roddy, Chair - 07932 193247

Deaf, Daft & Ditsy set out to raise funds for Riding for the Disabled

disabledIn August, Karen Inkster from Caputh is setting off with her dog and horse to ride/walk the length of the Outer Hebrides Islands in Scotland. She will be unsupported, carrying all her own camping and corralling equipment.
The ride is approx 270km and will take approx 16 days.
Karen is fundraising for the local Riding for Disabled Group in Blairgowrie, Perthshire, of which she is the Chairperson. The dog, Pip, and horse, Connie, are rehomed animals. Karen says “Pip is deaf and Connie is a bit ditsy, so we are called the Deaf, the Daft and the Ditsy!” Karen has set up a Facebook and Just Giving page set up and has already raised over £600. She is hoping to raise a further £2000.
She will be start her trip in Vatersay and make her way slowly north to Lewis. She will be self sufficient, carry a tent, stove and coral equipment.
To support Karen’s amazing trip and donate money to Riding for the Disabled visit her Just Giving page:

Understanding the Housing Market

reidThe days of running up and down the high street looking in shop windows for a house to buy have long gone. Yet sellers and many Estate Agents still believe that is how it is done.
Property is advertised on the internet property portals, such as Zoopla, Rightmove,S1 Homes etc. A buyer selects an area/ house type, they are interested in and the portal produces everything it has in that area/type. However, your property has to be on the portal the searcher is using or you won't be found! And most Agents are only on two.
If the searcher sees something they like, they will "click" on it for further details. That is when they learn who the Agent is. It is therefore important that you are on all property portals, Worldwide.
If a property is not selling it is almost certainly because it is not being found by searchers.
It is therefore important to choose a agent such as Reid Estates, a family run business with Worldwide coverage, who understands the buying process and have the time to ensure their sellers property are advertised professionally on as many portals as possible.
Recent sales of local property have sold to buyers from Russia and Trinidad.
Trying to sell locally means you can wait for a very long time and if searchers can't find you, you will never sell!
Bill Reid BEM NAEA DipPfs

BMR Bob’s Mechanical Repairs

BMRFollowing 13 years working with a local garage in Birnam and 22 years experience in the motor trade covering all aspects of mechanics, I have now set up a new business of my own supplying a full mobile service. This brings a full maintenance service right to your doorstep thus avoiding the inconvenience of having to drop your car off at the garage. This service extends to boats, small plant, machinery, quads, and off road bilkes. I look forward to continuing to serve my current customers and to welcoming new ones.
Bob Mcmahon

Dulater Hill Wind Farm Inquiry

The inquiry for the Dulater Hill wind farm proposal (to the North east of Butterstone) took place from 28th-31st March and extended into the first week of April (as everyone was having so much fun!). The key participants were the developer (Ecotricity) and the objectors led by Perth and Kinross Council and Scottish Natural Heritage, the Community Councils (Roddy McInnes from Spittalfield and Stuart Paton from Dunkeld and Birnam), Scotways and Jeremy Scuse from Lunan Valley Protection Group. The inquiry was chaired, and very efficiently run, by the Reporter. The inquiry consisted of four types of session.
Possibly the biggest impact of the inquiry was the Tuesday evening public session which was very well attended. Nine local people gave short presentations on the key issues from their perspectives. These came across as powerful statements and generated very positive comment from nearly everybody.
Secondly, there were extremely detailed ‘inquiry sessions’ which considered specific points in relation to landscape and visual impact. These were the most intensive sessions and involved detailed cross examination of witnesses by barristers representing each side. The key debate was whether the planned turbines would have an unacceptable visual impact on the National Scenic Area around Dunkeld (SNH's & PKC's argument) and whether a further windfarm in the area would have an unacceptable cumulative visual impact on the area (PKC's argument) given the windfarms already operating, consented or applied for (ie Griffin, Drumderg, Calliacher, Crossburn).
Thirdly, there were more informal ‘hearing sessions’ covering such issues as impact on tourism, the A923, ecology, birdlife, and national planning and energy policies.
Essentially the differences between the two sides were not of fact but of professional opinion. As a result much stress was put on how two opposing experts, looking at the proposed turbines from the same vantage point, could describe the visual impact as "low impact" vs "dominant impact"; all in an attempt to measure "natural beauty" and the impact on it of a large scale power station.
Finally, the Reporter undertook a number of accompanied and unaccompanied site visits to the key locations impacted by the windfarm. On the visit with the Reporter to the A923 corner below the golf course, a logging lorry nearly drove a car off the road, highlighting the access problem, as did the realisation that the works proposed to widen the road there would almost certainly shut the A923 from Forneth to Dunkeld for up to 6 months.
The Reporter now has a mass of information to collate, to balance and marshal to support her recommendation to Scottish government ministers. Due to the number of ongoing inquiries (not all windfarms) there is pressure on Reporters to put in their reports as quickly as possible but this can still take up to 3 months. Ministers have taken between 3 and 5 months to respond so we could be looking at October to December for a final decision.
Finally, a big well done to everyone that has been involved over the last few years in whatever...

Congregational AGM

AGM The Annual General Meeting of the Church of Scotland congregation will be in the Duchess Anne on April 4th at 7.30pm. A summary Financial Statement will be available a couple of Sundays before and full copies of the accounts can be obtained from John Gray (728697)







saintskidsBSYFC are pleased to announce that we have secured McDonalds programme support for this year, in conjunction with the Scottish FA, to assist us with player/coach development and creating a positive club environment. This beneficial support has been granted, due to the club’s progress and development as a community level, quality marked club - and fulfilment of governance, people and club environment criteria. This includes maintaining a high level of coaching standards, having club development plans and policies in place, a functional club structure and constitution, as well as providing evidence of additional community activity, meeting health and safety requirements and being an actively positive coaching club.
The club aims to develop specific coach education, player training sessions and a club curriculum through the McDonalds programme, which will provide us with 68 hours of professional coaching advice per week, for 10 months, from our mentor, Danny Griffin, and with particular involvement of 2 of our coaches - Rab Murdoch and Scott McBride. The club also hopes to develop a clear philosophy, grow links with St Johnstone FC, establish a Performance Academy and a Saturday Soccer School, whilst being able to continue in providing afterschool football, school taster sessions and a community football day - which will take place on Sun 13th August in Aberfeldy, this year.
These club developments are part of a wider plan, to increase the opportunities for all people in Highland Perthshire to improve their fitness and well-being through football activities, and are possible, thanks to the fantastic support of local businesses through sponsorship, grants that the club has received (Rotary, SSE Calliacher & Griffin, Awards for All), and this year, a significant donation from the Edradour Distillery that will result in a substantial benefit across the club and for implementing the plan.
A component of player/coach development, has been to enable the club to cover the costs (£27.50 per player) of the U14, U13, U12 and U11 squads to participate in a 6 week training session block at St Johnstone through the Saints in the Community programme, with coaching support from Danny Griffin, Atholl Henderson and the other St Johnstone coaches, thanks to support from Edradour. The Saints coaches have all been impressed by the effort and application that the boys have shown in the sessions, and the club plans to attend further training blocks, and for the U10 and U9 teams to benefit from them, in due course.
BSYFC always welcome new players across all age groups from across all of Highland Perthshire - please don't hesitate to contact us to find out more.'

J. & H. Mitchell W.S. Announce New Partner

The Partners of J. & H. Mitchell W.S. – Colin Liddell, Alan Innes and Paul Keith – are delighted to announce the appointment with effect from 1st April 2017 of Sarah Rennie as a Partner in the firm. Sarah joined the firm in 2010 as a Trainee Solicitor, became qualified as a Solicitor and has since been an Associate and Senior Associate. Sarah is only the eleventh Partner since the firm's establishment in Pitlochry in 1836.
Sarah is an integral part of the J. & H. Mitchell Charities Team and has built up a significant portfolio of charity clients and community organisations, providing advice and assistance to them on a wide range of topics, and also providing training to charity trustees on request. Sarah is herself a Trustee of two charities, Birnam Arts and The Pettigrew Charitable Trust.
Sarah commented “I am delighted to become a Partner of J. & H. Mitchell W.S. It is a pleasure and an honour to become an important part of a forward-thinking legal practice, with traditional values and a personal approach to client care.  I thrive on working with individuals and organisations, in particular charities and community bodies, whose passion for a cause I often find infectious. I take a great deal of satisfaction in helping organisations to achieve their goals, operate efficiently and adopt good governance. It is great to see organisations that I have been involved with evolve. Being a Trustee of two charities myself I am aware the practical challenges Trustees can face as well as the legal ones!  I am looking forward to exciting times ahead at J. & H. Mitchell W.S as the firm continues to go from strength-to-strength.”

Hospital Radio Perth Seeking More Volunteers

Perth’s award winning hospital radio station are looking for volunteers to visit and chat to patients. Anyone interested in finding out more can contact John at or leave a message by phone at Perth 440044.

Friends of the Birnam Oak

birnam oak

Promoting the conservation and preservation of the historic Birnam Oak and Birnam Sycamore through awareness raising and fundraising.
Friends of the Birnam Oak (FoBO) recently enjoyed a fascinating and informative one-day course on Valuing and Managing Veteran Trees.  Designed by the Veteran Tree Project and delivered by Adam Riedi of The Ancient Tree Forum, the content was tailored for the local group to help bring a deeper understanding of the life cycle of trees, their importance to local wildlife and eco-systems, and how vital it is to ensure veteran and ancient trees are looked after using appropriate methods.  Participants also learned about reading various features of veteran trees, and applied this at a site visit to the Birnam Oak and the Birnam Sycamore which formed part of the course. "It was a superb course, and really exceeded all our expectations," said Alison Campbell of FoBO. "We are immensely grateful to Adam and the Ancient Tree Forum, and of course to Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust who funded and organised the day."   If you would like to find out more about the Friends of Birnam Oak, their work and upcoming events, you can find information on their Facebook page.
Friends of the Birnam Oak are holding an exhibition and sale of creative works inspired by the Birnam Oak and/or the Birnam Sycamore. The exhibition will be in the gallery space at the Birnam Arts Centre for the whole of September 2017.
We are particularly interested in showing and promoting works by Perthshire artists of all mediums. However, as the Birnam Oak attracts worldwide interest we will consider all enquiries. We also have access to some wood (and lichen) which was pruned from the Oak in June 2016. If you are interested in using some of this for your artwork, please get in touch. Artists who are interested in taking part should contact us initially via email at Closing date for applications is Friday 30th June 2017 Selling fees/commission explained on enquiry

Alison Campbell Friends of the Birnam Oak

Dunkeld & Birnam Playgroup

playgroupPlaygroup would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and thank all who supported us on Santa Day helping to raise over £200.
We had a great day helped by fantastic weather and the children loved making Christmas decorations and painting photo frames to give as presents.
We celebrated our 30th birthday in December and, combined with our Christmas Party, a fantastic time was had by all with games, party food and a fabulous cake from Jackie Viviani. Some children who have attended recently have parents who also used our playgroup as a child and it’s lovely to hope in years to come that a third generation of families can attend and benefit from the services we provide.
We would also like to say a huge thank you to Progression Bikes in Dunkeld who very generously donated a balance bike to us. The bike is make entirely of recycled materials and we will use it to allow the children to practice their bike skills and safety so they can be ready for riding their bikes to school. If any of the parents wish to come along and see the bike in action then they are more than welcome to contact us on the email address below.
If your little one is 2 years old and you are looking for the next step before pre-school then we are now accepting enrolments. Playgroup runs in term time from 9.15-11.45am on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Guide Hall next to the Royal Dunkeld School. Fully supervised sessions are run by our experienced playleader with guardian helpers and includes indoor and outdoor play.
For further details please email us at:

Can you help identify members of our Home Guard?


Murthly have formed a History Group and are hoping to produce an illustrated Village History in the near future.
The Dunkeld Community Archive have produced this picture of the Dunkeld Home Guard which probably included some Murthly volunteers.
Major Colin Innes asked The Courier to publish the photograph in September last year and asked readers for any information about all those featured. Sadly there was little response.
Are there still some folk around Dunkeld who recognise perhaps the Officer Commanding or some of their relations. If so, please give Colin a ring on 07715-580268 for he would be most grateful for more information about the Dunkeld Home Guard.


What Do You Know About Dun Coillich?

Dun Coillich is your land managed by Highland Perthshire Communities Land Trust (HPCLT). The Trust was set up in 2002 following the purchase on behalf of the community of 418 hectares of land centred on the small hills of Dun Coillich (572m) and Dun Beag (403m), between Glen Goulandie and Schiehallion. The whole area is now referred to simply as Dun Coillich. HPCLT’s overall aim is to create an environment to benefit both wildlife and the well-being of Highland Perthshire residents and visitors.
This will be achieved through the restoration of a healthy ecosystem, which includes the planting of native trees, such as scots pine, downy birch, rowan and sessile oak.
If you like the sound of this, come along to the 2017 AGM and find out more; it’s at 2pm on Saturday 25th March at Grandtully Hall. The AGM will be quite short, and there will be a talk by Jon Hollingdale, Chief Executive Officer of the Community Woodlands Association, illustrating the diversity of community woodlands and the various activities the woodlands support. There will also be light refreshments, displays illustrating some of the exciting work being done by HPCLT and the chance to talk to some of the people actively involved.
A very recent development has been the donation to HPCLT of a small field in Aberfeldy for use by the community. At this stage, we have no firm views about how the land might be used – another reason for coming to the AGM to find out more and give us your ideas.
Andrew Walker, Vice-Chair, HPCLT, 01887 830461,

Archives – Volunteer Wanted For School Project

The Archive will be helping the School with the 450 Anniversary of the granting of the charter for The Royal School.
If you have any stories or photographs relating to the School, please bring them to the Archive.
We are also looking for somebody to help us with scanning our collection of photographs onto the computer. This might suit a student looking to learn some archive skills, just contact us at:
Or call into the Archive we are open 10-12 Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Scottish Bible Society

First of all thank you so very much for all your contributions to the Society.
Contributions from our Parish and from visitors including foreign currency has gradually gone down over the last 9 years but now for the first time the annual giving is nearly back to the amount given then. Wonderful. It means that we can give bibles and bible extracts out to many more people, bringing the Word of God to them in written form - i.e. in their own language and very often printed in their own country thereby using print works there instead of importing them.
Think what it would be like never to have seen a bible but perhaps heard of it and wanting to find out more about the teachings of Jesus. Word of mouth is good but written it reaches far more people.
 If you have foreign coins in a drawer perhaps or want to give in our own Sterling please use the can in the Cathedral or the little box in Little Dunked.
Things like watches and musical instruments or costume jewellery are very acceptable. They are repaired and sold for funds. You can give me these things too or leave them in a bag marked For Brenda in either Church or the D.A. They will get to the Society as soon as possible. Old bibles are accepted too.



Christmas Offering

Once again, it was a full house at the Watchnight Service in the Cathedral on Christmas Eve. Earlier in the evening, we had the annual service of lessons and carols at Amulree and the offering from both was for Bethany Christian Trust, which works with homeless and vulnerable people. It is a charity which began in Leith, the vision of the Baptist minister there at the time, and now has grown to provide much needed help and support to many people in Edinburgh and beyond.
The total raised between the two services was £880.38 – many thanks to all who donated so generously.

'Care - The Problem No-one Can Fix' ... Except Us

In the October edition of 'The Bridge', deep within the Three Churches section, there lurked a short piece entitled 'Better Lives for Older People'. It passed all but unnoticed- which is unfortunate The intervening months have seen the 'Crisis in Older People's Care' become an almost media constant, as the 4th estate now openly acknowledges the yawning gap between supply and demand in Social Care for older people. (viz 'Elderly Care Crisis Looms...' The Telegraph 11 October; 'A crisis of politics as well as finance' Guardian Editorial 13th October; and most TV channels most nights since then). That things cannot continue as they are is selfevident.
The solution, however, is less so. From my involvement in the early stages in of our local Health and Social Care Partnership , I can see why.
Despite a recent change in tone, increasing taxation did not loom large in many party manifestos at the last general election. And although it's only an educated guess, I would estimate that our Council need to find at least an extra £2,500,000 just to cope with demand for Homecare in Perth and Kinross this year. Hands up all those happy with another £100 on their Council Tax bill this year? You see, we're not bad at identifying the problem. It's the solution we find less palatable.
And the good news? Well that may depend on us. Personal Care is for Councils to fund and arrange. But there's evidence to suggest that people (of all ages) who feel supported by their community enjoy better health and make less call on public services. Older people manage longer in their own homes and local public services can then make their Care go further. There are already many people involved locally in supporting older people , but if we're to sustain our key health and care services, then more of us need to get involved - giving a little of our spare time .
And the nature of that support ? Pretty much as varied as the people who require it. Some may need help with picking up their shopping or a prescription; others, who don't have family near by, might need a little company; while some might just need help with a simple task (light bulb; fuse; jamjar lid) . In practice, it was a request to help set up someone's internet which came from that piece in September's "Bridge" . It took young James (I know my limits) all of 10 minutes to start it, but opened up the possibility of Skype/FaceTime with family abroad for the people in question.
We can all make a difference. - both to the lives of our older neighbours and to the size of the overall 'Care cake.' Of course, none of us have to do it, but here's a prediction. By the end of this Parliament, the current 'Care Crisis' will have passed crisis point. Our Hospitals, already creaking, will have cracked. Most people awaiting Homecare will not get it until...

Dullatur Wind Farm Inquiry

The inquiry for the proposed Dullatur windfarm development will be held from 28th March until 3rd April 2017 at the Birnam Institute with a public meeting at 7pm on the 28th March. Members of the public are welcome to attend the inquiry as observers.
As background, Ecotricity are planning to construct 17 turbines up to 125m high to the south of Forneth (east of Butterstone). This project will require significant realignment of the A923 on the hill out of Dunkeld and alongside Loch Craiglush to allow turbine deliveries: about 24 points requiring modification have been identified along the road. Although the windfarm is located outwith the Dunkeld and Birnam Community Council area, the road alignment work will have significant impact on local people. The windfarm will also be visible from a number of significant viewpoints (including Birnam Hill) and adversely impact on the landscape of the Highland Boundary Fault. Due to the size of the windfarm, the planning decision is taken by the Scottish Government Energy Consents Unit rather than the local authority. Perth and Kinross Council and Scottish Natural Heritage have objected to the windfarm and will be statutory consultees at the inquiry. Local opposition to the Dullatur wind farm has been led by Lunan Valley Protection Group ( and
Spittalfield Community Council is also objecting to the windfarm.
Dunkeld and Birnam Community Council has historically opposed the construction of windfarms in the local area, including those at Griffin and Calliacher (both subsequently constructed), Logie Almond, Creag a’Bhaird, (both rejected), Crossburns (recent inquiry outcome outstanding) and Craigvinean (in planning). The key reasons for objections have been cumulative landscape and visual impact, impact on local amenity and households, impact tourism and transport concerns. Specific concerns at Dullatur are the road realignment which will cause considerable disruption, local impact on wildlife (including the ospreys at Loch of the Lowes) and the wide ranging views of the windfarm (as it lies on the high ground just north of the Highland Boundary Fault). The road realignment will also open up a swathe of land to the east of Dunkeld for potential windfarm development. The position of the Community Council objections has been supported at a number of public meetings where local people have overwhelmingly expressed their opposition to further windfarm development. Given the number of meetings held previously on this topic, and a large number of recent meetings on other subjects, the Community Council does not intend to hold a further public meeting.
However, we would encourage you to contact us with your views ( and we will ensure these views are reflected in our submission.
The inquiry will be held from 28th March until 3rd April at the Birnam Institute. Members of the public are welcome to attend the inquiry as observers. The inquiry chair has agreed to a public meeting at 7pm on Tuesday 28th March at the Birnam Institute. To ensure a well run meeting, the chair has required that questions are submitted 2 weeks prior to...

Dalguise Meditation Group

The Meditation Group continues to meet in Dalguise Village Hall on alternate Wednesdays (February 8th, February 22nd and so on) from 10.30 to 12.30. The group is entirely non-denominational and non-commercial, and you will be warmly welcomed whether or not you have meditated before.
Please just turn up, or for further details you can phone Faith Anstey on 01350 727499 or email

Baby & Toddler Group


New Baby & Toddler Group starting on Friday 16th December 2016 upstairs in the Duchess Anne Hall from 10am to 12noon.

Christmas Book Promotion

hidden scotland

Why not give a very special gift this Christmas and give a book written by a local author? Many of these books can be ordered through the Birnam Arts Centre bookshop and if you do this Birnam Arts will also benefit from your purchase.
Why not go along to the Birnam Arts Late Night Opening on Thursday 17th November and browse copies of these books and many other gifts.
The Musical Voyage From Scotland and Ulster to Appalachia by FIONA RITCHIE and Doug Orr (Foreword by Dolly Parton).
A gorgeous gift book, including a CD of various artists' renditions of the songs whose origins the authors so beautifully recount." - New York Times Book Review.
From the 17th to the 19th centuries, a steady stream of Scots migrated to Ulster and onwards across the Atlantic to resettle in the United States. Many of these Scots-Irish immigrants made their way into the mountains of the Southern Appalachian region, bringing a wealth of traditional ballads and tunes. With her co-author Doug Orr, Fiona chronicles the details of this epic journey, linking people and songs through centuries of adaptation and change. 124 book illustrations include the work of local artist Madeleine Hand.
The Fairy in the Kettle takes children on a magical journey to the heart of Bramble Glen, where Leona and her friends live. Leona has wonderful family and friends and lives in a beautiful, old cast-iron kettle, a place filled with adventurous fun. However, on one particular wild and stormy evening the fairy village is turned into a nightmare.
Leona is blissfully unaware of the dangers outside as the wind and rain lashes against her windows. Is this just a normal storm or are all the villagers in grave danger?
Leona and her friends will soon find out!
Fiddle music from highland Perthshire, Scotland By PETE CLARK ; Ed. By Jane Marx Published by Inver Music.
In this oft-requested and long-awaited book, Pete Clark has put together a collection of over a hundred tunes, both popular originals and favourites from Perthshire composers such as the Gows and the Macintoshes. Along with clear and easy-to-read transcriptions, Pete provides interesting descriptions of all the tunes and composers. Many of Pete’s own tunes were, in the Scottish tradition, written for friends and occasions; with his anecdotes and background information, the tunes and titles are given a personal dimension. Also included are a couple of poems (by Robert Burns and Lionel McClelland).
Pete is a man of many talents and interests. Besides being a superb musician, composer, and music teacher, he is an avid fisherman and gifted watercolourist. This book features full-color plates of many of his works, which further bring the land of this music to life.
This is so much more than a...

Highland Perthshire Communities Partnership

hpcpBroadband project expands across Dalguise and A9 corridor area
The project to bring a better broadband service to Highland Perthshire (HP) continues as HPCP and partner PGL Dalguise link up to connect a part of HP that suffers from connection speeds of 0.5mbps or less. This service will allow PGL to continue to grow their business and secure more employment in the area for years to come.
This very welcome addition brings the HPCP network to 50 subscribers (monthly contracts), 75 seasonal subscribers, 18 small businesses, 5 commercial enterprises, a regular service to the Blair Castle Horse Trials plus over 12,000 annual users at Blair Castle Caravan Park.
The network jointly funded, initially, by Perth & Kinross Council (PKC), Griffin Wind Farm Fund and Community Broadband Scotland (CBS) has 4 transmitters; Pitlochry (2), Struan and now at Rotmell serving Dalguise and surrounding communities. This offers wide geographic coverage with options to connect more premises as and when the opportunity arises.
HPCP chairman Graham Huggins commented, “The Dalguise phase of the project is a tremendous example of a commercial enterprise and its local community getting together, in this case Dalguise residents and PGL, and working closely to achieve a common goal. Great credit must also go to PGL for their foresight in recognising the benefits of our service to their business and community and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership”.

Would you Like To Improve Your Literacy?

New local service available
“I can now write and use computers with confidence. I write and send e-mails, add on attachments and send photos. This really helps me keep in touch with my family and my friends.” Quote from adult leaner
I am excited about my new role as Adult Literacy Worker for Highland Perthshire. My job is to develop and deliver learning opportunities aimed at helping adults (aged 16+) to build on the skills of reading, writing and/or using numbers and digital devices. I am also here to raise awareness, so here are some facts you may or may not already know about literacy.
Being literate is not just about being able to read and write or use numbers and digital devices; it is about how we apply these skills to everyday life. For instance when handling information, such as going shopping, dealing with finances, reading instructions, or filling out forms. Being literate is about communicating with others too – for instance by reading or writing letters, texts or emails. It is also about expressing ideas and opinions, making decisions and solving problems. All in all, we use literacy and numeracy for so much of what we do in everyday life.
It is not unusual for someone to have literacy issues - around one quarter of the Scottish population (26.7%) may face occasional challenges with reading, writing or using numbers and about 1 in 28 people in Scotland face severe literacy issues. Literacy tutors and volunteers in the area will provide drop-ins, one-to-one support, group sessions, short courses, reading groups and support with selfdirected learning. It is never too late to learn.
If you would like to find out more please call 01350 727669 or see Hi PALS Facebook page.
Livvy Ingleby, Adult Literacy Worker, Perth & Kinross Council

Rivendell Care Home

rivendellResidents of Rivendell enjoying different activities at Olympics Day at Rivendell. With three activity coordinators, there’s plenty to do at Rivendell – trips out every Tuesday, games, art, Olympic sports training, Physio, Beauty Therapy, crafts and musical performances – and green-fingered residents can help out in the fruit and veg garden and orchard.
Rivendell offers a wide range of services. Alongside those who decide to come and make Rivendell their home for life Rivendell also provides care and support for those who decide to use our services for the short term. Rivendell always welcomes visitors, so pop in and have a look for yourself. The kettles always on.

The Fort of the Caledonians

Dear Editor, I am writing to acquaint local residents of a project which is under-way, and on behalf of the Dunkeld and Birnam Historical Society of which I have been a member for a number of years. The Objects of the Society are, among other things "To promote interest in and encourage the study of local history in the Dunkeld and Birnam area."
Last year, while pondering things which we might do, it gradually filtered through that the main subject could well be 'Dunkeld ' itself and its beginnings, from ancient times.
I was vaguely aware that the 'Fort of the Caledonians' from which 'Dunkeld' derives, was in fact the remains of ancient fortifications sited on Kingseat, near Polney Loch, just outside Dunkeld, and so visited it. The top of the crag was found to be completely infested by rhododendron bushes, so much so that no examination was possible. The next step was to establish if any archaeology had been undertaken on the site, so contact was made with Perth Museum.
Advised by them that the place to ask was Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust (PKHT) in York Place. This was done and the response was immediate and enthusiastic.
Papers were sent showing that cursory examination of the site had been done by F.W. Feacham, archaeologist, in 1966, but that no digs had been done, but with a comment that it was a most promising site and likely to produce artefacts. Advice was received from David Strachan, manager of the Trust and himself an archaeologist with wide experience of similar projects (Black Spout, Pitlochry, and Carpow Log Boat, etc). The advice was to the effect that we should approach the land-owner (Dunkeld House Hotel) for permission to clear vegetation: if granted then approach Historic Environment Scotland (HES) as the site is a Scheduled Monument and thus fully protected; thereafter arrangements would be made for grant aid funding and an archaeological dig to see what is there. Both of these permissions were granted.
The site of the fort is on top of a crag with sheer cliffs protecting it on two side and is quite restricted. It was agreed that it was only suitable for a small squad to operate safely and accordingly I engaged my friends and former colleagues Sandy Keay and Alastair Carter, and Ian Dick, along with those identified by David Strachan who had helped at previous digs, Steve Ponsonby, and Deryk and Anthea Deane, and David Roberts, secretary of the Historical Society. Work commenced on Monday, 8.2.16 and continued on various days until 21.3.16 when it was agreed with Mr.Strachan that the site of the fort had been cleared to a satisfactory degree.
Although most of the clearance work was done at the top of the cliffs, it is quite obvious, even to an unpractised eye that some of the lower levels must have been used for habitation as well and had been protected by ramparts.
The situation at the moment is that applications for grant aid...

Better Lives In Older Age

- joining up the dots Dunkeld and Birnam is a great place to live, for young people, for families and importantly, for older people. But it may not always be. The new Health and Social Care partnerships are already struggling to keep up with demand for services such as Homecare while Government constraint on public sector spending will restrict their capacity for further investment. If we carry on as we are, then older age for each of us may be a time of less and less support and more and more anxiety. But it's not all gloom and doom. We are lucky to have good local voluntary services, including a strong lunch club which regularly feeds and provides company for up to 30 people. We also have a number of other successful projects across Perth and Kinross which have found different ways of providing support and reassurance to older people - while also helping to bridge the generation gap. The challenge for us locally is how we build on what is already there.
Some older people have difficulty managing group situations, perhaps because of hearing difficulties. Others have real problems managing their shopping or picking up a prescription. Making an extra portion for an elderly neighbour doesn't take long and sitting with them while they eat it, as a Mealmaker volunteer, may only take 30 minutes once a week . But what a difference that visit can make. Simply visiting a neighbour for a coffee or offering to take them to a regular event provides much more than refreshment and transport. It shows that someone is taking an interest. It's good for their mental wellbeing - and actually, the evidence suggests it's pretty good for the volunteer's health too. And picking up a prescription - well, we all do that anyway. So picking it up for someone else? Not really a hardship. These are all simple examples of what is happening elsewhere - joining up the dots of existing services to create a wider network of support. It's not rocket science and it need not take more than an hour of your time a week. But it can make a big difference not just to the people involved in giving and receiving support now, but also to the kind of older age which we can all expect to experience in future. If you are interested in finding out more, please drop an email to me on
We want to hear from you, either as someone who might consider being a volunteer, or as someone who has ideas about what supports are most needed. Your community needs you.

Scouting News - Dunkeld & Birnam Area

And we are off... the new term has started and in great Scouting style too. The second week into term and the Beavers were showing off their climbing skills on the climbing wall at PGL. Third week in and the Scouts, Cubs and Beavers showed of their orienteering skills around the Hermitage which has a great selection of courses that anyone of any age or ability can complete.
The scouts rang a small stand at the orchard day in early September which was great and something we would like to do more of. If your community group would benefit from the Scouts, Cubs or Beavers help then please feel free to contact me on the below details so we can organise something.
So what else is coming up for the young people in Scouting in Dunkeld and Birnam area? Well the Scouts are going camping at Comrie Croft soon which everyone is excited about especially as the camp is our first under canvas. The Beavers are working towards the outdoor challenge and the Cubs are learning basic scouting skills and team work as they prepare for the group camp in November.
As you can see lots going on in Scouting at the moment as we enjoy the last of the longer evenings and better weather.
If you would like to have the Scouts, Cubs, Beavers hep your community group or are interested in joining Scouting in the area please contact me on 07733371105 or at:

Dunkeld & Birnam Senior Citizens Outing

The Senior Citizens coach trip is going to Callander this year on Wednesday 5th October. We will complete our day with high tea at Taste Perthshire in Bankfoot.
We will leave The Birnam Hotel at 12.30 pm, picking up at Servite at approximately 12.40pm and then North Car Park at approximately 12.50pm.
The charge this year is only £10.00 per person.
Would those wishing to join us place your name on the list at either Birnam or Dunkeld post office. THE FIRST 50 SECURE A SEAT!
Looking forward to seeing you all there.

‘Rio 2016’ – GirlGuides

girlguidesGirlGuides and Senior Section camp in a field by a beach near Montrose, 10-16 July 2016
As part of our Olympic flame relay/opening ceremony, the girls answered the question ‘What do the Olympics have in common with Guidecamp?’ Most agreed that it’s a chance (or a challenge?) to meet and understand new people and make new friends - more so because we share our camp with the Pitlochry Guides. Being fit and healthy, competition, sport, and meeting a challenge were some other thoughts.
And a challenge it certainly is. No mum or dad to put breakfast or dinner on the table, make the bed, find the missing sock or jacket or whatever just got lost, or even wash the dishes and clean the toilet. Accomplishing all that in patrols of six - sharing a tent, a cooking fire (that means collecting wood too) and a camp-toilet – that’s quite a big ask for today’s kids. Oh, and no running water or electricity either, and of course no mobile phones!
Patrol leaders, usually aged around 13, keep the show on the road. So what about the Leaders – well, we are there as well, keeping busy in the background. We’re a safety net really, and if that fire won’t light, or that tent not stand up the way it should, we help. And we do have some ‘technology back up’ in the form of gas cookers, a hot water boiler and a fridge (thanks to a Griffin micro grant from the community council) in a central tent. But it’s all about the girls going for it independently as much as they can. So yes – a challenge. For the Senior Section that’s all old hat of course – so we just let them get on with it (the odd inspection to maintain standards not withstanding ;) ).
In keeping with the Olympic idea, the camp wasn’t all about sporting activities. The girls made their own mascots, tried to hold a short conversation in Portuguese, learnt to dance Samba and had a Carnival (organised by the Senior Section). Short Yoga sessions in the morning helped focus the mind. The camp being next to the beach, we made the most of sea and sand, with paddling whenever the weather was good enough, and a sandcastle competition. We thought about and had a go at Paralympic activities, and learnt to play touch rugby. No camp of course is complete without some adventurous activities, so the Guides went raft building and burn walking. The Seniors got to canoe around the Montrose basin, while the Guides went into the mud and pond dipping at the Montrose Wildlife centre. The Seniors – following on from being independent on site, they now go off on their own – took an unaccompanied hike with overnight stay to Lunan Bay.
For me, camping in this way is the mainstay of Girlguiding. And, still in keeping with...

Grand Sale of Railway Books

Grand Sale of Railway Books by Pitlochry Station Bookshop
Four hundred volumes, second hand and in excellent condition starting at £5. Cash payments, only, can be accepted.
The volumes are from the collection of a local railway enthusiast and have been donated by his family in his memory. All proceeds to Cancer Research UK; Children’s Hospice Association, Scotland (CHAS); Highland Perthshire Shopmobility; Mercy Corps,  Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance and Tayside Mountain Rescue Team.

Dunkeld Community Minibus

You may have noticed the Perth and Kinross Council minibus parked at the top of Station Road in Birnam, but did you know that the minibus is a community resource and is available free of charge for use by community groups.
The 17 seater minibus can be used for community group outings and activities and is easy to book. Drivers need to have a current MIDAS certificate and a 'D1' entitlement on their clean driving licence.
There are a few other requirements that the driver and group need to meet before borrowing the bus, information and training can be given.
For more information drop into the Community Learning Office in the Birnam Arts Centre or call 01350 727 669 and ask for Alison or Pat.

Dualling the A9

There has been a large amount of work in the community in relation to the A9 Dualling Project since the presentations and public meetings by Transport Scotland and Jacobs in late January/early February. Recent work has focused on drafting the submission to Transport Scotland from the Community Council that was submitted in mid-April (and is available to read on the Bridge website: .
Individuals can submit their own responses to the A9 dualling plans directly to Transport Scotland at or by post to Sarah Morgan, A9 Dualling Project, Team Stakeholder Manager, Jacobs UK Ltd, 95 Bothwell Street, Glasgow, G2 7HX.

Following the meetings, the Community Council created a working group chaired by Stuart Paton ( The group’s first meeting was on 29th February and was attended by around 20 people. At this meeting, sub-groups were established to look at key issues and also plan subsequent work. A second meeting, held on 29th March, was attended by around 25 people who discussed progress and further issues.
The basic principles of the working group are to work in a cooperative and constructive manner with Transport Scotland to understand fully the issues and influence decision-making. The current general sentiment is that there is insufficient information for an informed decision.
The key themes considered by the group are (1) the unique character of the area (2) relaxing some road standards to mitigate key issues (3) noise (4) health and air quality (5) flooding (6) environmental and ecology issues (7) public transport links and (8) non-motorised travellers.
We are fortunate that a range of people have made contributions to this process.
The working group decided to focus first on the Community Council submission rather than encouraging a wide response from individuals. However, the consultation process is ongoing and there will be several opportunities to make your own representations.
Transport Scotland have also engaged directly with individuals most directly affected by the dualling project, particularly in the section between the Tay Crossing and Ballinluig.
If you wish to join the working group, require further information or have other issues that you think should be raised, please contact Stuart directly (
The A9 dualling page of the Bridge website ( will also get regular updates as further information becomes available.
We have also set up an open Facebook group with the snappy title ‘A9 Dualling Group’ to share comments and ideas.
A9 Dualling Project:
Updates from Community Council
Please watch out for posters around the community for two meetings to take place around mid/end May; dates and venues to be confirmed.
(1) Community Update: Opportunity for everyone affected to hear from and respond to the Community Council's A9 Working Group on what has happened since last Public Meeting with Transport Scotland & Jacobs (29 February); to discuss information received, issues emerging, next steps.
(2) Public Meeting with Transport Scotland & Jacobs who have been invited back to present all the information that was requested in February and...

Concert for Syria

The response to the Easter Monday concert was quite overwhelming. On a sunny Spring afternoon the Cathedral was full to overflowing, the support and enthusiasm of so many people creating a remarkable spirit of communal solidarity and concern.
The programme was a reflection of the varied musical talent within our local musical scene - folk singers, choral groups, small pipes, Gaelic songs, Scottish fiddle music, Schubert piano duet and even vintage pop songs! Kenneth Steven's powerful poems completed the mix, and at the end audience and performers rose to sing with heart and soul a song specially composed for the occasion.
We also had a moving account from Dr Denis Rutovitz, Chairman of Edinburgh Direct Aid, of his recent visit to a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon, of how EDA is providing vital supplies for desperate people, as well as much needed educational facilities for children.
The amount raised in donations at the door was some £3700. With one or two cheques received later we were told that, with gift aid added on, the total would amount to about £4,500. Imagine our surprise to have now received this message from Dr Rutovitz.
“One of those who attended has sent in an additional and very large cheque, bringing the total of concert-associated donations to over £20,000. We will see if we can name the next school we build, The Dunkeld School.”
That indeed would be a wonderful reminder of a very special day.
With warmest thanks to our performers and to all of you who came to the concert and gave so generously.
Michael Anderson & Fiona Ritchie

‘Life & Work’

‘Life & Work’ is the monthly magazine of the Church of Scotland and one of the biggest selling Christian magazines in Britain. Every month there are interesting articles about faith and news about the Church of Scotland (including a regular article by Dr. James Simpson, formerly Dornoch Cathedral and now living in Bankfoot.) If you would like to subscribe, or have a look at a sample copy, please contact Joan Cameron (727220) or single subscriptions can also be ordered online at:

Stamp, Coins and Watch collection for The Bible Society

After a long delay trying to deliver the stamps, coins and watches to the Edinburgh office, at last I was successful.
It had been 12 months since the last delivery of our goods but illness, the problems with the Forth Road bridge and the winter weather kept putting the date off.
However, the things are now delivered and the Society are very pleased indeed. Two suitcases and a carrier bag were a formidable amount and by that stage a train journey was not possible.
The gentleman in charge assured me that every item would be sold to collectors or to auction houses on our behalf. For every £4 received a Bible, a Children’s Bible, New Testament or Gospel can be given to a person in need. Translators have worked long and hard so that the bibles can be printed in specific languages and in some cases, the printing can be set up here and then the actual print run happens in the country requesting the bible. This is cheaper in transport terms and provides another work avenue for some of the population. Did you consider also that a mechanic may be trained to maintain the printing machinery, whether mechanical or by computer?
The Parish are thanked very much for our contributions. The hunger for God/s word continues to grow in many countries.
Please continue to support via the can in the Cathedral or box in Little Dunkeld Church or give by hand to Brenda. Phone 01738 710094 to arrange collection.

Health Fare - World Challenge


Hello there! My name is Sumi and I am a local sixteen year old who lives in Birnam.
worldchallenge2A few months ago I found out about a phenomenal opportunity through the organisation World Challenge. An opportunity to travel to India in July of 2017 to go trekking in the wilderness of the Himalayan mountains, volunteer in around the local communities of Delhi and possibly even visit the Taj Mahal! The volunteering work that myself and my team mates are planning to do, will evolve around physical labour (to help build/improve school learning environments) and we might even get the change to teach some English to the local school children!
I have to raise £3600 in order to go. Having organized several events to raise funds for this astonishing opportunity, I invite you to the Health Fare my mum and I are hosting. It is on Saturday the 2nd of April, 11-4pm at the Duchess Anne Hall, Dunkeld.
It includes access to sessions of Reiki, Card Reading, Yoga and many more amazing things to delve into.
Come along and have some cake! We'd love to see you there.
To find out about World Challenge you can visit this website for further information:


Twinning Project

Dunkeld & Birnam twinning project with Asheville, NC is progressing. We have a ‘Dunkeld and Birnam Friends of Asheville, NC’ group currently exploring possible avenues of connection. Please take a look At the close of the year, two representatives from Asheville Sister Cities sent us the letter below. Fiona Ritchie,
December 2015
Greetings to our friends in Dunkeld and Birnam, On behalf of the Asheville Sister Cities program and the Asheville area community we are pleased to convey to you our continuing interest in establishing a twinning partnership between our communities. Many of you know that this has been an ongoing effort as we have visited your wonderful setting on several occasions that included receptions and personal contacts.
There is a growing interest in developing this sister city relationship drawing upon our many common characteristics and interests: the considerable Scottish ancestral roots throughout the Southern Appalachians; parallel economic characteristics such as art, music, recreation and tourism; the striking physical beauty of our two settings; education; health affairs including an holistic approach to wellness; a strong sense of community ; the Presbyterian heritage; and, an abiding love of nature and commitment to stewardship of the surrounding physical environment.
We hope that 2016 brings opportunities to further build these ties leading to exchanges that enrich the lives of all our citizens. We can assure you that there is significant interest throughout our community in visiting your Perthshire setting, as well as hosting many of you to Asheville, and developing a long-term twinning relationship.
With all best wishes for the season and the New Year, Rick Lutovsky, Past President of Asheville Sister Cities Doug Orr, President Emeritus Warren Wilson College and the Asheville Chamber of Commerce and Co-Author with Fiona Ritchie of Wayfaring Strangers: The Musical Voyage from Scotland and Ulster to Appalachia.

D & B Cubs To Close

Overall, the numbers of children, leaders, parents and committee members involved in scouting in Dunkeld has been very encouraging. A large part of this success has been down to the enthusiasm and commitment of Helen McQueen over the last 5+ years. Helen is moving on as she pursues her career in teaching. All of us involved in Beavers, Cubs and Scouts owe Helen a great debt of gratitude.
Unfortunately, this means that we will not have sufficient leaders to continue with Cubs after Easter.
Unless we can find additional leaders in the next few weeks Cubs will close.
We ask all parents, family and friends to consider providing support to the Cubs. This does not have to be every week and help and advice will be provided by other leaders and the District Scout Association.
Please have a think about this and consider if you are able to get involved. If so, please contact Iain Gordon: -, 07738 006738

Dunkeld & Birnam Guides - New Challenge?

I want a new challenge – I want to do something for local children – I want to be part of a team – I want to be one of 10 million - IS THAT YOU?
Girlguiding is the biggest global organisation for women.
Girlguiding Dunkeld needs more adult leaders and helpers – or some groups might have to close as they are currently in suspension. They are the youngest group in Girlguiding, girls aged 5 -7. They have been meeting at the Dunkeld Guide Hall on Thursdays from 5-6pm (this time is not set in stone and could be adjusted to suit adult leaders). Rainbows follow a varied programme called the Rainbow Jigsaw. Everything a Rainbow does helps her to develop – it’s an opportunity to look, learn, laugh and love. A team of 2-3 leaders/assistants is needed to keep this group going.
If you prefer to work with slightly older girls, the Brownies (aged 7 – 10) meet also on Thursdays from 6.30 – 8pm. Their programme is called the Brownie Adventure – a name that speaks for itself. Brown Owl (that’s what they call their leader) is still in residence, but needs an assistant or two.
For those more interested in youth work, Guides (10 - 14) and Senior Section (14+), while not under threat at the moment, could also do with extra help – either for weekly meeting or camps or both.
As a Guide Leader, you will receive training and support from Girlguiding UK on both a local and regional level. No previous knowledge is necessary, but patience and a sense of fun are important.
Experience as a Guider is valued by professional childcare organizations and can be helpful to get into teacher training.
Please contact Trix Stephen (District Commissioner) on 01350 727456 or email

Tiddlywinks - a great opportunity to socializing.

Tiddlywinks, an informal group for parents/carers and babies/toddlers, is currently running on a Tuesday morning in the Birnam Arts centre from 10.00-11.30.
After a long spell running the group, Jennifer has passed on the group to Louise Davis. We would like to thank Jennifer for all her support and fundraising activities over the years. Currently we are looking for more people to come to the group and also to lend a helping hand- it is a great opportunity for socialising within the local community. Come along for a cup of tea or coffee and cake while the little ones play and have a snack. For more information please contact:

Silent Auction CANCELLED

Silent Auction 7th March – CANCELLED.
However Our Plant/Shrub Sale on 23rd April is still on -
Plant and Shrub Sale
10AM – 3PM, Saturday 23rd April 2016
at Kennacoil House PH8 0BP near Dunkeld, above Rumbling Bridge
TEA, COFFEE and CAKES in the Old Horse Mill in aid of St Mary’s Church, Birnam
Kennacoil – the perfect Scottish escape.
This is an ideal opportunity to see the self-catering cottages and wedding venue

Meal Makers

Meal Makers, the project that connects people and local communities through food, has now rolled out its services to Perth and Kinross.
The service is a free, local neighbourhood food-sharing project that uses an online platform to connect volunteers of any age who have a passion for cooking and want to be active in their communities (Cooks), with older neighbours over the age of 55 (Diners) who would appreciate a delicious home cooked meal from a friendly neighbour. Once a Cook and Diner have been matched the Cook will prepare an extra meal and deliver it to their Diner at a time agreed by both parties.
By matching volunteer cooks with diners Meal Makers aims to reduce food poverty and malnutrition, improve diets and combat social isolation by breaking down the barriers that lead to loneliness. The project helps to strengthen connections within communities by providing a flexible way for people to volunteer their time and skills locally in a way which suits them.
Meal Makers has made a flying start in Perth and Kinross having made several matches in different parts of the region with both Cooks and Diners advising that they are thoroughly enjoying meal shares and being part of the project. If you think you could do something great with an extra plate, or would like to meet a friendly neighbour over a plate of their delicious home cooked food then Meal Makers would love to hear from you.
Cooks can join Meal Makers by visiting or contacting Meal Makers on 01738 452236 /
If you would like to sign up as a Diner or know someone who would really appreciate some home cooked food, then you please call Meal Makers on 01738 452236.

Funding following flood damage

Details of how funding from the Scottish Government for flooded properties will be distributed in Perth and Kinross was discussed at an Executive Sub- Committee meeting of Strategic Policy & Resources on 20th January.
The flat rate grant of £1,500 per property can be used for households, businesses, community groups (such as sports clubs) and charitable organisations to help with the following:
- To reimburse eligible households for not receiving the full benefit of services they pay for through Council Tax while absent from their home due to internal property flooding.
- To enable people to protect their homes and businesses against future floods by installing new flood barriers, or by carrying out flood resilient repairs such as replacing doors and windows with water resistant alternatives, or moving electricity sockets up to a safer level.
Application forms for grant funding will be made available via the Council's website or by calling the Customer Service Centre on 01738 475000.
A separate additional fund of a flat rate grant of £3,000 has been set up for business premises. The Council will accept applications for this additional fund using the same application form as the £1,500 grant, but these will then be passed to the Scottish Government for consideration. This grant will be a one off payment to offset costs which cannot be covered by existing insurance, for example clean-up costs, materials and exceptional costs to help the business restore trade, such as marketing and promotion. This grant is payable to businesses regardless of any existing business rates reliefs.
The definition of households includes farmhouses, and the definition of business premises includes farm buildings such as grain stores etc, but not empty sheds or other buildings where there was no real impact to the farm operations.
Linzie Gowans, Communications Officer, Perth & Kinross Council
Tel. 01738 475048

Local Development Plan




Toddler Group Cancelled: Please help

Due to lack of support and low funds, Tiddleywinks - Dunkeld and Birnam’s parent and toddler group – has been cancelled from the January 2016 school term onwards. Tiddleywinks ran on Tuesday mornings at the Birnam Institute. For this group to continue we urgently need volunteers to take on the running of this group and to raise funds.
This group for babies and young toddlers is an informal setting where parents can chat while their children play safely close by. New parents in particular say they find this opportunity to meet people who are in the same boat to be a big help. Tiddlywinks is often the place where newcomers to Dunkeld and Birnam first meet the residents. Children can also meet their future classmates at the group, which can help them cope with school when the time comes.
In the past the group has run outings and other events for the children. But it is very informal and so needs as much or as little effort as parents want to contribute to keep it going. This is a great opportunity for someone to provide a really nice experience for the babies and toddlers of the area.
If you are interested in helping out please get in touch with me, Jennifer Ryles, at:

Ella Retires After 25yrs!

ellaAfter 25 happy years in Dunkeld I have decided to retire and will cease trading in December.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported me over the years, both staff and customers.
Ella’s is going to continue under new ownership. Susan Rutherford hopes to re-open in February continuing with similar fashionable merchandise.
Season’s greetings to you all. Ella

Together Again

Eclipse Hair and Nails on Dunkeld's Atholl Street has gone through many changes since its inception in February 2013, most recently with the addition of 2 familiar faces to the team and a full salon refurbishment.
Nicola Wilkie and Kim Tritton, both formerly of Essential Hair and Nails in Dunkeld have returned to provide the village with all manner of hair requirements.
"Kim, Nicola and I all worked together 14 years ago so it's lovely to have the old team back together" says salon owner Sarah Marr.
The salon offers a full range of hair and nail appointments, including colouring, cutting, Shellac nails and HD brows. Appointments are available Tuesday to Saturday and can be made by calling the salon directly or popping in to see us. Eclipse hair and nails : 01350 727008

Farewell To Father Tobias & Welcome To Father Edward

Father Tobias has left St Columba's Roman Catholic Church in St Mary's Road, Birnam. After eight years of service to the community, he has moved on to pastures new serving in joint Roman Catholic parishes in Forfar and Kirriemuir.
Father Tobias was deeply respected and valued in Dunkeld and Birnam as well as in the other parishes at Aberfeldy and Pitlochry. A farewell tea was held in Pitlochry for Father Tobias and was attended by many members of his congregations in Dunkeld and and Birnam, Aberfeldy and Pitlochry. Father Edward Vella joins us from Malta and we welcome him to our congregation.

Dunkeld & Birnam RBLS Memorial Club

Dunkeld & Birnam R.B.L.S Memorial Club wish to update the community on how the club is doing.
After years of running on a deficit budget we are now in a healthy state, for the past 3 years we have run on a credit balance, thanks to a dedicated few. We would be pleased to welcome a lot more people to help with the running of the club and bring their ideas along to make it a more attractive place. Anyone can now become a member.
Contrary to belief. Just come along. To our present members the membership fees are due 31st Oct.
Meantime we have a whist every 2nd week throughout the winter, a pool night the last Friday of each month, the bingo fell away but hope to hold one early Dec. the hall is always available for parties or events, the club is there to be used. If you can find time to give us some help or support, just come along, you will be made welcome.

Great news! Defib App now Live!

Highland Perthshire Communities Partnership in conjunction with Pitlochry High School has been working on a project to create a free App that locates all the defibrillators in Highland Perthshire.
We are very excited to announce that the App is now live and ready to download. Please encourage as many people to as possible download this life saving app.
The app is currently available from and Google's Play Store with an Apple version coming soon.
If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact Michella Samy on 07972 222271 or

Bob Lindsay

boblindsayBob Lindsay has retired as treasurer of the Parish Church after 26 years in the job. The Congregation marked the occasion by presenting Bob with 4 paintings at a reception in the Duchess Anne on Wednesday 16th September. His wife, Caroline was presented with a bouquet of flowers by John Cameron. The Minister, Fraser Penny, thanked Bob on behalf of the Congregation for the work he has put in over the years, over a time when regulations have increased and made the task much more complex. In replying, Bob remarked that in 1989 the Rev. Tom Dick had asked him to take on the job, just for a short time - until someone permanent could be found!
The picture shows (from left to right): Caroline Lindsay, Bob Lindsay, John Gray (who is the new Treasurer), Christine McNicoll and Fraser Penny

The Parish of Dunkeld Community Care Group

The group comprises The Meeting Place and The Duchess ANNE Lunch Group.
All are welcome to come to The Meeting Place between 10am and 12noon on Fridays to enjoy tea coffee and home baking, to chat to old friends and to make new ones.
The Duchess Anne Lunches are held on alternate Tuesdays from September to May.
The group caters mainly for those who live alone and would benefit from a good home cooked meal and pleasant company.
We have helpers from a wide area around Dunkeld. If you would like to help in any way, by cooking, baking, setting tables, driving, clearing up, or simply making people feel welcome. You would be on duty only once in 6 weeks. For more information please phone Jean Dickson on 01350727382

Dunkeld Cathedral

Cathedral200-0Visitor numbers at the Duchess Anne were well up on last year as were sales. Over 10 weeks we sold 415 pieces of work to the value of £32,500. There were 172 registered artists and 100 of them sold at least one piece of work with a number selling all their work and bringing in more.
The number of artists were down slightly on previous years. For the first time we had stained glass panels, fused glass items and small wooden toys which were all successful.
I would like to thank everyone who helped to keep the Exhibition going over the summer; from setting up, taking in pictures, stewarding, dismantling and handing back unsold work at the end.
Thanks also are due to our webmaster who has maintained the web page for a number of years now; Keith is only ever a click away by email if there are problems and with 172 artists trying to register over a 2 month period in April and May, quite often the web page is under pressure. However it is a much easier way of registering and showing the artists' work to people all over the world - this year we sold 3 pictures to a lady from the south of England straight from the web page. Often we get enquiries after the exhibition has finished and sometimes this results in a sale for the artist.
Margaret Scott
01738 710399

Letter to the Editor

letterlDear Sally,
It is some considerable time since I first wrote to you at The Bridge regarding the War Memorial site at Little Dunkeld (I think 2012) so I thought I should give an update. Following representations through Councillor Grant Laing, council workers attended during 2014 and carried out considerable works at the site, including removing obtrusive trees, rhododendron bushes and other vegetation and at the same time did a major reconstruction to the access pathway including installing an improved handrail for safety. Along with these works I can tell you that some local volunteers, namely Gordon Gerrie, Isobel Price, Kenny Bray, Jack Hutchison, Linda Speirs representing Dunkeld and Birnam in Bloom, and myself have attended at the site on occasions when convenient to us and have given the site some TLC which it sadly needed including removal of rubbish (discarded cans, bottles etc.) and cutting back more intrusive vegetation. It all takes time and I think it is more a work in progress than a finished job at this stage.
I hope this next bit will be of even more interest to your readers. I had noticed that the alternative path (that which is less steep and runs between the Stell Park houses and Park Cottage) was unmarked, so I asked Gordon Gerrie, who is VERY handy, if he could help. And he could.
Some years ago Dunkeld Bridge was vandalised in that some of the parapet stones had been tumbled off and landed in the river. With permission, Gordon had retrieved some and now one of these historic stones is sited at the entrance to the side path and engraved ‘Monument Walk ‘. I think a very appropriate use and entirely in keeping with this site. As the saying goes “It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good.”
David MacDougall, Willowbank.

Parles-tu français? ¿Hablas español? Café et Causerie?

Would you like to try informal French conversation over a coffee – Café et Causerie? A well established group drawn from places as far-flung as Dunning and Fortingall meets at 10.30am on the first Thursday of every month in the comfort of the Rivers Meet café (formerly the Allium Garden Centre) in Ballinluig.
There is also a wide range in fluency, but be assured that all but the very best of us (and there are some of those too) lapse into franglais occasionally. What we have in common – as in any café culture – is the desire to chat. We all make mistakes, but it is truly amazing what we find to talk about amongst friends. If you would like to join us, even for a taster session, please contact Katharine on: or phone 01350 727048. A bientôt!
Or is it Spanish «charla» you’d like to try?
This group - Café y Charla - also meets at the Rivers Meet café on the third Thursday of every month at 10.30am. This group also has a wide range in fluency, but we enjoy chatting and think it’s a great way to feel more at ease when speaking Spanish.
If you would like to join us, please contact Jenny on 01796 482765. ¡Hasta luego!  Fluent or not so fluent in French and/or Spanish, we’d be delighted to see you!

Local Residents To Receive Important Voter Registration Information

Households in Angus and Perth & Kinross will soon be receiving a form asking residents to check whether the information that appears on the electoral register for those living at their address is correct as part of the annual voter registration canvass.
The aim of the form is to ensure that the electoral register is up to date and to identify any residents who are not registered so that they can be encouraged to do so.
With Scottish Parliament elections taking place in May 2016, this is an opportunity for residents to make sure that when the elections take place they will be able to take part.
Furthermore, with those who are aged 16 or over on 5 May 2016 now able to vote at this election, the Electoral Registration Officer for Angus Council and Perth & Kinross Council will also be encouraging those eligible to vote for the first time to register to vote.
Mr Alastair Kirkwood, the Electoral Registration Officer said: “The annual canvass is an opportunity for people to easily check whether they’re registered. Anyone that wants to vote must also be registered. This includes anyone who will be 16 years old by 30 November 2016. To make sure you are able to have your say at the elections next year, simply check the form when it arrives and return it as promptly as possible. You can reply online, by telephone, by text message or simply return the form in the reply paid envelope. If the information is different to that on the form, you can still provide details via the online service or by completing the form. If you’re not currently registered, please reply and we will send you information explaining how to do this or you can just go online to apply to register at”
It’s particularly important that anyone who has moved address recently looks out for the form and checks whether they are registered at the correct address.
If you have changed address in the last year, it’s particularly likely that you will need to register at your new address, so check the form as soon as it arrives.”
Any residents who have any questions can contact the Electoral Registration Office in Forfar on 01307 462416, or in Perth at 01738 630303.
Perth & Kinross Council Change to 0845 numbers PKC is changing all of its 0845 telephone numbers from 3 August 2015 in recognition of the charges levied by different phone providers.
• Customer Service Centre 01738 475000 (remains unchanged)
• Housing Repairs Service 01738 476000 (outwith office hours this number will divert to the emergency repairs service)
• Community Care Access Team/Out of Hours Social Work 0345 30 111 20
• PKC Information Line 0345 30 111 00
• Grants helpline 0345 605 2000
• Public Transport Helpline 0345 30 111 30
• Child and Family Information Service 0345 60 144 77
• Telephone Payments 0345 60 301 21
• Travel Transport Concessionary 0345 603 0976

London Trip for Local Dancers


Back in June local dance teacher, Chanelle Wilson, submitted a squad, Mystic Pointe, to the acdc dance and cheerleading competition in Paisley. The team included girls from Dunkeld, Birnam, Pitcairngreen and Stanley aged 7-12. Mystic Pointe did exceptionally well and came 3rd in the Youth Jazz category of this national competition.
Following the performance Chanelle was approached by a representative from Bobby Dazzlers with an amazing opportunity for the dancers, to participate in their Christmas Special Showcase in London’s West End. The show will take place on Sunday 20th of December in Her Majesty’s Theatre in Haymarket, London. This may be a once in a lifetime experience, the chance for the dancers to perform in a world renowned theatre, to shine and show their real potential, The group are now intent on raising in the region of £3000 to take 11 children and 11 adults to London and stay for two nights as well as buying outfits for the dances and the finale.
The “Dance Mums” are holding a Ladies Night on 22nd August in the Pitcairngreen Inn at 7pm. On the 2nd of October a Donkey Derby at the 208 in Perth will take place.
Any help; donations, sponsorship, attendance as these events, best wishes would be greatly appreciated. Look out for posters with more details of fun to come.


Stamps & Coins For The Scottish Bible Society

Your continued support is much appreciated.
Please put contributions in the boxes in the Cathedral and Little Dunked. Also in Duchess Anne when the Art Exhibition is not in progress.
Every contribution is sold to dealers or auctioned to provide Bibles in many languages for those who do not have them. These are so much appreciated. Old bibles can be passed on to English speaking peoples and there is a chance to donate old watch parts and costume jewellery, also musical instruments and post cards whether written on or new. Please phone 01738 710094 for these extra items to be collected.

Tour of the Tower

On September 26th the Tower of the Cathedral will be open from 9.30am- 11.00am for guided tours.

The tower is owned by Historic Scotland and once a year as part of Open Doors the Historical Society provides stewards to enable us to open the Tower.
There will be four tours from 9.30pm to 11.00am, maximum of 8 on each tour, all tours MUST be booked, sorry no children under 12. The access is by a very narrow stone stairway, hard hast will be provided. To book please contact the email below or 01350727786 leaving a name and contact.

Jamie Grant

Photographer Jamie Grant sets out for adventure of a lifetime as Artist in Residence on South Georgia.
Perthshire photographer Jamie Grant, who has exhibited work in Edinburgh’s National Gallery and Perth Museum, will later this year be embarking on a 15,000 mile round trip to the remote sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia to spend 50 days on the island capturing its unique landscape and architecture as chosen artist in residence for the South Georgia Heritage Trust (SGHT). He will take up the post in October 2015 with plans to publish a book of photographs from the island with the Watermill Bookshop in 2016

Library Summer Reading Challenge


Go for a personal best this summer and sign up to the Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland at your local library. It’s easy and totally free. All children have to do is read at least six library books over the summer holidays. There are all kinds of rewards to encourage your children along the way and a medal and certificate for those that complete. The theme this year is Record Breakers and libraries have teamed up with Guinness World records to celebrate some fantastic achievements from all over the world.
Excitingly, Perth and Kinross Libraries and Information Services will take part in the attempt to set a Guinness World Record. You can get involved and help in this World Record attempt by promising to visit the library and read over the summer or encourage people you know to readwith children this summer. All you have to do is visit one of our full-time libraries on Saturday 11th July between 10.30 and 11.30am and sign a pledge to read or encourage reading this summer. Libraries will also be hosting events for children throughout the summer holiday. Join our special summer reading challenge book groups where you can discuss what you have been reading and have fun with books, participate in some of our record breaking activities, and meet award winning and exciting authors. Please ask staff or check the website for more detail You can also connect to the Record Breakers website where you can read, share, create and take part in interactive games.
readersLast year more than 40,000 children in Scotland discovered all the fun of taking part in the Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge. What’s more, their parents and teachers discovered the benefits too. Children who take part in the Challenge return to school after the summer break as more fluent, confident and happy readers.
Libraries and Information Services will further support childhood literacy by promoting library membership for every child in Perth and Kinross through the Every Child a Member campaign. Fifteen local authorities across Scotland have signed up to support the SLIC administered project which aims to engage with families and communities to encourage more children to use their local library and enjoy reading for pleasure thus helping to give them the best chance to learn in early years.
Suitable for children aged four to eleven, the summer reading challenge begins on Thursday 2nd July and runs until Saturday 22nd August so make sure you head along to your local library, visit as often as you can over the holidays and get involved in Record Breakers this summer. Contact your local library or visit for further information.


'Echoes From Gallipoli' 1915 - 2015 A WW1 Commemoration


'Echoes from Gallipoli' will be a community commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Gallipoli Campaign. This event is presented jointly by The Dunkeld Archive and Birnam Arts with readings by members of local amateur theatre group BIPS. Bob Davidson has adapted first hand accounts and documentation from both our local and National press archives. These accounts recall the history and experiences of soldiers who served with The Scottish Horse Yeomanry which was based in and around Dunkeld.
The Scottish Horse was originally raised in South Africa in 1900, and in 1901 a regiment of four squadrons was raised under the command of The Marquis of Tullibardine, afterwards The Duke of Atholl. Later a second regiment was formed consisting of Scotsman from home and Australians of Scottish decent. The two regiments served with distinction in the South African campaign and in 1902, The Scottish Horse was disbanded, the Boer War being ended. Then in 1903, The Scottish Horse Yeomanry was reformed as a cavalry unit. The 1st Regiment was raised in Perthshire, the 2nd in Aberdeenshire, Elgin, Nairn and Argyllshire, and recruitment was aimed at keepers and stalkers with special emphasis on scouting and the use of the rifle.
'Echoes from Gallipoli' will be a community event at Birnam Arts on Saturday September 19th 8pm tickets are free but please call Birnam Arts to reserve seats.

School's Out for Summer!


P7 pupils from the Royal School of Dunkeld celebrating at Sports Day.

Griffin & Calliacher Community Funds


Pathways: Getting Connected in the Voluntary Arts

Are you involved in the voluntary arts in some way? Voluntary Arts Scotland, Creative Scotland and Perth & Kinross Council are wanting to map how easy it is for people to access cultural activity in their local area – and what provisions are there for them. Can you help build a picture of the drama groups, knitting circles, choirs, meeting spaces, art clubs in the area and the opportunities to promote and share activity, transport, venues, funding and much more that Perth & Kinross has to offer? What challenges do you face? How are you connected to the rest of the arts world?
Please join in through an on-line survey:
A paper version available to download, a dedicated website You can also follow the link of The Bridge website:
For more information, or to book a free place at a workshop, visit or contact Robert Livingston, Kirkhill Associateson 07595220299.

Hipshire Community Network TrueCall Scheme

The Health & Wellbeing Sub Group has successful obtained Community Support funding to purchase a number of trueCall units which enable people to block out nuisance and cold calls.
Workers in the Highland Perthshire area have highlighted that a number of older people are reporting distress and disruption caused by nuisance and cold calls. This funding will enable us to run a pilot programme across the area. A limited number of units will be provided and installedfree of charge to older people across the area.
trueCall Call Blocker is like having a home receptionist who lets calls from your friends and family straight through, blocks unwelcome callers, and asks unrecognised callers to identify themselves before it puts them through. This gives you peace and quiet at home.The units plug in between the phone and the wall socket and when installed, quickly learns who you like to speak to and who you don’t. The system lets you decide how you want it to handle your calls, and the trueCall Call Blocker does the rest.
For the system to work people need to have caller id activated in their phone line, this is easily arranged with service providers but may have a charge.
Franny McGrath, chair of the network says “We are delighted to have the opportunity to run this project to support people to feel safer within their own homes, as well as the distress caused to people receiving call there have also been a number of cases of vulnerable people being scammed for money. Hopefully this project will help to address this and also raise awareness of these issues in the area”.
For more information or to apply for a unit please call 01350 727660 or email

United Lodge of Dunkeld No 14


The Lodge at Dunkeld operates under a Charter granted by the Grand Lodge of Scotland and is one of thirteen Lodges which make up the Province of Perthshire West, all of which are supervised by the Provincial Grand Master of Perthshire West, Bro John Scott Brockie. The Province stretches from Aberfoyle in the south to Blair Atholl in the north. Thursday 26 March 2015 was the date of the annual visit to the Lodge by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Perthshire West, to inspect the books and ensure the Lodge was operating properly, which proved to be the case. This was also the last time that Bro Brockie would visit the Lodge as Provincial Grand Master due to his five year term of office coming to an end this summer.
To mark this special occasion the Lodge Master, Bro Ian S Ford, is pictured presenting Bro Brockie with an engraved whisky decanter and glasses which were made by James Cunningham at Dunkeld Engraving
Parlour Derby - 7pm on Saturday 23 May 2015 - British Legion Club, Dunkeld
In aid of local charity and building maintenance funds for the Lodge premises. Tickets available at the door which includes half time stovies. Come along and have a flutter for a worthwhile cause - all welcome.
The Lodge is now in recess for the summer and will resume with the first meeting of the new season on Thursday 24 September 2015 at 7.15pm. Although in recess, Lodge members expect to be kept busy with building maintenance work on the interior and exterior of the building in Tay Terrace, Dunkeld, and also attending some social events including the annual summer dinner with wives and partners. Best wishes to all for a good summer fromat the United Lodge of Dunkeld No 14.


Windfarms Update


1. North Calliacher - I & H Brown : Latest details from Planning Appeal Scotland website is: The Reporter has been able to carry out a second site visit in good visibility. He has commenced finalising his decision notice. However, due to other work commitments he will not be in a position to issue his decision until mid March.
2. Dullater – Ecotricity : Developer has submitted an application. As well as the many objections lodged SEPA and SNH have lodged objections. Developer will now do further work on the ES and submit and amendments to the application, once this is done there will be a further consultation period.
PKC has hired an external consultant to prepare a landscape and visual assessment prior to finalising their report for committee.
3. Craig n Bhaird Force 9 Energy : Going to PKC Development Control Committee on MARCH 18th. Please come along to the meeting if you can 10am Dewars Centre, Perth,
4. Elrick - PNE WIND : Initial meeting held to discuss 13 turbines in Craigvenian Forrest. Further meeting to be arranged. Wind Mast now in situ - can be clearly seen from A9 above Kinaird. No new updates.
5. Crossburn - West Coast Energy : Crossburn has been reduced from 40 to 25 turbines. They have submitted a planning application to Energy Consents. They plan to use A822/A826 for delivery route.
PKC has hired an external consultant to prepare a landscape and visual assessment prior to finalising their report for committee. (40), Forneth (8), Glen Cochil Wind Park (7) Awaiting more information - these developments have not yet went to scoping.
If you have any questions or do not wish to receive further updates please e:mail Nan Johnston on:

Broadband comes to the Strath

dig broadband

Community Broadband Scotland is investing £58,500 in a Perthshire project which will dramatically improve online access for local people by the Spring.
Building has started to create a wireless network as part of a pilot project, which has been designed to initially link communities circling the Tay Forest Park – Amulree, Trochry and Struan - which previously were struggling with broadband speeds or around 1Mbps. The project is the culmination of the hard work of community volunteers who make up the Highland Perthshire Communities Partnership (HPCP). As well as the funding from CBS, there has been additional support from Perth and Kinross Council and from the Griffin windfarm fund. Work has started on five small-scale telecoms masts being erected at a series of key locations to provide broadband to these rural communities. The group’s ambition is to add more to ensure that no one in Highland Perthshire is left behind and that all can call upon speeds of as much as 20Mb.
CBS is a Scottish Government project led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). It supports communities across Scotland which are unlikely to benefit from the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband project which aims to deliver coverage to 95% of Scottish premises by the end of 2017. Bruce Patterson is the partnership’s project officer. He said: “We’ve been working on this issue for more than a year and a half and are delighted that we could see services available by Easter. “We are committed to providing a credible service to Highland Perthshire, based on a model that has been used and proven to work at Laggan.
“Though the DSSB roll-out is coming, there are vast areas of rural Perthshire that can’t be reached and for those that can it looks likely that it may be 2017 before they see fibre. We are concerned that without good services soon then businesses and communities will struggle – and by doing this ourselves we can offer a way forward. It is our ambition to ensure that the whole of Highland Perthshire is a wi-fi zone. We will be a community business and all profits will be poured back into the business and into our communities.”

Perth and Kinross Federation Spring Show

Bankfoot Church Centre
Friday 6th March 6-8pm and Saturday 7th March 10am-4pm
Morning coffee, lunch and afternoon teas available. Entrance by silver collection. All welcome.

Trees Not Turbines

Latest Update from Nan Johnston (mid July 2014):

1.  North Calliacher  - I & H Brown: Rejected at PKC Committee now awaiting to see if developer lodges an appeal.
2.  Dullater - Ecotricity: Developer has submitted an application - see attached flyers for more details:
3.  Craig n Bhaird  - Force 9 Energy: In planning looks like may go to committee in August.   
4.  Elrick - PNE WIND: Initial meeting held to discuss 13 turbines in Craigvenian Forrest.  Further meeting to be arranged.  Wind Mast now in situ - can be clearly seen from A9 above Kinnaird.
5. Crossburn: Crossburn has been reduced from 40 to 25 turbines.  They plan to use A822/A826 for delivery route. Developer plans to submit application in August.  See attached for more details:
Forneth (8), Glen Cochil Wind Park (7): Awaiting more information - these developments have not yet went to scoping.
If you have any questions or please email me. Thanks, Nan


Many thanks to everyone who has joined the ‘Trees not Turbines’ campaign. We hope thousands of people living in the communities of Highland Perthshire will join. The feeling is that ‘Enough is Enough.’ We already have 82 wind turbines operating in the Dunkeld & Birnam area.
The community is now drowning under 10 new applications for a further 107 wind turbines across our landscape ranging from Butterstone & Forneth in the East, to the forests of Craigvinean up to Calliachar in the West. Many of us feel that ‘Enough is Enough.’ It is time to stop further windfarm expansion.
Please join our campaign to save Dunkeld & Birnam's outstanding scenic beauty by adding your name and comments at and pass the link to your friends, family and anyone else who cares about the future of our local environment.
There is also more information about the 10 new planning applications on the website:
Thank you

Trees not Turbines campaign launched.

Following a packed public meeting at the Birnam Hotel members of the community of Dunkeld and Birnam have launched the 'Trees not Turbines' campaign which we hope thousands of people living in the communities of Highland Perthshire will join.

The feeling is that 'Enough is Enough.' We already have 82 wind turbines operating in the Dunkeld & Birnam area. The community is now drowning under 10 new applications for a further 107 wind turbines across our landscape ranging from Butterstone & Forneth in the East, to the forests of Craigvinean up to Calliachar in the West.

Many of us feel that 'Enough is Enough.' It is time to stop further windfarm expansion. Please join our campaign to save Dunkeld & Barman's outstanding scenic beauty by adding your name and comments at and pass the link to your friends, family and anyone else who cares...

Online Advertising with The Bridge

The Bridge is pleased to be able to offer our advertisers the option of taking a banner advert which will appear on all pages of the site in the selected position, in alternation with a maximum of up to 2 other advertisers in that position.

If your advert is of interest to the visitor, they will "click through", usually to your own website, ideally to a specific page on your website with details of the product or offer you are advertising. Alternatively, if you do not have a website, we can organise for your advert to click through to a dedicated page on, for an extra charge.

positionsInitially, there will be 2 banner advert positions available, and these are marked on the screen print opposite.


This position is charged at £20 per month for a minimum of 3 months.


Charged at £15 per month for a minimum of 3 months.


In both cases you should supply us with artwork in the form of a JPEG image, size 280px wide by 165px deep.  This can be uploaded when you place your order.

If you are unsure about how to create this artwork or would like us to create it for you, please email Peter Guthrie or call him on 07403 227985.

To place an order for an online banner advert, just click here.


  • Include a "call to action", for instance: "Click here for April special offers"
  • Try to create a special landing page on your website where clickthroughs go to and which expand on the offer or product you are advertising on the Bridge Online.
  • Make the offer as specific as possible - ie new products, limited availability, last minute deals etc
  • Find a way to measure how effective your advertising has been.  What return do you want to achieve for each £20 or £15 you spend?  If your business provides services or goods that are relatively significant in terms of cost (so, anything from a house redecoration to legal services!), one new customer would probably be a handsome return.




Weather, Travel & Public Transport

On this page we've brought together the best information we can find covering weather, travel news and public transport around Dunkeld and Birnam.