A further plea is being issued this week for as
many people as possible to join Cambusbarrons annual March of
the Gillies against renewed quarrying in the area.
Cambusbarron Community Council chairman, Peter
Paterson, said public opinion was a powerful tool in
influencing those in power and a good turnout for the march this
weekend was the best way of showing the strength of the
opposition to renewed work on Gillies Hill.
In recent weeks, long-running campaign group Save
Gillies Hill have spoken about how new work on the site by the
village could be imminent with a new quarrying firm signing a
lease agreement and a supposed suspension order perhaps not as
strong as was previously thought.
Mr Paterson said the hill, which is reputed to
have played a crucial role in the Scots victory at the Battle of
Bannockburn, has never been more threatened.
And he added: Last year, over 40,000 people
visited the Hill. These were walkers, runners, climbers, bikers,
nature-lovers and, of course, historians for the rising ground
above the Borestone was where Bruce placed his cooks, grooms,
Part of the legend is that, banging their pots
and pans, they descended the hill on to the battlefield at a
decisive moment, the English thinking them Scots reinforcements.
Today Gillies Hill - Murrayshall Quarry apart -
is a beautiful landscape with a network of paths that quarrying
will largely turn into a no-go area.
Quarrying will also obliterate the natural
habitat of roe deer, foxes and badgers. Even more alarmingly it
will destroy the homes of threatened species such as the red
squirrels and pine martens which live there, as well as those of
the peregrine falcons which inhabit the beautiful but doomed
cliffs of Touchadam Craig - the site also of an Iron Age Hill
Old Scots Pine, but also the comparatively new
Californian redwood sequoia, planted 150 years ago when the
Murrays of Polmaise built their castle on the Hill, and already
towering above the other trees, will be the first to go.
This years march takes place on Sunday, leaving
from Cambusbarron Park at 1.45pm.
Timed to coincide with the 699th anniversary of
the Battle of Bannockburn Peter said: The world will look at
Scotland in close-up next year, as we celebrate the 700th
anniversary of the Battle.
How stupid are we going to look if
the world also sees us destroying part of the battlefield?
Lyrics composed by John Henderson of
Cambusbarron and Bannockburn on the 23rd of June, 2013 to J.R.
Shannon's 1913 music for the chorus of the song, 'Dixie
Our Gillies Hill is threatened
Once more at Murrayshall
With renewed blasting of what we value
As God's gift to one and all
Ne'er to be plundered and mutilated,
But kept for all to see
As braes from where, servants raced down to share in Bruce's
We know those gillies' shock intervention
As glorious history,
But now their vantage point is a refuge
For wild flower and bird and tree
Ne'er to be damaged and decimated,
But kept a place to see
Where Nature's face, never suffers disgrace from quarry
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