The attractive loch-side beaches and surrounding scenic landscapes have drawn visitors to the shores of Loch Earn and St Fillans for many years, particularly on weekends when the weather is good. Unfortunately, not all visitors are responsible when out in the countryside, with large amounts of litter frequently left behind.
Organised by the St Fillans Gardening Group and Community Council, many residents were out last week to collect litter from the shoreline, laybys and paths before a new influx of visitors to the area. A fantastic effort was made to get the area much cleaner for both locals and visitors to enjoy. We absolutely love the area in which we live and welcome visitors from far and wide, but ask that when visiting that you love it like you live here too.
Perth & Kinross Council will be undertaking improvement works to The Knock from mid-January* until April 2021. This exciting project will make The Knock more accessible through upgrades to some of the main paths, infrastructure, signage and landscaping at both car parks and on the hill. In addition there will be tree works to reopen key viewpoints and crown lift along pathways. Detailed work proposals are available below.
In normal circumstances the PKC Greenspace Rangers are fortunate enough to work closely with many different volunteer and community groups; including leading conservation tasks, helping achieve John Muir Awards, undertaking path maintenance and helping raise funds for larger projects. During the current pandemic and social distancing the rangers have not been able to do many of the projects and tasks that we had planned. So what have the rangers been getting up to?
Some of the normal duties are still possible to continue, such as responding to dangerous trees and access issues, but for the most part we have been working from home. We have used this as an opportunity to catch up on some of the less-exciting paperwork that comes with the job such as writing and updating risk assessments! Other things we have been able to do from home include working on site management plans and keeping in touch with our many wonderful volunteer groups (if you haven’t seen our recent paths group newsletter – check it out here!).
Some new duties have also popped up as a result. At the start of lockdown we put signs up around may of our greenspaces with outdoor access guidance. More recently we have been given the opportunity to help other departments with critical services; delivering food parcels to those needing additional support at this time, and delivering leaflets reaching out to as many people as possible about the different support available to anyone that may need it. If you are resident in Perth & Kinross and require additional support please visit this web-page https://www.pkc.gov.uk/coronavirus/communitysupport.
With so many people stuck at home and taking their daily exercise as locally as possible many paths are seeing more foot traffic than usual. If heading out on a walk please remember to take away or dispose of any litter and to pick up after your dog. Check the Scottish Outdoor Access Code for advice on walking responsibly.
At this time of year lambing is also well underway, so it is particularly important to keep dogs under close control where there may be livestock. Dogs can cause unnecessary worry that may contribute to the premature death of sheep as well as any unborn lambs. If you need to go into a field of sheep, keep your dog on a short lead or close at heel and keep your distance from the animals.
In the video below Bob Barr and Kate Hall share there experiences of dogs worrying sheep in the Lothians.