Dunning's History Now - August 2006
History was made last year when Dunning Community successfully purchased for themselves this local woodland which had come on the market.
The details of this transaction, and about the wood itself, and about the work that has since been undertaken to make it the pleasant place it now is, have been published in many other places and will not be repeated here. Probably the best place to find further information is here at the web site of the Dunning Community Trust.
There have already been several events in the woods of a fun or educational nature. The one on 29th August 2006 was in some ways typical, and in other ways especially memorable.
Jess Smith who lives near Crieff having grown up as a traveller is now a well known speaker and author. As a child Jess used to camp in Kincladie Wood with her parents and seven sisters.
Today Jess was under canvas again in the same woods. Not camping, but talking to the children of Dunning Primary School. This time the canvas, erected just in case of rain, wasn't really required though it did serve to add to the atmosphere. Jess held the children spellbound with her stories. She told of her life of hard seasonal farm work interspersed with periods of school, and described the arrangements of the camp, cooking, sleeping, toilet, medical care and many other aspects. She recounted several fairy stories she had been told as a child, and explained that they had a serious purpose in educating her about various dangers she would meet and teaching her how to look after her own children when that time came. It was obvious from the questions they asked that the Dunning schoolchildren had taken in and understood all that Jess told them, and that as well as enjoying themselves they had learned a great deal from it.
It was a magical morning for everyone there. Clear sunny blue sky with a few clouds giving a threat of rain later. Warm air but with a hint of winter soon to come blowing in the wind. The trees still in full leaf with one or two small hints of autumn colour, rowan berries already full and red. A buzzard circled and mewed overhead and unseen small creatures occasionally stirred the undergrowth. Jess' stories would have been good anywhere, but in that setting they were perfect. Hopefully Kincladie Wood will be home to many more events as enjoyable as this one.
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