CDT’s working groups have been able to keep working and make progress with activities despite the disruptions during 2020.
At the Comrie Community Orchard, work continued throughout the year and since gathering in the autumn harvest, and three full days of juicing the apples and pasteurising, attention was turned back to working in the orchard itself. The last two months have been spent on jobs, such as removing the netting from the Morello cherries and the blueberries, and checking the labels and ties on each and every tree. The redcurrants, blackcurrants and gooseberries have all been pruned and mulched with wood chippings. A large section of the ‘edible’ hedge has been trimmed back and hedge laying has been carried out on a portion of the northern boundary hedge.
The New Year will be the time the volunteers will be pruning all the apple and pear trees.
In April 2021 the Comrie Community Orchard Working Group will be celebrating a decade since the community got together and planted the orchard and the edible hedge. Hopefully by that time we will be able to get together once again to celebrate the occasion.
The Comrie Community Woodlands Group are making significant progress and are delighted to have received their excellent range of tools purchased with the Perth and Kinross Community Environment Challenge Fund grant. These will hopefully have been put to good use (by the time of printing) at our volunteer day in December to remove old stock fencing and flush out the remaining deer before closing off the newly erected deer fence. Perhaps the most welcome tool on the day given the recent snows will be the Kelly Kettles to keep our lovely volunteers supplied with hot drinks!
If you missed out and would like to volunteer in future keep an eye and ear out for further activities in 2021, including some planned guided walks to introduce you to the delights of the woodland site and some community tree planting events. We also have a community consultation in the planning for you to have your say. Meanwhile there are a couple of signs on the entrance gate to welcome visitors to explore on their own. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to volunteer with us.
Over the winter months the Comrie Heritage Group volunteers have been busily engaged in setting up a catalogue system for the historical artefacts which include a variety of documents, photographs, cartoons, artefacts, and personal items all of which have been kindly donated to CDT. The system is being designed in line with guidance from Perth & Kinross Museums and the National Records of Scotland and, once complete, it will become a valuable tool when creating exhibitions and populating our future museum.
On the Self-Catering Project, key activities that are now complete are: the infrastructure for the district heating system is in place to connect each of the 11 huts once external work on the huts is complete; fibre cable to the huts has been delivered to hut 39 ready to be rolled out by Bogons (who already deliver superfast broadband to many other Camp tenants and local businesses), to individual huts. The sewage upgrade is complete as is the provision of mains water. The last activity to complete in early December delivered the main electrical connection into the site from the sub-station.
Over the years, the Trust has purchased equipment for use, on loan, by local community groups and local businesses. Cargo bikes was one such purchased and just recently the last one in store was allocated to help a member of our community who is keen to operate her business in an eco-friendly way and wished to trial one of the cargo bikes. Fiona Perrie’s mission is to provide Flying Smiles dental hygienist services in an eco-friendly way to the local community so the cargo bike could be ideal for that. Fiona is also a regular borrower of CDT’s projector which she has used for her business and, as she also runs the Youth Club from Comrie Parish Church, many a time the projector has been used for popcorn-filled film nights. As Fiona says, “in these Covid times, being able to offer children ‘normality’ in gathering together (within Covid guidelines) is very important to their and also their parents’ mental health”. Look out for Fiona cycling round the village.
The Comrie Cancer Shop Committee have been busy working at the Camp sorting donated items. The Trust have now allocated a hut permanently to the Committee and items are being transferred into it.
BBC Countryfile visited the Camp in late November to film at Wild Hearth Bakery for Countryfile’s Christmas programme which is focusing on festive fare. Hopefully we will also see some good shots of the Camp.
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 email@example.com – we’ll be glad to hear from you.