THERE'S been a call to make it official and grant the peacocks of Pittencrieff Park the freedom of Dunfermline.

It's a status many thought the beloved birds have held since 1907.

But, it turns out Fife Council and local historians can find nothing in the archives or history books to say they do.

Harry Dunn, from the Friends of Pittencrieff Park, said: "That's news to me. It's always been my understanding it was awarded way back in something like 1915-16.

"I don't know if it's an urban myth that they have the freedom of the city. I don't think so, I was sure there was something official to confirm it.

"If there's not, we should start a campaign!"

Securing their freedom is maybe not a job for Mel Gibson and co as we've got our own bravehearts on the case, the volunteers looking after the beautiful birds and the public who love to come and see them.

In the wake of the horrific attack on the aviary at the end of May, which left one peacock dead and another seriously injured, there was shock, anger and a determination to help, with more than £16,000 raised for repairs and improvements.

It also showed the love and pride the city has for the birds and the Peacocks in Pittencrieff Park group – who also believed the birds already had the freedom of the city – said that a reminder of their elevated status would provide a boost as they try to move on after the aviary attack.

A spokesperson told the Press: "I asked Jim Leishman about the freedom of the city as there's no certificate or key or anything that people can see.

"Getting it renewed and up and running again would be a good thing to do."

However, Councillor Leishman, the Provost of Fife, said a search of the council archives from 1907 could find nothing to confirm the famous Glen peacocks have the freedom of the City of Dunfermline officially.

He added: "Our peacocks bring a great deal of joy and pleasure to those who see them as they are already free to wander our park and our city streets.

“We will certainly investigate whether it’s within our gift to make that freedom official.”

And local historian Sheila Pitcairn admitted: "I have not found anything official to date regarding the peacocks having been given the freedom of the city."

She added: "I think this could be a title given to the peacocks by the citizens of Dunfermline, caused by the peacocks walking freely around the town and everyone respecting them, or from the Old Boys Club in the Glen who were with them every day?"

The peacocks have a long association with the Glen, stretching back to 1905 when philanthropist Henry Beveridge returned to Dunfermline from India and gifted the park its first birds.

Their numbers had dwindled but a safe haven was established in the park with dedicated volunteers helping to look after them, and help rear new chicks.

Harry added: "I always say to people that they have the freedom of the city.

"I remember at one point there was only one peacock left, Clive, until Suzi (Ross) and the volunteers came in and built the numbers back up again. They do a tremendous job."