THE organisers of an annual march and rally marking the anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn have called for fundraising and volunteering help as the big day draws closer.

A crowdfunder appeal was launched earlier this month to help pay for the Bannockburn event, which commemorates the 1314 battle, after it was hit with rising bills and a ban on full access to the site.

The JustGiving campaign sought to raise £1000 by Saturday, June 22. The current total stands at £665, or 66% of the target, with just a few days left to go.

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Donald Anderson, 82, retiring organiser of the annual rally, said the team has been “really struggling against the odds”.

He continued: “The National Trust for Scotland (NTS), NHS and Stirling Council are demanding private insurance, money for this and money for that, inciting public health and safety, Public Order Act, etc. We have always refused to pay on principle, not wishing to establish a precedent for future marchers and rallies, as a matter of civil liberties and rights of free assembly.

“We kept it going in face of all opposition when the SNP gave it up and are now handing it over to All Under One Banner. We are strapped for cash, including portaloos and buses at this late hour.

“All we are asking of those who are willing and able to make a donation, if you can, to keep the Bannockburn rally going, at least until independence. Please spread this as wide as you can. Thanking you in anticipation.”

The organisers added that any surplus cash will be put towards “improving our new website and possibly a dram or two for Donald”.

Anderson is also seeking volunteer medics and stewards to assist.

The march is set for June 22, leaving at 1.30pm from Kings Park, Victoria Road in Stirling.

A spokesman for NTS said: “The National Trust for Scotland is happy to welcome a commemorative, non-political march at Bannockburn marking the anniversary of the battle that shaped Scotland’s future.

“However, the march organisers proposed to hold a wider event and erect temporary structures such as toilets, stalls and staging in the grounds of the battlefield – this is not something covered by statutory rights of access.

“Whereas a march through the site would be covered by the trust’s insurers in the event of damage, injury or worse, a third party-organised event with temporary structures would not, leaving the trust and organisers exposed to any claims.

“We gave the organisers two options: to proceed with the march by exercising their legal access rights responsibly; or to proceed with a fuller event with structures erected and insurance cover in place.

“The organisers have indicated that they are not willing to enter into our standard terms of event hire.”