Blairgowrie & Rattray Access Network

The Cateran Yomp passes along the Gallowbank on its way to the finish at Bogles Field, so wishing to ensure no final mishaps for the runners, BRAN decided to give the path a good makeover.

Roger Mackey had cut the grass during the week and on Friday 7th, eight volunteers assembled to carry our strimming, hedge trimming, lopping, hand shearing and any necessary litter picking. The entire length of the path was included from Newton Street to Dunkeld Road. The weather was kind and the job was completed by lunchtime.

As a bonus Wendy Mackey kindly provided refreshments before the volunteers dispersed.

Those taking part were Cyril Reid, Paul Lumley (his first outing with the group), Ian Cruickshank, Eric Grant, Roger Mackey, Alan Comrie. Kristin Barrett and Ian Richards.

The photograph shows most of the group after completing their work.

2019_07_06 IMG_5041rs Gallowbank path

Spring clean with the Junior Rangers

Junior Rangers from Pitlochry High School recently gave up their Saturday to help tidy up the pond in the Beatrix Potter Garden in Birnam. The pond had become chocked with weed, litter and mud which was restricting the look of the pond and the habitat on offer.

Using waterproofs and waiders the group made fast work of this dirty but rewarding task.

This task is just one of many which are run by local ranger services throughout the year working with many partners, which allows the pupils to get enough experience to gain both the Junior Ranger award and the John Muir award.

Next month we will back out working on the Birnam hill path.

The Junior Ranger scheme takes place in national parks across Europe. More information can be found on the attached link:- https://www.europarc.org/nature/young-people/junior-ranger-programme/

Larghan Park willow Project- Update

Community Greenspace Rangers Jeannie and Alistair recently organised some practical sessions to construct a living playare in Larghan park. Various volunteers have been out in all weathers cutting, weaving, shaping and planting to create this new feature in the park.

This task has been made possible due to the commitment from pride of place volunteers, wisecraft and Police Scotland Youth Volunteers who have been learning new skills while completing the task.

Over the next few months it is hoped that the newly planted Willow will flourish to create a unique playarea which can be added to in years to come.

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BRAN update.

 

Blairgowrie and Rattray Access Network (BRAN) continue to work in partnership to maintain and enhance the path network surrounding Blairgowrie and East Perthshire. Its been a busy summer for BRAN  with tasks such as grass cutting, strimming and cutting back which all helps to keep the path network open and accessible.

BRAN members recently met on 16th November to litter pick at the Riverside between Keithbank Mill and Brooklin Mill. Many more projects are planned over the winter months including the creation of a viewpoint and path improvements at the top of the Knockie path.

BRAN are always looking for new members and should you wish to come along please contact Ian Richards secretary-   ian_richards2007@yahoo.com

Something different for Wisecraft.

Community Greenspace continues to work with local groups to help maintain and improve local sites, parks and footpath networks.

Over the past few months we have been working with Wisecraft to offer participants opportunities to gain confidence and learn new skills while working with the local Greenspace Ranger. Wisecraft is a Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub, based in Blairgowrie. For over 11 years, Wisecraft has provided a safe environment for adults recovering from mental illness to rebuild their lives.

Recently the group were invited by local residents to help tidy up the historic graveyard which surrounds Hill Church in Blairgowrie. Over two sessions volunteers helped to cutback and load up branches, rake grass and carefully remove moss to expose covered headstones. This is something different for our keen volunteers who enjoyed working in such a historic place and learning about the history from local residents.

After Christmas Wisecraft will start their John Muir award working in Larghan park, Coupar Angus to help the community build a Willow playarea while learning skills in coppicing. For more information please contact Greenspace Ranger Alistair Macleod ajmacleod@pkc.gov.uk

Below:- Some of the Wisecraft volunteers taking part in various tasks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bringing Football Back to Stanley – Update

BRINGING FOOTBALL BACK TO STANLEY

Stanley football pitch drainage improvements

PROJECT AIM

This partnership project between Stanley Development Trust (SDT) and Perth & Kinross Council (PKC) aims to re-instate the football pitch in Stanley and thus enable our local football team to train and play league games in their own village and develop teams for younger players. It will also enable Stanley Primary School children to undertake physical activity and play football on a well-drained natural turf surface. The football pitch is located within the grounds of Stanley Primary School.

THE PROBLEM

The Stanley football pitch drainage system was last serviced and repaired by the community in the early 1980’s. In more recent times ongoing drainage problems have meant that the football pitch is regularly waterlogged. The pitch is unsuitable therefore for use by Stanley Primary School and unplayable by the local youth football team which has had to play home games at other football grounds in Perth & Kinross.

THE SOLUTION

To renovate the pitch by commissioning a specialist grounds care contractor (SportsMasters UK) to improve the drainage by:

  • Top-dressing the pitch with 60 tons of approved sports sand
  • Applying a winter feed at 35g/m2
  • Decompact the soil (earthquake)
  • Aerate the soil by Verti-draining the pitch

FUNDING THE PROJECT

In 2018 the SUEZ Communities Trust awarded PKC/SDT £9,924.00 for this project with the condition that it must be spent on improvements to the drainage system. The SUEZ grant was match funded with an award from PKC Community Environment Challenge Fund (£16,476). The match funding was originally planned to have paid for essential and non-essential renovation works to the football pitch. However, in reality it was just the essential works (as described above) that were carried out. PKC informed SUEZ Communities Trust of this change of plan and it was agreed that the SUEZ grant could be used to pay for the essential drainage renovation works.

THE STORY OF THE STANLEY PITCH RENOVATIONS

The renovation works were scheduled for the October 2018 school holiday fortnight (8th – 19th October) when the school would be closed and access to the grounds could be limited with little inconvenience to the public. However, exceptionally heavy and prolonged rain was forecast for the week beginning 8th October 2018. The contractor advised SDT that it would be not prudent to come on site in those weather conditions. The risk of damage to the pitch, of machinery not working efficiently in muddy conditions, of the renovations running over scheduled time, and of resultant extra costs to SDT were all considered to be too great. Given the two week window available in which to carry out renovations, it was decided to undertake essential works only (as described above) during week commencing 15th October when the weather forecast for more conducive. The renovations took place on the 15th and 16th October 2018. Please see story board on page 3 of this report for photographic evidence of the renovation works.

Similar treatments have been applied to other water-logged and compacted pitches in the Perth & Kinross area with good results. Whilst it will take some time for the Stanley pitch to fully recover from the renovations, it is already in a much better state to cope with the coming winter and the inevitable rain and snow. The pitch can be used straight away by Stanley Primary School pupils for their ‘Daily Mile’ walking and other physical and sports activities without fear of muddy shoes and clothes. The local football group is in the process of re-forming teams for the 2019/20 season.

There has been a great deal of interest in the project from the local community. A post on SDT’s Facebook page which credited SUEZ Communities Trust with funding the renovation works to the football pitch reached 895 people – a remarkable reach for a village with a population of around 1300.

Thank you SUEZ Communities Trust for helping the Stanley community to realise our long-held wish to improve the condition of the pitch and to help bring football back to Stanley

SUEZ - stanley 1SUEZ - stanley 2

 

Butterybank and Coupar Angus Primary School

On 28th September Butterybank Community Woodland welcomed the pupils of Coupar Angus Primary School. Unlike regular class visits to the site, this visit was unique in that all the school pupils visited the woodland in just one day!

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The pupils of the primary school have an ongoing relationship with Butterybank, connecting with the site from its beginning by the planting of the first trees in 2013. The school has continued to build on this relationship using the community amenity  as a safe place for environmental learning, the promotion of local and global citizenship and as a local resource to connect with the curriculum for excellence.

Recently the site has been used to support the children as they work towards a John Muir Award. During the last 6 weeks, pupils have visited Butterybank with teachers, helpers and parents, to carry out diferent activities in P5 6 & 7 groups of mixed ages. The children have investigated the woodland from different angles – landscape, poetry, art, environment and minibeasts – before presenting their conclusions on display boards at school for sharing with all.

This relationship continued on Friday with the entire school visiting Butterybank to unveil an information panel that had been developed and designed by the pupils to further enhance the site and educate visitors.

Nikki Drew, headteacher of Coupar Angus Primary School commented…The Butterybank Woodland is an ideal community space to support outdoor education and the children have been very enthusiastic about all the visits and learning about sustainability and wildlife. We are so lucky to have great links and support from the local community, so a huge thankyou to the Butterybank team for their ongoing partnership working with us. Today has been another opportunity to bring local groups, children and parents together to learn about our environment and how we can protect it for everyone to enjoy for many years to come.

The panel containing information on biodiversity was unveiled by the Primary 7 school house captains as a completion of a year long project. The project started with a pupil visit to the woodland to learn more about the site and its historical connection to the town which was followed by class research as to what biodiversity is and why it is important. These findings led onto a school house competition with each house submitting design ideas and drawings for the new panel. Iain Bentley, one of the panel judges commented that “. He continues to be amazed by the children’s powers of observation, curiosity, initiative and teamwork, encouraged by their equally enthusiastic staff. The new information panel they have designed is a tribute to their commitment and is their gift to the community. Visitors will enjoy walking round Butterybank, challenged by the panel. Today is party time and a fun celebration for them and it’s been a privilege for Rona McKinnon and I to have been involved throughout’.

Iain also expressed his thanks to the funders who supported this idea, Tesco Bags of Help Grant scheme, PKC and the people who voted for the project in a PKC Participatory Budget funding scheme.

The day event was also used to launch a Butterybank promotional leaflet and woodland activity booklet which it is hoped will encourage the community, of all ages, to engage further with this new civic amenity. The leaflet and activity book can be collected from Coupar Angus Town Hall and other local collection points.