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.
On an eyrie Thursday morning just before Christmas, 15 Pitlochry path group volunteers turned up to clear leaves, dig out drains and steps and sweep the Aluminium Bridge in Pitlochry. Over 1km of tarmac footways and paths were raked and swept in just over two hours. Although this was one of the easy tasks, everybody kept warm fuelled by hot beverages and mince pies.
If you fancy joining in helping to keep the promoted pitlochry path network user friendly and “conserved” please contact the group via firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
I am reporting on a very successful collaboration between Farmer, Upper Tay Path Group, Rural Skills (at Breadalbane Secondary) and Perth & Kinross Community Greenspace which has seen works to help and protect a stunning wildflower meadow within 10minutes walking distance of Aberfeldy.
The issue for a number of years has been compacting of soil where people walked through the meadow and nutrient enrichment where people have not picked up after their dogs.
The Rural Skills students built a short section of fence to block off one of the entrances to the meadow. This hasn’t worked so the Path Group got the path that is to be used mowed. The path was widened by cutting back the Blackthorn and the cut branches were used to barrier the other entrance to the meadow. Waymarker posts were installed and a temporary signage installed.
It is hoped that the Rural Skills can produce a signage and funding is to be sought to highlight what is growing in the meadow.
31st July, International Ranger Day – the thin green line
‘Ranger’ is a job title used all over the world; with every Ranger role unique. Some bear arms to protect wildlife, forests and crops, other clean toilets and litter pick. There are also those, such as the PKC Greenspace Rangers whose remit is to bring people into Greenspaces and the wider Countryside.
In Scotland the Ranger job is thankfully not considered dangerous and we are incredibly luck that it often takes us to beautiful and wild places. However one of our roles is to educate people who are accessing greenspaces irresponsibly (as defined in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code) or doing illegal activities. These situations can be scary, especially when working alone and dealing with people with axes, chainsaws or dogs that have no collar or leads and are chasing the local wildlife.
In PKC we are lucky to have a robust lone working system and training to help us deal with difficult situations. We acknowledge that those who share our title around the world may not have such systems or techniques available to them.
On the last day of July every year Rangers throughout the world honour and remember those who put their lives at risk every day to protect our planet and we take time to remember those who have fallen in the line of duty. Behind every fallen Ranger there is a wider community affected by the loss of life and they too suffer. So, today (31st July) we unite to remember those whom have fallen and their wider communities, we thank them for all they do.
17th Perthshire Beaver Scouts spent a pre-midge season evening in the Birks of Aberfeldy where they learned how to make a shelter in the den building area, slack lining and responsible access into the countryside. As ever the Ranger was happy to be involved in making the access legislation fun by heating up water responsibly for hot chocolate and making the odd smore!
Highland Perthshire was buzzing with volunteers during May! It was a busy month with community groups, school groups out working together. Tasks included refurbishing a boardwalk at Rannoch Station, removing Beech trees from the Birks of Aberfeldy, building bird boxes and bashing bracken.
As a result of the wet weather and number of tasks we had a mountain of gloves needing to be washed! Thank goodness for the amazing donations of cake that kept everyone motivated and full of energy!
On the 25th of October I went out to Pitlochry to help Jeannie out with the Pitlochry Path group. The day got off to a good start as I arrived in Pitlochry and I noticed that the group were very hard workers. The task the group were doing was repairing a path just past the train station.
On the train ride home I was treated to some beautiful views with all the trees turning into really nice reds and oranges and a few mesmerizing streams. When I got back to Perth I went to a Modern Apprentice meeting about how to behave on social media.
Did you know that this week (24th-30th September) is Red Squirrel Awareness Week?
Perth and Kinross can be a great place for spotting these amazing creatures. From Kinnoull Hill in Perth to the Den o’ Alyth or the Black Spout Woods, many of our countryside sites are home to the Red Squirrel. Take a walk out in your local forest and you may be lucky enough to see one! Red squirrels tend to build their nests, or dreys, in tall coniferous trees, and are often seen scrambling up the trunks of trees.
A Red Squirrel spotted near Aberfeldy by Greenspace Ranger Calum Bachell
Red squirrels are very busy during the autumn, making this time of year perfect for spotting them. Keep a look out on the forest floor as they collect berries, seeds, nuts and fungi to keep themselves fed through the winter months. Listen for the sound of the squirrels climbing up the trees, chewing on a pine cone, or shouting to another squirrel. You can also often tell if red squirrels are nearby by finding chewed pine cones scattered around the forest floor.
Perth and Kinross Council Community Greenspace ranger and Breadalabane Community Library attended the community workshop about making a Dementia Friendly Aberfeldy.
This working partnership used this event to launch the ten week block of dementia friendly sessions, for early spring 2019. The theme is life cycles, looking at Butterflies and plant life cycles. These sessions will be open to all and will be a mix of indoor and outdoor time, with time for a cuppa and chat.
The event was very inspiring and full of use full tips, which we and other organisations will be taking. So if you have any ideas or suggestions how to make Aberfeldy’s greenspaces dementia friendly and therefore friendly to all please do get in touch, firstname.lastname@example.org .
For those interested in who else was there please see the Facebook write up, below.
Dementia Friendly Aberfeldy Launch Event
The purpose of the event was to establish if there was appetite within the community for Aberfeldy to work towards Dementia-Friendly status.
The event was well attended with 72 people taking part, including speakers.
There were essentially two parts to the event. The first part explored already established dementia–friendly communities nationally and internationally. The second, a Market Stall section that functioned as folk were gathering, but which was set up the whole time, in which 16 organisations were able to show and tell their work in this area.
There was clear support for taking the concept of Dementia-Friendly Aberfeldy forward and the next steps were outlined by Janette Barrie.
If interested in supporting the group, please get in touch via the e-mail address
Organisations and Contact Info (no particular order):
• The Care and Wellbeing Co-operative – Helping shape care in rural Perthshire www.thecareandwellbeing.coop
Ph: 07548 257 436 e-mail email@example.com
• Alzheimer Scotland – Action on Dementia. www.alzscot.org
Freephone: 0808 808 3000 – e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
• The Home Safety Partnership (NHS Tayside, PKC, Scottish Fire and Rescue, Scottish Police, Perthshire Housing, PKAVS, Age Scotland) contact Carolyn Wilson E-mail: email@example.com Tel: 01738 473146
• Perth and Kinross Healthy Communities – contact Audra Webster for the North Perthshire Locality. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Mob: 07896 280 852
• The Birks Cinema Screen Memories Project – resuming Soon – E-mail: email@example.com
• The Birks Cinema Adult Health and Well Being Activities :
Chair Based Exercise – Mondays 11.15-12.00 am – with Emma Burtles
Craic ‘n’ Craft Thursday from 2-4 pm for a cup of tea, craic and craft
Second Sunday of the month 3pm Afternoon tea and singalong
More info: from Fiona 07990 834 092 www.birkscinema.co.uk
• Start Active, Stay Active: www.bit.ly/startactive
• Stride for Life Health Walks – live active Wellbeing – www.liveactive.co.uk
Contact Colin Melville firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 01738 454 628 – Walks established in Kinross, Crieff, Alyth, North Muirton, Birnam, Bankfoot, Stanley …. Aberfeldy next?
• Kirrie Connections: The Dementia Friendly Kirremuir Project. www.kirrieconnections.com
E-mail: email@example.com Phone: 01575 573 805
• PKAVS Thirds Sector and Volunteering Hubs – Third Sector Interface for Perth & Kinross (TSI) www.thirdsectorpk.org.uk E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 01738 567 076
(PKAVS = Perth & Kinross Association of Voluntary Service Ltd. It is a registered Charity)
• Paths for All – supporting a network of Health Walk groups across Scotland www.pathsforall.org.uk E-mail: email@example.com Ph: 01259 218 888
• Live active Wellbeing – Make the First Move – advice and support www.liveactive.co.uk Active Community Team Tel: 01738 454 616
Activity Referral Coordinators Tel: 01738 454660
General Wellbeing Enquiries E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
• PKAVS Carers Hub – www.pkavscarershub.org.uk Ph: 01738 452 214 E-mail email@example.com
• Wellbeing Support Team Aberfeldy Ph: 01887 822462 www.pkc.gov.uk/mentalhealth
• The Home Straight – Independent Living Solutions for older people www.thehomestraight.org.uk Call: 07840 544 420 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
• Happy Highlanders For partners, carers or befrienders of someone suffering from Dementia
Contacts: Margaret Hamilton (Chair) 01796 470 360 or Linda Crookston (Vice Chair) 01796 482 724 or Linda Thomson (Secretary) 01738 787 425