Auchterarder & District Local History Association Report

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Our recent talk was given by Maarten Versteeg who is Chairman of the Dunning Community Trust and spoke on Kincladie Wood and the Roman Monument.

In 2005 the 20 acres of Kincladie Wood was purchased for £45,000 following a loan by a member of the Trust. The first account of this ancient woodland appears in the Rollo archives of 1681. Then called My Lady’s Wood after Lady Rollo, it has not been ploughed or harvested for the last 300 years. It has always been in use by the community, occasionally for motor bike scrambles, visited annually by the Travelling people who would work in the surrounding fields and farms, and believed to be the site where three witches were burnt in the 16th Century. Once purchased it became obvious that the Wood needed to  be efficiently maintained and the Dunning Community Trust was set up as a limited company to repay the loan, which it did by 2012, and to look at the ways the Wood could be further enjoyed by the whole Community. An all-weather path was created round the wood with a car park. Coffee mornings are held, concerts take place and a £5 annual subscription all help to support the Trust. In addition about £500 is raised each year from the sale of fallen wood. The aim is for the wood to be a friendly place and school groups are encouraged to visit with bark rubbing and den building. The flora and wild life are prolific, there are red squirrels nearby and it is hoped these might move into the wood. In 2016 Kincladie Wood was Highly Commended by the Woodland Trust in its Scotland’s Finest Woods Award. An Expert from them congratulated the Trust on its management and also gave advice for the future.

The Trust is proud to have part of the remains of a large Roman Camp within the wood. Although a long trench and mound are all that remain, it is possible in dry conditions to make out the shadowy outlines of other buildings. It was probably built during the 1st and 2nd Century about the time Ardoch and the Gask ridge forts were being constructed, as a temporary or marching camp, surrounded by a fertile area necessary for the feeding of a large army. About 115 acres in size it was recognised in the 1940s and the Trust has a close relationship with the SERF Project who explored the trench in 2014. Maarten’s obvious enthusiasm and knowledge were warmly received by a large audience.

Next Meeting:             17th March at 7.30pm in the Aytoun Hall

Topic:                          The Life of a Lord Lieutenant

Speaker:                      Brigadier Melville Jameson, Lord Lieutenant, Perth & Kinross

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