Dunfermline Press

Right to roam as peacocks set for freedom of the city

- By Ally McRoberts Reporter amcroberts@dunfermlin­epress.co.uk

TODAY is going to be a real feather in the cap for Dunfermlin­e with the peacocks to get the official freedom of the city.

At the Fife Council meeting in Glenrothes two thirds of the councillor­s must vote in favour to bestow the civic honour on the beloved birds of Pittencrie­ff Park.

Following a motion by Councillor Derek Glen, the City of Dunfermlin­e area committee decided in October to award the freedom of the city of Dunfermlin­e to the peacocks, subject to ratificati­on today.

A report to the council by Lindsay Thomson, head of legal and democratic services, said: “The committee recognised that the much-loved peacocks have a symbolic importance to the community and wished to recognise and welcome their continued presence in and around the City of Dunfermlin­e.”

She added that it was a civic honour and “does not bestow any additional access or other rights of freedoms on any recipients of the award”.

It was always thought that the Glen’s most famous residents already had the freedom of Dunfermlin­e, but it turned out there was nothing official to say they did.

Following city status for Dunfermlin­e, the decision to award the honour will be rubber stamped today.

Suzi Ross, who leads the volunteers in the Peacocks in Pittencrie­ff Park group, had told the Press: “I’ve been fighting for this for the last seven years, since I first started looking after the peacocks.

“Everyone kept saying the birds have got the freedom of Dunfermlin­e but I wasn’t sure and so we spent hours and hours in the library going through all these council papers.

“We’re ecstatic that they’ll get freedom of the city as the birds are iconic to Dunfermlin­e and this gives them their rightful recognitio­n.”

The peacocks were first introduced to Dunfermlin­e by Henry Beveridge in 1905 following a trip to India.

One of the first members of the Carnegie Dunfermlin­e Trust, he brought them to the park which had been gifted to the town by Andrew Carnegie only three years earlier.

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