Drumduan School invited councillors and police to discuss public access through its grounds between Clovenside Road and Drumduan Park
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STAFF at a local school want to educate the wider community on the right of way through its grounds.
Drumduan School administrators invited councillors and police to discuss public access through its grounds at Clovenside between the Drumduan housing estate and Cluny Hill.
School administrator Emma Malone confirmed the right of way traverses through the school grounds and there is an access way used at the back of the premises.
She said: “The current access path will be rescinded as we intend to install a locked garden gate within the school boundary wall as an additional safeguarding feature. Dog walkers are encouraged to use the established right of way, and avail of the access way after school hours. We also intend to install nicer signage with a map indicating clearly the right of way.”
Moray councillor Lorna Creswell pointed out that staff erected information and warning signage after recent spates of vandalism at the school.
She said: “Drivers may have seen that as a warning. Liaison will be promoted with dog walkers and joggers to make them aware of the school’s challenges.”
Forres community councillor Steve Ferris was also at the meeting, having used the path for 40 years.
He said: “I did not appreciate the difference in rights of way between that route and the one up through Drumduan Road. There is a public right of way through Drumduan field which joins the entrance to the west of the school and exits onto Clovenside Road.
“The route up from Drumduan Gardens past the front of the school, according to Moray Council is not a public right of way, although I do believe some people would have private rights. One dog walker remembers using the path when he was nine – he is 69 now!
“However, the school has a valid point on child protection and safeguarding. Unauthorised adults and unleashed dogs should not be able to just wander through what are effectively school grounds.”
“I now only use the route past the front of the school outside school hours. I have commented to the school about the signs and location of one at the entrance off Clovenside Road. They said it was to deter people walking up to the school buildings.
“I pointed out that a number of elderly people use the road access up past the school to access Cluny wood because they aren’t able to manage the steep, rough public right of way. This is a sensitive issue and staff are working hard to engage with residents. Child safety must be paramount but allowing people to walk routes that they have been walking for years is also important. Due consideration will make this work and help reduce the vandalism that the school’s been subjected to.”