CAMPAIGNERS who have been walking 500 miles around Scotland in support of independence have been banned from Stirling Castle.

The 500 Miles group say police were called in by staff who wanted them to leave the castle car park.

It comes less than a week after Historic Environment Scotland were accused of acting unlawfully in denying the use of Holyrood Park in Edinburgh for "the biggest independence rally yet".

Historic Environment Scotland, the Scottish Government quango had refused to allow the use of the park saying they do not allow "political events of any nature" to take place on their properties.

But Martin Keating, convenor of Forward As One, one of the independence groups involved in the All Under One Banner protest told HES that the decision to prevent the use of Holyrood Park for the rally on October 6 breaches the European Convention on Human Rights in relation to freedom of expression, thought and conscience and freedom of assembly. 

Staff were said to have reported the group's appearance at the castle on Sunday morning.


Dave Llewellyn, one of the event’s organisers said it was proof of a "concerted attack on the Yes movement".

He announced that they had been "threatened with the police by Historic Environment Scotland at Stirling Castle after being asked to leave the property and refusing".

He added: "We were accused of using the car park for political purposes and that it was busy. We were the only people there and the only vehicle."

One supporter pointed to the union jack flying above Stirling Castle and said on Twitter: "Why do you deny people carrying the flag of their own birth - Hypocrites."

HES said the group were approached at the Esplanade at Stirling Castle because the demonstration was "unauthorised".

"A member of castle staff, understanding this to be an unauthorised demonstration, followed our normal procedure and engaged with the group to tell them that they would not be able to congregate on the Esplanade," said an HES spokeswoman.

"The group were also informed that we were anticipating a busy day at the castle and as such we work to ensure visitor flow and access is not disrupted.

“We can confirm that the group had made no prior approach to the site to seek permission for use of the Castle esplanade. Our staff followed procedure that would be taken for any unauthorised demonstration or photo opp at our sites.”

The I Would Walk 500 Miles event, backed by the Proclaimers was launched two weeks ago and is due to have another week left to run.

Participants have been walking for 25 miles for six to seven hours a day until the full 500 miles have been walked at the end of the event.