Formerly part of the privately owned Pittencrieff Estate, Pittencrieff Park was gifted to the people of Dunfermline in 1903 by Scottish American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. It extends for over 31ha and includes open parkland, formal gardens and woodland areas.
The park contains a rich variety of tree species. These include traditional 'estate' varieties such as beech, oak, lime and sycamore, and more ornamental species such as flowering cherries and garden conifers. The trees help to create an attractive landscape and form the backdrop for the park's many activities.
In 2010, the Fife Greenspace Strategy identified Pittencrieff Park as one of Fife's most important greenspaces, providing multiple benefits to both biodiversity and the local community. However, it was felt that the park had suffered from under investment and would benefit greatly from proactive management. For example, appropriate tree and woodland management would encourage rare or culturally significant trees to flourish, and would ensure that the park continued to be an attractive, safe and well maintained greenspace.
Extensive public consultation surveys were conducted to gauge public perceptions of and aspirations for Pittencrieff Park. Meetings were also held with key stakeholders including the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust and the Friends of Pittencrieff Park to discuss the proposed regeneration of the park.
A specialist arboricultural consultant was appointed to conduct a condition survey of the trees in Pittencrieff Park. The age, species and condition of each tree was recorded along with a short note highlighting any management issues and works required for health and safety. Rare or culturally significant trees were given unique reference numbers and were tagged accordingly with aluminium identity tags.
The information gathered during the condition survey was mapped using GIS and a Tree Report for Pittencrieff Park was prepared. This information was then used, along with the results of the consultation process, to produce a Tree and Woodland Management Plan. This plan sets out proposals for the period 2011 – 2020 for maintaining the existing tree stock, whilst embracing restructuring and replacement in order to perpetuate tree cover and maintain landscape character.
The proposed improvements to the tree population within Pittencrieff Park will make a significant contribution to the delivery of CSGN priorities. They will support the vision for Central Scotland as a place where a high quality green network enriches people's lives, promotes economic prosperity and helps to tackle climate change.
The distinctive landscape of Pittencrieff Park is complemented by its proximity to the ruins of Dunfermline Abbey and Dunfermline Palace. The improvements recommended in the Tree and Woodland Management Plan will help to develop Pittencrieff Park as an acclaimed tourist destination. This will benefit local businesses and will make the Dunfermline a more attractive and prosperous to live.
Proactive management of the park's woodland areas will enable greater access to the core path/cycle route that runs through the park. This will encourage the use of the park for recreation and active travel, and will impact positively on the health and wellbeing of the local population.
The Tree and Woodland Management Plan for Pittencrieff Park advocates the planting of new trees. This will link fragmented woodlands and will contribute to an integrated habitat network. The Management Plan also recommends the protection of rare and culturally significant trees, and thus promotes both the cultural and natural heritage of Central Scotland.
The Tree and Woodland Management Plan for Pittencrieff Park was used to support applications for further funding and, in 2011 the project secured a grant of £708,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This funding will enable Fife Council to implement the recommendations made in the Management Plan.
Fife Council has stated its intention to achieve Green Flag standards of design, management and maintenance in Pittencrieff Park. The Management Plan for Pittencrieff Park will help to ensure that all of the criteria to achieve Green Flag status are met.
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