DUNFERMLINE’S iconic peacocks have been gifted with a “symbolic key to the city”.

The award was presented to the birds after it transpired they had never been formally granted freedom of the area.

Dunfermline and West Fife MP Douglas Chapman said he was “surprised” to learn that the birds were never officially given the status, joking: “I had to give them something until we can get that sorted.”

The SNP politician presented the birds with the golden key at the Peacock Sanctuary in The Glen on Wednesday.

Chapman said: “Dunfermline is famous for its peacocks, and it’s always a joy to see them strutting around The Glen and the city centre.

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“For many of our citizens, young and old, they are regarded as VIPs – Very Important Peacocks – and we love them dearly.

“I was surprised – like everyone else was – when I learned they don’t actually have formal freedom of the city.

“Unfortunately, that’s not in my gift to give, but I figured I could at least give them a symbolic key to the city until we can get them their official status.”

Chapman said he has sent a request to Fife Council that the peacocks are formally recognised as having freedom of the area.

He added: “And following the recent traumatic events for the birds – which led to a generous and sincere public response - the key is also an attempt to offer some recognition for the dedicated volunteers who look after and care for Dunfermline’s best-known VIPs.”