We are trying to save the beautiful, popular and
historic Gillies Hill in Cambusbarron, Stirlingshire, Scotland from being
destroyed by the reactivation of quarrying.
Save Gillies Hill has helped preserve the Hill since 2007 when re-activation of quarrying was threatened. But that threat is now extreme, with two new quarriers in the frame.
We need to raise several thousand pounds as quickly as possible: the campaign in the past required considerable expense; but now, as the crisis deepens, and we're facing determined, hard-nosed and financially privileged opponents, we need increased professional help - and, ultimately - it looks increasingly likely - from the legal world.
Why this Hill?
HISTORY: the Gillies Hill is part of the official Historic Scotland Battle of Bannockburn battlefield. Why? Because it was here that Bruce stationed his ghillies, or cooks, grooms, smiths, etc, before the Battle - the sma' folk that the poet Barbour called them in his 14th century poem . The name 'Gillies' comes from that Gaelic word ghillies. These ghillies, according to what's been passed down to us over the centuries, following the 2-day battle initially from the Hill, descended in droves, as the Battle moved Scotland's way. The English, alarmed by the number and the noise from them (perhaps banging pots and pans and waving rags like flags) thought them scots reinforcements, and, legend has it, fled the field.
FLORA: the number of species on the Hill is sufficient for “ancient woodland” single ICs status.
PROTECTED WILDLIFE: native animals such as red squirrels, badgers, pine martens, and peregrine falcons live on the Hill.
LEISURE & RECREATION: the Hill is heavily used by walkers, runners, mountain bikers and rock climbers. In 2012, over 40,000 visitors to the Hill were statistically recorded.
PROXIMITY: think how close the quarry area is at present to Cambusbarron: most people don't realise this. They may walk past the Murrayshall side and think the quarry doesn't look too bad; but if you enter the site, or approach it from the woodland side, you'd be appalled at the vastness of what's already been taken away. And - think what is likely to happen if the quarriers get new or revised planning permission. It's no exaggeration to say that the whole Hill may well disappear over the next 60+ years. And then, think of a land-fill site, where what was once our beautiful woodland is filled up for another 100+ years with rubbish.
TRAFFIC: the 2007 would-be quarriers referred to 100+ lorries a day travelling to and from Murrayshall. Think, if you can, of the impact of those on Polmaise Road, on Torbrex Road, on the Kings Park area, or Cambusbarron Main Street - and think, too, of the schools near these roads.