CCT and Crieff Community Initiative (CCI) have been engaged in talks regarding the future ownership of Acorn Dell in Crieff. 

Acorn Dell is a small area of woodland which lies along the west side of the Turret Burn and includes the first section of Lady Mary’s Walk. This woodland was previously owned by two Malaysian businessmen who agreed to sell it in 2012 in response to an approach from a volunteer working group set up under the auspices of the Crieff and Upper Strathearn Partnership. A local group then raised the funds to allow the land to be purchased, and in May 2012, the title for the land was transferred to local charity, CCI, to be held in trust for the people of Crieff.

However, now the trustees of CCI, Angus MacDonald and Robert Ferguson, are retiring and are in the process of winding up the charity, but they are keen that the land at Acorn Dell continue to be safeguarded in the future for the people of Crieff. Chairman Angus MacDonald explained: ‘At the time the money was raised to buy Acorn Dell, the trustees of CCI agreed to take ownership of the land because there was no other suitable community charity in existence to do so. Crieff Community Trust did not exist at that time, and was not registered as a charity until 2013.’

‘However, over the past few years since CCT was established, they have been very involved in raising the money to repair the path along the Turret Burn which is the first part of Lady Mary’s Walk. As CCI is now being wound up, we believe that CCT is the right local charity to take over ownership of Acorn Dell, particularly as CCT is a membership organisation, which anyone in Crieff is free to join, and their constitution clearly states that they have been established to benefit the community of Crieff.’

CCT Chair, Ailsa Campbell said: ‘CCT would be pleased to take on the ownership of Acorn Dell for the people of Crieff. We are aware of the enormous effort that people like Stuart McLaren, Isobel Simpson and Councillor Ann Cowan made to bring this land into community ownership in 2012. CCT is committed to honouring that effort and that’s why we obtained grants of £22,000 last year to improve the first part of Lady Mary’s Walk, beside the Turret. It has been great that we have been able to work so positively with CCI on this project.’

CCT Trustee, Jim Anderson, added: ‘CCT knows how important Lady Mary’s Walk is to the people of Crieff. We have been working together with a group of local residents – the Friends of Acorn Dell – to improve the path along the Turret Burn. The work that was carried out in January and February is just the first phase of a larger objective to create an all-abilities off-road path from Mungall Park to the main section of Lady Mary’s Walk along the River Earn.’

‘We are also very aware that the woodland at Acorn Dell has been largely neglected in the past and as part of our stewardship of the land, we intend to develop a woodland management plan which will involve consultation with the people of Crieff.’

Steps are currently being taken to consult OSCR, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, regarding the proposal to transfer the title for Acorn Dell from CCI to CCT.

The Crieff Paths Group will hold their next work party on Saturday, March 26, in Comrie at the Millennium Footpath. The Millennium Footpath is the result of a community project that aimed to provide a high quality all-abilities footpath in Comrie. It was officially opened in 2011.

Parts of the path have been damaged by recent high water levels. The task on Saturday the 26th will consist of helping the Millennium Footpath Association by removing and reinstalling a culvert pipe, creating letts and run off points, clearing drainage ditches and light work consisting of raking rubble off the path to enable wheelchairs and pushchairs to use it again.

Everyone is welcome to join in. Meet at the Laggan Car Park at 10am. Please dress appropriately for the weather and wear stout footwear. Bring your own lunch. The group will plan to finish around 3pm.

Please contact Alex McLeod ( to let him know if you'd like to come.

Some of the members of the Crieff Paths Group
at the February work party in Acorn Dell.
Copyright © 2016 Crieff Community Trust, All rights reserved.

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