I’m Chris Martin (not the Coldplay one) and I will be covering the East Perth and Kinross area.
I have recently moved up from Buckinghamshire, a long way south of the border, to settle in this wonderful part of Scotland and look forward to experiencing all this area has to offer.
I previously worked for the Environment Agency in Hertfordshire and North London. I started my career in the Field Teams and progressed to the Asset Performance Team for the Flood Risk Management department of the organisation. I am excited to apply my knowledge, skills and experience to the role of Greenspace Ranger.
I love and thrive being outdoors. I am passionate about people and the environment and I look forward to working with the communities of Perth and Kinross.
In response to Covid-19, PKC has set up a temporary Fly-tipping Fund of £20,000 to support communities affected by fly-tipping on private land in Perth and Kinross. The Fund welcomes applications from landowners, communities and individuals across Perth and Kinross who wish to carry out mini-projects to clear the fly-tipping and implement preventative actions at each site to resolve the localised problem long-term.
Rural locations, particularly such as those in Highland Perthshire, have always had issues with fly-tipping, often in beauty spots. However, during lockdown and as restrictions lift, there has been a notable increase in fly-tipping. This is totally unacceptable as within a week of Recycling Centres being open, people have been able to take any materials for recycling, and commercial-type vehicles including trailers have re-gained access. However, there are still new reports of fly-tipping.
Fly-tipping creates a burden for landowners who need to access their fields to feed livestock daily or to harvest crops. The burden is also felt by wildlife who can become entangled in the rubbish and by people living in the rural communities; all suffering the blight of fly-tipping during walks along country lanes, past laybys, through woodlands or whilst commuting. In Highland Perthshire, one person has reported five separate fly-tipping locations over a very short period of time. Unfortunately, a lot happens on rural remote roads, down embankments and on private land which makes it difficult to clear or at a cost. The temporary Fund not only helps to deliver a positive, quick solution but also demonstrates that fly-tipping is not acceptable.
Landowners, communities or individuals can apply to the Fund for the disposal of the fly-tipping and to finance preventative actions which will help to stop the fly-tipping at that location in the future. Preventative actions could include physical barriers (such as fencing), traffic prohibiting measures (such as posts or boulders), a local campaign, signage and/or CCTV. The Waste Services Team can provide advice to landowners on preventative actions and will also work with landowners to recover any relevant evidence to support further enforcement.
It is anticipated that each application will be in the region of £500 to £1,000 but there is not a minimum limit for funding requests and although the maximum funding award will be £3,000, in exceptional circumstances, a larger award may be made. The application process aims to take a maximum of 3 weeks so that there is quick access for those affected. To access the application form and guidance, please visit www.pkc.gov.uk/flytippingfund.
Meanwhile, to help prevent new cases of fly-tipping, householders are reminded that everyone has a legal Duty of Care to ensure that their unwanted items are only removed from their property by a licensed waste operator (the list can be found online at https://www2.sepa.org.uk/wastecarriers/) who can legally carry and correctly dispose of waste. If items are in good condition, they can be passed on for reuse (www.pkc.gov.uk/wheretodonate) or unwanted items can either be collected from outside their home via a special uplift (www.pkc.gov.uk/specialuplifts) or taken to a Recycling Centre (www.pkc.gov.uk/recyclingcentres). Householders with a commercial-type vehicle or a trailer, wishing to access a PKC Recycling Centre are encouraged to check their recycling permit is up-to-date and review the new social distancing requirements at www.pkc.gov.uk/recyclingpermits
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.
This is an exciting opportunity for a Greenspace Ranger to join the team to identify opportunities and encourage volunteering in a wide range of Council greenspaces. They will assist with community engagement on greenspace projects and themes and implement an agreed programme of greenspace maintenance tasks to provide opportunities for community involvement and management on greenspace sites and paths networks. This is not a traditional ranger role and an essential part of the role is to undertake site condition inspections for repair programmes and safety purposes including tree and water safety inspections.
The job advert closes on Tuesday 3rd March, so make sure and get your applications in on time!
Community Greenspace work with communities to manage a variety of sites across the area including the Den O Alyth which is known for its native woodland, red sandstone geology and its freshwater ecology.
Recently staff from SSE Renewables as part of their corporate volunteer programme helped to conserve the den by working towards the aims of the management plan. Staff spent the morning working with the rangers to remove Beech Tree saplings from an area of native woodland using tree popping tools and bowsaws. Beech are not native to the area and out compete native stock so staff were given the opportunity to take the trees home to replant. In the afternoon footpaths were cleared of leaves and mud making a huge difference to the paths which crisscross site. As an extra challenge the team also removed a tractor tyre which had been fly-tipped.
This is the second time SSE have helped us at the Den O Alyth. The help is invaluable and allows the many objectives of the management plan to be achieved. The team from SSE worked hard and enjoyed the challenges of doing something different.
To find out more about corporate volunteering please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
P6 & P7 pupils from the Royal School Of Dunkeld recently joined the rangers for a morning of practical work. The task to help fix the footpaths around Jubilee park and Birnam Oak which is part of the popular riverside walk.
The Pupils raked leaves, dug out muddy patches and wheelbarrowed material to fill In potholes. Pupils will use the practical experience to help them achieve their John Muir award.
The Royal School of Dunkeld are working with various partners to improve and learn about the Greenspace surrounding the school.
The Beatrix Potter Garden in Birnam was recently treated to an Autumn tidy up thanks to Police Scotland Youth Volunteers.
The volunteers gave up their Sunday to help cut back and clear overgrown shrub beds, clear ivy plus expose some of the statue’s which are unique to the garden. The group also helped clear shurubs from an overgrown cairn and added a gravel path.
Lunch was kindly provided by the Birnam Arts Centre and the project was supported by staff from Community Greenspace.
Volunteers from Wisecraft in Blairgowrie recently helped give the Wildflower Meadow in Larghan park its Autumn makeover. The meadow is an important feature in the park, creating great habitat for pollinators throughout the summer months.
Now Autumn is upon us the meadow is cut and raked to help spread the seed while the cuttings are lifted by keen volunteers. Lifting cuttings helps our wildflowers thrive by removing the nutrients from the soil.
Its is hoped the work will contribute towards the John Muir Award which the group are currently completing.