Representatives from Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust (PKCT) and Perth and Kinross Council’s Countryside Ranger Service met with local landowner Richard Christie earlier this week to discuss his plans for the lane on Knockie hill.
The lane is part of the Blairgowrie Path Network, which has identified six paths in and around the town suitable for walkers and other recreational activity users such as cyclists.
Mr Christie bought several of the fields on Knockie, covering around 150 acres of land, from the Co-operative over two years ago. He also owns a number of other farms in Scotland including one at Westmuir, near Kirriemuir.
In recent weeks he has cleared the lane of a significant amount of plant growth, widening it so that it is suitable for farm machinery, and he was keen to meet with the local countryside trust and countryside ranger service to look at what sort of replanting would work best for the specific environment of the site, and to discuss options for resurfacing the lane.
Speaking to the Blairie he said: “This is a very important walk for Blairgowrie and I know from working up here and speaking to people that it is very popular with walkers and dog owners and lots of people use this lane regularly.
“I am keen to get advice on what would best suit the communityhere and how we can work withthe countryside trust and the countryside ranger service on achieving this.”
Councillor Bob Ellis was also involved in the discussions. He said: “As a councillor, and chairman of the PKCT and a local walker, I am really pleased to see that a landowner has come into the area, seen a job that needs to be done and wants to work with local groups to achieve that in the best possible way for everyone involved.
“Andy Barrie from the countryside trust and Daniele Muir from the countryside ranger service were both able to provide Mr Christie with valuable advice on the types of trees and hedges to plant, the best time to plant, local suppliers of trees, hedges and gravel, and contact details for organising volunteer work days.
“PKCT and the countryside ranger service will also put up signs at both ends of the Knockie path advising those who use it of the ongoing work. I would like to reassure everyone that I will keep a close eye on the work and will speak with Mr Christie when I can for regular updates.
“My understanding is that Mr Christie believes it could take up to two years to complete everything he wants to do in the area and we look forward to working with him on that project over the coming weeks and months.”