Friends Blog


There is nothing like fresh air and some warm spring sunshine to encourage you to get out of doors, and walking is an ideal pursuit.  Check the programme.  Spring is proving a good time to hold a Walking Festival and we hope we have included something for everyone in our programme this year. We have both longer and shorter walks, Nordic Walking to try out; some family walks too, one with storytelling about trolls and ghosts.

This is the sixth local Walking Festival that the Trust has held and its popularity remains strong.  The area has both bus and train services which makes it easier for everyone to get along and means that the event is offered free of charge, which is a big bonus.  All the paths that the Craigencalt Trust has put in are all family and disability friendly, and this gives the event a wider appeal.  The Trust is proud that they have achieved this inclusiveness.

We cannot guarantee the weather, sometimes we get the odd shower, but we can be sure that participants will enjoy good company and some scenic views on walks.  We really hope you will consider coming along.  Please can we ask that you register for walks by email or phone beforehand so we know numbers to expect on all the walks.

Please let us know which walks you would like to do. Book now.


‘Come and Try Day’ still going strong. BE THERE ON 4th MAY!

The annual ‘Come and Try’ day at Kinghorn Loch is now in its twelfth year. What began as an event to celebrate the completion of the jetty has endured in popularity.  We are grateful to all the loch user groups who give their time to let visitors learn more about their individual sport.  Adults and children can try canoeing, sailing, rowing, radio controlled boats and even open water swimming (temperature permitting)  If these things are not for you, there are always plenty of spectators, enjoy a tea or coffee, by the lochside, or a wander to the Earthship and bird hide.   Come and join us

Kinghorn Loch -

Saturday 4th May 1 – 4pm

At the Friends Get-together in 2017, the Photo Competition was won with the picture of a male Great Spotted Woodpecker feeding its young with crane flies (daddy-longlegs).  Unfortunately you will not see this again as the rotten tree that he hollowed his nest in succumbed to the recent high winds and fell.  The picture below shows my 5 year old grandson man-handling a very large bough, made much lighter by the rotten nature of the wood.

The track that it fell on, close to the gas control station at the top of Woodland Rise, was once the toll road from Inverkeithing to Dundee and formed the   ‘Kirkaldie Road’ section of the ‘Great North Road’ as shown in the estate map of 1757 (clarified). The road went up the side of Cowhill through an obvious gap in the hillside and off past Banchory and Drinkbetween and on to Kirkcaldy.  This remained the main road into the 1850s.  The track that joined it at the end of Cowhill, coming west from Craigencalt, was a haul road from the new (1790) Craigencalt Mill towards Burntisland and was probably built with the barley Threshing Mill (see CRCT ‘History of Craigencalt’ booklet) at that time. This is the farm track up on the hill around the north of the loch.  As a local name for this farm track, Jean Cochran of Banchory Farm referred to it as ‘Bramble Lane’.  As a tribute to Jean, who died at the age of 94 in 2017, that is the remembered name.

New Booklets.

The Trust has just about run out of the second revision of the Kinghorn Pathways Booklet.  It has been extremely popular and we must now revise and reprint it. It is surprising that the current booklet is now out of date, particularly with local paths around the loch and some further afield.  An obvious omission is that Woodland Rise is not there, as indeed it wasn’t having been built in the last couple of years. If you would like to help revise the booklet or raise a little money to help fund it, please let us know.

We have also nearly run out of the Oil Shale booklets, which again have proved very popular. This just needs a re-print.

The Flower Cards have been quite successful but we will be considering how we can best present a pictorial description of the diverse range of flowers, birds, trees, animals, fish and insects that share the area. Any ideas, we will be pleased to listen.

Paths booklet web.pdf oil shale booklet 2015-01-11 fast access.pdf

Fancy having a look at Sian Edwards’ first published novel, ‘Crossed Stars in Varren’ which is a science fiction fantasy for young teenagers to adults. Sian is our daughter and a Friend of CRCT.

The website is happy to promote the work of any of our Friends of CRCT.

If you have any news you want to share please let me know.

In Brief.

Take a look at the Chairman’s Report for 2017/2018, outlining the achievements of Craigencalt Trust over that time.  This is taken from the latest set of Annual Accounts.  Have a read.

Take care when driving at the end of the loch, especially the corner at Lochside House and up to the Whinnyhall site.  A large number of ducks have been killed on this stretch.

There are a lot of ducks, foxes, deer and otter that cross the road here and it is advisable to have your headlights on full beam at night because it is surprising what you might meet.

Otter have taken several large fish from the loch.  However mallard can decide to nest in the fields with otter or mink around, but this means a precarious situation for ducklings particularly when duck families return to the loch.

Loading the barley straw rafts

A job done in a brief interval between high winds and torrential rain.  How lucky can you be!  It was great to get it done before the winds and rain returned - hardly an hour to spare.  It was cold but worth it.

Diana Neil and Chris and Penny Holland have owned Craigencalt Farm for many years.  From 1989, Diana Bates (who sadly died in the 1990s)and everyone at Craigencalt Partnership sought to develop the farm as an environmental resource. This has proven to be very successful and Craigencalt Trust has worked closely with them over the years. Sadly Chris passed away last year, and Diana has decided to retire to Kinghorn after 30 years at the farm. Richard Neil continues as a valuable trustee of CRCT.  The farm has been sold and everyone knows Adam McIntosh who is set to continue the environmental and welcoming ethos of Craigencalt Farm.

Craigencalt Farm.

Red Path Brae Project.

Red Path Brae is a danger for cars, let alone pedestrians.

Read the blurb:

Local people and visitors alike regard Kinghorn Loch and the Craigencalt area as a jewel to be treasured and sustained for future generations.  Craigencalt Trust (CRCT) brings together residents, visitors, sports clubs that use the loch and landowners, working in co-operation.  The Trust is committed to ensuring sensitive enhancement of the area in a fully sustainable manner and to make it even more attractive for visitors to enjoy.  An enhanced experience will await; not only because of the peaceful and picturesque surroundings abounding with many species of bird, and abundant wild flowers and wildlife, but also canoeing, sailing, rowing, radio controlled yachts, swimming, and fishing on the loch and walking, cycling and horse-riding opportunities on paths and tracks.  The Trust has a Friends base numbering 140, who contribute annually to improve the area.  The Trust area attracts more than 20,000 footfall per year.

Craigencalt Rural Community Trust has developed a “Link Path Strategy” as a long term plan to improve pathways links with the Fife Coastal Path and other Core Paths going north, south, east and west through Craigencalt.  CRCT has built and improved a network of paths, which are predominantly disabled and family friendly, giving access from Kinghorn to high viewpoints on the Binn.  The Trust treats Kinghorn Loch annually to ensure excellent water quality after the remediation from pollution by Alcan’s landfill site, which blighted the loch until 1983.  The Trust works very closely with Alcan and their help is greatly appreciated

Because of the road safety issues with Red Path Brae, Fife Council did not designate this as a Core path despite its central importance for walking in the area.  CRCT now wishes to remove the road safety issues of this steep, narrow and bendy hill by providing a by-pass path through woodland, friendly to both wheelchair and disabled users and to families with buggies.  Red Path Brae is a key route for runners, walking groups, dog walkers and horse-riders using Craigencalt and the wider path network.  At present these people are at risk every time because of the narrow, steep and blind hill.  These will all benefit from the new path.  The annual footfall will be around 20,000 and this will represent many hundreds of different individuals in a year.  The route will encourage families with buggies and wheelchair users who would never be safe to use the road in its present orientation.

Fife Council Transportation are assisting by offering to complete the roadside pavement and path at the top of the hill, which is great.  Funding will be used for the supply of materials, signage and a seat for disabled and other users.  There will also be a cost for items of plant (dump truck, roller, insurance for these).  Excavation work and delivery of materials will be assisted by Alcan Aluminium (UK) Ltd and all manual operations will be through CRCT volunteers.  

Annual Meeting and Photo Competition.

The Annual Meeting this May was in the Kinghorn Community Centre and proved to be a good success and enjoyed by all.  The business format was changed to give more time for more enjoyable activities.

There were three quizzes, one being identifying places around the area which needed a few clues! The food was good and everyone could relax.  

The annual photo competition this year was conducted over the web and by email wherever possible and this led to a big increase in entries and a very high standard.  The thought was that people should provide extra information about their photographs and make it more interesting. It certainly worked.  After two rounds a winner was chosen, which was a photograph of Inchkeith over North Overgate by Mike Gilbert.

© All articles, documents and images on the website are the intellectual property of Craigencalt Rural Community Trust and copyright, and permission is required before use for any purpose. Copyright © Ron Edwards 2012.

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