September

Drummond Hill Management Plan

Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) is inviting people in and around Aberfeldy and Kenmore to take part in the development of Drummond Hill Land Management Plan

Drummond Hill, lays claim to being the first managed forest in Scotland with planting having started in the 17th century, and is an important site for wildlife and recreation.

However, the need to remove larch trees to help counter the spread of the disease Phytophora ramorum, is going to have an impact on the site. The land management plan sets out FLS’s plans for the site over the next ten years, including felling, restocking, deer management and management access, and offers a more general indication of plans for the ten years after that.

Robin Almond, FLS Planning Forester, said;

“This is a steep site with a lot of difficult-to-work ground and it will require some very careful planning and preparation to harvest it safely.

“As well as planning the felling operations we’re also planning the maintenance of over 220 hectares of mature scots pine, which will benefit red squirrels and Capercaillie, and returning 30 hectares of plantation on this ancient woodland site to native species.

“Additional benefits of the plan include making the unique Iron age fort at Casteal Mac Tuathal more visible in the landscape and reducing peak runoff from the site during wet periods.

“We would like to hear the view of local residents so would invite anyone interested to look over the plans that are online and give us feedback on at their leisure.”

The draft plan looks at getting the best use out of these forests, whether it’s in terms of timber production, as reserves for habitats and key species, or as a recreational resource for local communities. 

Anyone who for any reason is unable to take part in an online consultation can request printed copies of the plan summary from Office.east@forestryandland.gov.scot

The online consultation will remain open until 22 October. A number of Zoom meetings have been hosted by FLS to give the communities that live in the area a chance to hear about the Plan first hand.  The meeting on Monday 30th August, was geared to the communities on the western side of the hill and info about joining the Zoom meeting was sent to people on the Community Council and/or FVA mailing lists. If you were unable to take part in the Zoom consultation, the links in this article will allow you to access and comment on the draft plan.

Milltown of Lawers

Stuart Brain has shared some atmospheric photos taken in Old Lawers Village, just as the ownership of the village was changing hands.  It is good to hear that the new owner has already been in touch with the Breadalbane Heritage Society and conservation agencies and that he does not plan to make significant changes to this special site. He is keen to ensure that access is retain for those who wish to visit the village, famous for its association with the Seer, the Lady of Lawers.

(It should be noted that the photos were taken on Stuart’s second visit by boat to the village – the first visit ended abruptly when he encountered a cloud of bloodthirsty clegs who couldn’t believe their luck when a human in shorts entered their domain.  He returned the next day more suitably attired (hazmat suit?) and was able to have a good look round, take photos and explore the old graveyard.)

Fearnan Book Club Review

Linda writes:

The book reviewed in August was Rules for Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson. We were delighted to be able to finally meet up in person in the Hall to discuss this book with a cup of tea and some delicious home baked goodies. 

This book presents us with a series of unsolved murders all with one thing in common: each of the deaths bears an eerie resemblance to the crimes depicted in classic mystery novels.

The deaths lead FBI Agent Gwen Mulvey to a mystery bookshop ‘Old Devils’. Owner Malcolm Kershaw had once posted online an article titled ‘My Eight Favourite Murders’, and there seems to be a deadly link between the deaths and his list – which includes Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History.

Can the killer be stopped before all eight of these perfect murders have been re-enacted?

There were mixed responses to this book. Some liked the references to the murder plots in the books mentioned while others thought they were spoilers if you wanted to subsequently read the books which a few of the group did. 

Some felt the book didn’t hang together as there were too many sub plots and too many murders. There were many threads to keep track of, and mini stories within the main plot. We were certainly kept guessing as to who the murderer was. As always we liked the twists and revelations as we read on. A few of us had even guessed who the murderer was.

A couple of the interesting characters were likeable and believable (e.g. the staff in the bookshop, who were well portrayed) but others were not considered plausible (e.g. the FBI agent). Other characters were more difficult to engage with. The cat with a personality was popular with the group and thankfully survived unharmed.

The book gathered pace as it progressed although it was felt that perhaps there was a rush towards the end to tie up loose ends. 

The book to be reviewed in September is The Glass House by Eve Chase. It has been described as ‘a captivating mystery: beautifully written, with a rich sense of place, a cast of memorable characters, and lots of deep, dark secrets’.

Local Clubs Restarting

It’s not just the Book Club that has started meeting in person again. The Carpet Bowls group will be meeting again in the Hall from Monday 4th October between 8 and 10pm. If you are interested in joining them, contact details are on the What’s On page of this website.

Tai Chi classes have also restarted on Wednesdays from 10 – 11am in the Hall.

Annual General Meetings

The Annual General Meeting of the Glenlyon and Loch Tay Community Council will take place on the 11th November 2021 at 7pm, by Zoom.  If you are not already on the CC mailing list, visit https://glenlyonandlochtaycc.org.uk to register.  This means you will be sent updates and Zoom links for meetings automatically.

The McLean Hall Committee held their Annual General Meeting on Monday 23rd August and the Minutes are reproduced below:

Minutes of McLean Hall Committee Annual General Meeting & Business Meeting, Monday 23rd August 2021

Present:          T Alexander, K Bennett, F. Brace, R Grant, A Kinninmonth, L. Milne and E. Melrose (Secretary).  There were 6 members of the public present.

Elaine Melrose chaired the meeting and welcomed all who were present.

1) Apologies: K Douthwaite (Trustee) and N. Grant from the Committee and 6 members of the public.

2) Minutes of the 65th AGM: (2020) held by email in February 2021, which had been circulated prior to the meeting, were approved.

3) Matters arising: There were no matters arising that were not already on the agenda.

4) Treasurer’s Report:  Karen presented the annual balance sheet, demonstrating a bank balance of £21,860.99 as of 31st March 2021.  Overall, income for the year to March was £11,095.00, boosted by a Government Covid Grant of £10,000, as well as the annual PKC grant of £250. The expenditure was £1,935, covering mainly the insurance and entertainment licence premiums and electricity bill. Despite the Hall not being used much over the past year, background heating was required to stave off any damp caused by the leaking roof.

5) Trustees Report: In her report, Kath Douthwaite offered a special thanks to Karen who has still worked hard through Covid to secure grants to repair the hall roof.

The grant process takes up a lot of time and repetition so thank you again.

She also thanked Elaine for her secretarial work and hoped that she would carry on as secretary.

6) Election of Office Bearers for 2021/2022: Elaine indicated that the constitution required that there was a minimum of 3 office bearers on the Hall Management Committee.

There had been no intimations of resignation from the current committee.  However, a new chairperson was required.  Rosalind Grant had indicated that she would be willing to undertake the role.  She was nominated by a member of the public from the floor and seconded by Angela Kinninmonth.  Karen Bennett and Elaine were happy to continue as at present.  There being no objections, the Committee is now as follows:

Chairperson – Ros Grant, Secretary – Elaine Melrose, Treasurer – Karen Bennett

Members of the Committee – Nicholas Grant, Angela Kinninmonth, Julia Lane, Jo Miller, Linda Milne and George Mitchell.

7) Election of Trustees:           At the Committee meeting on Tuesday 1st October 2019, there had been no nominations received to replace Rev. Anne Brennan, who had now retired.  The chairman at the time suggested that long serving residents could be Trustees.  Tom Alexander expressed a willingness to undertake the role.  Frances Brace was still considering her decision at that point. 

Both have now agreed to become Trustees.  There were no objections.  It was noted that Stuart Brain would consider such a role in the future.

The AGM closed at 7.55pm.

GENERAL BUSINESS MEETING

8) Events 2020/2021: Given the current restrictions, no events have been planned.            

9) Thrift Shop 2021/2022: The Hall Committee has declined the offer of a thrift shop week this year (2021), but there was willingness among some present to accept a slot if offered in 2022.

10) Maintenance Plans for 2021-2022:         

1) The Hall Roof

Karen had investigated what might be done to rectify the problem of the leaking roof.  The previous resealing of what was thought to be the suspect area had not been successful and no actual source had been established for the continuing leakage.

Experts had suggested three options – strip the present roof and replace; build a roof on top of the present roof or reseal the current roof.

Apparently, the hook bolts which attach the roof are no longer an acceptable method for roofing a Hall.

Reroofing the Hall would be prohibitively expensive and there was concern that the prefab concrete supports of the roof might not prove stable enough when drilled during the procedure for building a new roof on the old roof.

Following independent advice, the best solution seemed to be resealing the roof.  The company ‘Polyroof’ supplies the sealing system and ‘Skyform’ based in Glasgow is the preferred contractor in Scotland.

Included as part of the roof work, the guttering and down spouts will be replaced with powder coated aluminium replacements.

It is expected that work will commence in September and take approximately 3 weeks, depending upon the weather.

2) Entrance Area Refurbishment

Before the pandemic, Colin Menzies had provided an estimate for landscaping at the Front Door entrance, including the bin area.

Karen has now requested an updated estimate.  It may be possible to obtain grant funding to offset the cost of this work.

The planned expenditure on the Maintenance plans for the year is as follows:

Roof Repair: £36,845.28

Entrance Area: £5,000

Karen has been successful in obtaining £23,500 in grants towards the roof repair.

11) Correspondence:  Karen had received correspondence regarding the Cow Park but discussion on this was deferred.

12) Any Other Business:

1) Hall Carpark            There was a discussion about the use of the Hall carpark, but it was decided not to encourage visitor parking.                                             

2) Publishing the minutes of the meeting       It was agreed that a copy of the minutes would be attached to the noticeboard, but also Fiona Ballantyne has offered to publish the minutes on the FVA Blog, and this was also agreed.

13) Date of Next Meeting.  The committee will hold a meeting in about 6 weeks and the AGM 2022 will take place in June 2022 on a date to be advised.

About Fearnan Village Association

Fearnan Village Association was formed in 2007 to provide a means through which those who live in the village can come together to discuss and respond to issues of importance to the village, particularly those that will have an impact on our quality of life. We also organise social events, such as the very popular Pudding Night in February, Strawberry TeaZ in July, and other events and coffee mornings throughout the year.
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