Posted 14:10 31st October 2019
Information sent via Facebook on Saturday 28th October by Andrew Gladstone
Apologies – I didn’t spot the notification until today (31st)
Dave McBain was saying that you were looking for more details on the works at Dickie Wood, please see above for cost breakdown. (Click on image for larger version)
Rebuilding of dyke was fully funded by KCDT as requested by KCC, however, the new gates, water trough etc. were provided by myself and Michael Cochrane, the provision of these meant that it was not necessary to replace the kissing gates as originally envisaged when the application for funding was sought. This saved £1700 and I think makes the path easier to use.
We have had some problems with surface water causing erosion on the path, the contractor put in a gully at his own expense, to resolve this, but more work may need to be done, although once more vegetation establishes itself on the path, it should become more stable.
I hope you regard the works as an improvement on what was there before, and good value for the community, we had 1000 square metres of path upgraded for approx. £14/m inc VAT, the Scottish Government guidelines for this sort of work range from £9 to £18/m depending on the amount of work involved.
KCDT always keen for people to come forward if they have suggestions as to how we should be spending the funds that are made available to us for the benefit of the community.
Personally, I am disappointed with the quality of the Dickie Wood path. It was only recently constructed and already grass and other vegetation has grown through. No plant barrier was put down and I wonder about the depth of the hard-core. If we are to have other paths in future I hope they will be of a better quality.
There were several reasons for not including a plant barrier as part of the specification. We wished to keep costs down, but also the plan is not to prevent vegetation from growing through the crushed stone. In fact, the more vegetation we get, the more it will help to bind the material together and prevent erosion, particularly on the steeper parts of the path. This will create a more natural effect appropriate for its rural setting. I would assume that the amount of foot traffic on the path will prevent it from getting overgrown with tall weeds, although some cutting back will be necessary from time to time to prevent encroachment of woody vegetation from the verges onto the path. We were also concerned that a plant barrier might become exposed over time and become an eyesore. It would of course have been possible to spend more on a higher specification path with a plant barrier and wooden boards at the sides, which would have had higher maintenance costs, if it were to be kept weed free. We did not consider this appropriate.
I was handed a sheet of paper at the recent Community Council meeting with [link to letter]various questions from yourself, and my answers should appear in the minutes in due course.
However, I will also attempt to answer them here.
The total cost of the Dickie Wood project was the originally estimated £21,790 less £1700 for work which was not carried out, plus £253 for some additional drainage work which was not in the original estimate, making it £20,343. I have already given you a more detailed breakdown. This was fully funded by KCDT on behalf of the cummunity.
The church does not own the rest garden, it is part of Craichlaw Estate, but is maintained by and on behalf of the community.
There was no match funding for the project, as the work was deemed to be purely for the benefit of the community. However, some additional works were carried out and paid for by myself and Michael Cochrane which enabled us to dispense with the £1700 which had originally been estimated to replace the kissing gates across the path. Three competitive estimates were obtained for all the work.
I inspected the beech trees myself on 4th October 2018, and have a photograph of the fungus growing from the base of one of them, clearly indicating the presence of rot, I could email this to you if you wish to see it. The trees were felled because they were deemed to be hazardous. Although they might have survived for many more years, it does not seem prudent to leave a rotting tree overhanging a power line and a public road. When they were felled the rot was clearly evident and is still evident if you inspect the stumps. These trees were probably planted at the time the church was built and are reaching the end of their lives.
The timber became the property of Andy Kirsch the tree surgeon after felling, which was part of the contract, and the price he quoted would have taken this into account. He either sold it or gave it away and it was used as firewood.
John Paterson is chairman of the Trust.
I would suggest that if any member of the wider community has concerns about the conduct of members of the KCDT Board, they should approach Jak Kane of Machars Action. He ensures that the correct guidelines are followed in the administration of grant funding.