With lockdown easing in some respects and the urgency to provide support to the tenants at Cultybraggan Camp and local community groups also changing, the Board of Comrie Development Trust have moved their Board meetings from weekly to fortnightly. Life at the Camp is becoming busier as tenants try to find a more normal working routine and local people take advantage of the space and fine weather for exercise.
Work is progressing well on the Self-catering Project with the current focus on the services infrastructure. The services infrastructure at Cultybraggan Camp – the network of power and water supplies, drain connections, etc. – has had something of a potted history over the lifetime of the Camp. Supplies were originally very limited but developed over time in line with the MoD’s use of the Camp. All the huts were connected to power supplies using a network of overhead cables, signs of which can still be seen today. This network has since been removed and partially replaced with modern underground cables. There are also signs on the Camp of its historical water supplies – water towers were fed from a tank up on the hill above the Camp, which then fed a network of steel water pipes. This system has also been decommissioned and partially replaced with modern plastic pipes fed with mains water.
Developing the services for the Camp is a key part of supporting the community users and businesses, allowing its use to grow further and developing it for life in the 21st Century. A variety of projects are in hand to ensure services are as widely available across the Camp. Electricity is always everyone’s first choice and work is actively being undertaken to identify the best way to make this possible. Water is generally next on the list and although this can be easier to install, it brings with it the need to ensure that supplies do not freeze during the winter! Supplying water to huts also means that they need to be connected to the drains and this is where it sometimes gets trickier – generally requiring much more digging and proper allowance for the slopes necessary for them to work properly. New drains then have a knock-on effect for the Camp’s sewage/water treatment capacity, and this is where work has recently been completed by using the latest technology to reline an old sewage pipeline.
The Camp also benefits from the presence of a company who provide fibre broadband, which these days is understandably seen as being as important as the other services. So, as part of ongoing developments, a network of fibre cables is being installed around the Camp, opening up all manner of possibilities for businesses and users who rely on high speed broadband to do what they do!
Part of the Camp is also supplied by a woodchip-fuelled district heating system. This system supplies heating and hot water through a network of underground hot water pipes. Current and future projects are looking to extend this network to the Self Catering Huts and to the Officers Mess, (opposite the Self Catering units) to make this sustainable form of heating more widely available.
The CDT Woodland Group are making good progress on the Comrie Community Woodland. Deer fencing is almost complete and new pedestrian self-closing gates are in place around the perimeter to improve public access. The mill lade has a newly built bridge to aid small vehicle and foot crossings, and manual bracken clearing by volunteers is almost complete.
The Group has also been successful in raising money from the Steinmeyer Legacy fund for small projects to improve access, recreation and enjoyment at the woodland for older people. These projects over 2020/21 will lead to the creation of a network of paths around the new woodland, a grass-roofed hub near the entrance the woodland, benches and seats, and some interpretive signs.
Volunteer support will be key to the success of these projects and other developments in the woodland. Anyone interested in getting involved in voluntary woodland activities can contact the group at: email@example.com
The “Beetle Bank” by the Orchard at Cultybraggan Camp
The Allotments are particularly colourful just now as it is not only fruit and vegetables that are grown. Many of the plots have marvellous displays of flowers much to the delight of the bees who only have to fly a short distance from their hives located in the middle of the camp. The flowers flourish in the well fed soil and its impossible not to stop to admire them.
The Trust have provided a second hut to the Comrie Cancer Shop Committee whilst the Cancer Shop is being refurbished. Tables have been set up inside to allow the Committee to organise their large collection of books before moving them back to the Cancer Shop. The Trust have offered to allocate a hut permanently to the Committee for longer term storage and space where newly donated items can more easily be sorted.
Although the Visitor Attraction at the Camp remains closed, the Camp’s ground is open to the local community for exercise. However, those entering the Camp should be aware that construction work is ongoing and take extra care as heavy vehicles will be driving around the Camp.
If you have any questions about Comrie Development Trust or are interested in volunteering please email firstname.lastname@example.org – we’ll be glad to hear from you.