ORGANISERS of the annual march that commemorates the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 have accused the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) of trying to “price us out” of holding this year’s event.

The National has obtained a copy of a letter from NTS management to Donald Anderson, chief organiser of the annual march – set for June 22 this year – which states what Anderson called “unprecedented and over the top” demands from NTS.

The letter states: “A copy of Public Liability Insurance cover must be submitted to us and this cover must be to a minimum value of £2 million.”

As well as providing portable toilets, NTS say the march organisers “must make provision to pay for the following items: repair to our grounds for any damage caused and provision of security for the car park to ensure it remains free for use by our customers.”

In a further warning the letter says: “Any form of abuse towards NTS staff will not be tolerated and any incidents of this will result in the event not being welcome again in the grounds and the Police being informed.”

This latter warning has particularly angered Anderson who said: “There has never been any trouble at this event and we checked with police and Stirling Council and there’s never been any complaints about abuse of NTS staff.

“The demand for £2m insurance cover is just ridiculous. We are just ordinary people and could never afford the premium for that sum.

“That and the demand that we pay for their security is just them trying to price us out of organising an event which we know they don’t like. It’s all unprecedented and totally over the top.

“The National Trust are also not private landlords. The land is held by the NTS in trust for the people of Scotland.”

The National asked NTS why things were different this year. A spokesperson gave us this statement: “The Trust has provisionally confirmed that we are happy for this annual commemoration event to go ahead, as it has done for many years at the Bannockburn site.

“After a review of events in recent years, we are seeking assurances from the event organisers that they have appropriate facilities and safeguards in place to make the event as safe and enjoyable as possible. We will continue to work with the organisers to find an approach which enables this important event to progress safely and smoothly for everyone involved.”

No specific details of past problems were made available to us.