Abernethy, Aberargie and Dron News

Last date for submissions

31st October 2022

Date of publication

1st December 2022


Aberargie waited with baited breath. What was happening to a corner of the green? Turf was stripped back from an area beneath the Nethermill Cottages street sign. This was stacked to create a little turf wall giving definition between the stripped area and the mown green. A few weeks of waiting followed. The plot flushed green and in June began to produce yellow and white flowers, ox-eye daisy, scabious, corn marigold and common poppy, then blue corn flowers and even a few glorious magenta corn-cockles. Aberargie’s mini wildflower meadow, courtesy of Cath’s muscle power and seeds from Seeds of Hope became a joyous riot of colour raising many a smile and gasps of pleasure through the summer. The bold red poppies actually made the fresh painted telephone box look fantastic. Well done Cath, and the insects buzzed their appreciation for weeks.

I noticed walking into Perth in July that Perth & Kinross Council had been on the same wavelength as Cath; a new row of trees was planted along the diagonal path across the South Inch last year. Each of the trees was encircled with a bare circle of soil which became a coronette of wildflowers through the summer. Such a simple transformation of a dull area into a super cool feeding place for insects.

Correction - I was corrected by the farmer for my comment in a previous issue of The Crier – about the use of insecticides around Aberargie. It seems that farmers do not spray insecticides these days and apply only a minimal dose of anti-fungal spray as the crop ripens. I am so pleased to get feed-back – thanks for that Mr Lawrie – it is good to know that guidelines to reduce pollution and negative impact on the environment are being adhered to.

Another farm issue arose this summer which may have been resolved by the time this goes to print. When the Core Path Network was developed in the years up to 2012, landowners made objection to formalising the off-road access that once existed between Abernethy and Aberargie, namely the old tracks and paths that historically linked both settlements across the fields to the north of the railway line and the Netherton railway underpass.

The Council did not want to bear the responsibility of maintaining the Fargie Bridge and some sections of paths were ploughed up over the decades. However many of us have nevertheless continued to take that access between Abernethy and Aberargie as we can; around the field edge or along tractor tramways depending on season, crop and soil condition.

While the path along the A913 is there and is much appreciated, it is not a pleasant walk against the thundering lorries and whipping cars. It is just not conducive to peaceful walking or to walk and talk alongside a companion.

The Core Path network negotiators did a wonderful job securing the alternative route - going up Castlelaw hill, along the ridge and dropping down above Ayton. A truly lovely and adventurous scenic walk either way – but that route is quite beyond the ability of many.

So taking the “low road” across the field tracks by Provost Mains and Carey is a lovely peaceful walk beneath the big sky, seeing Abernethy against the backdrop of the hillfort. It is quite beautiful to appreciate the quiet, to hear skylarks and note the seasons’ turn in the crops and the field verge flora.

This summer however, a fence appeared all along the boundary between Morrison and Wilson land, west of the Carey under-pass. The jaggy barb-topped fence is a boundary fence so has no gate in it and thereby makes access impossible unless risking damage to pants or the fence by climbing over, which no one wants. Aberargie residents can clock 60 years of using that way using the Netherton underpass which indicates that the access to the Fargie Bridge and Abernethy was there prior to the railway line.

Happily the owner of the distillery, Jamie Morrison, having had the issue brought to his attention, has agreed to meet up and discuss possible solutions or compromise and this hopefully is on-going as we go to print.

I am curious to know if there have been any negatives with regard the Core Path Network around Abernethy. These routes have now been walked, jogged and peddled by us for a decade now. Have there been any reported negative incidents? Are we celebrating a decade of happy use? It must be hard for landowners if people abuse the right of access but one hopes that the informal policing and the goodwill felt toward the respective landowners must benefit mind and body of all parties!

Aberargie prepares to tuck more bulbs in the soil to make you smile in the chill days of spring and we continue to invite suggestions for environmental improvements.

Theresa Hughes