Protecting wildflower meadow – Aberfeldy

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.

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International Ranger Day 31 July 2019

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.

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Beaver Scouts

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!

 

Litter!

Community Greenspace keep a supply of litter picking equipment in Highland Perthshire for community groups to use.

In June the litter picking equipment was out on loan to the 17th Perthshire Beaver Scouts, the primary 3 class from Breadalabane Primary and to the Tay Valley Time Bank.

Please contact community Greenspace if you want to borrow the equipment.

 

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Gloves and Cake!

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!

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Maintaining paths in Pitlochry

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.

Red Squirrel Awareness Week

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.

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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.

Unfortunately red squirrel sightings are becoming increasingly rare in some areas, with the spread of grey squirrels, but you can register your squirrel sightings with Saving Scottish Red Squirrels and follow local sightings and discussions on the Red Squirrels in Perth and Kinross Facebook page

Can Aberfeldy become a Dementia Friendly town?

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, jgrant@pkc.gov.uk .

For those interested in who else was there please see the Facebook write up, below.

Aberfeldy Community Council

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
janette.dfag@gmail.com

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 hello@thecareandwellbeing.coop
• Alzheimer Scotland – Action on Dementia.
www.alzscot.org
Freephone: 0808 808 3000 – e-mail: helpline@alzscot.org
• The Home Safety Partnership (NHS Tayside, PKC, Scottish Fire and Rescue, Scottish Police, Perthshire Housing, PKAVS, Age Scotland) contact Carolyn Wilson E-mail: carolynwilson@nhs.net Tel: 01738 473146
• Perth and Kinross Healthy Communities – contact Audra Webster for the North Perthshire Locality. E-mail audrawebster@nhs.net Mob: 07896 280 852
• The Birks Cinema Screen Memories Project – resuming Soon – E-mail: birkscommunity@gmail.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 camelville@liveactive.co.uk 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: info@kirrieconnections.com Phone: 01575 573 805
• PKAVS Thirds Sector and Volunteering Hubs – Third Sector Interface for Perth & Kinross (TSI)
www.thirdsectorpk.org.uk E-mail info@thirdsectorpk.org.uk 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: info@pathsforall.ork.uk 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 wellbeing@liveactive.co.uk
• PKAVS Carers Hub – www.pkavscarershub.org.uk Ph: 01738 452 214 E-mail caretelesupport@pkavs.org.uk
• 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 thehomestraightscotland@gmail.com
• 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

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Revamp of the mini bog at Rannoch Station.

A challenge has been set between the Rannoch Station Bloom Group and the Rannoch Path Group to jointly work on a project!  However, the challenge has grown arms and legs! The priority was to fix and clean a boardwalk, but has developed into restoring the mini bog and provide an access for all eating area for visitors and locals.

The mini bog and boardwalk were developed by the Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust over 20 years ago, which not only included the boardwalk and bog but also a shelter and way marker.  All of these features have been a huge asset to the car park area and just need a little work to bring them back to their former glory.

The first session saw five volunteers almost madden by the midge…. the first day of them appearing as well!  Midge nets and a fan did save the day!  In three hours the group dealt with the broken section of boardwalk, cutting back encroaching vegetation, crown lifting on neighbouring trees, litter picking and cleaning of the information board.

If you are interested in joining these groups to restore the mini bog, please contact Annie on rannochscotland@gmail.com or Jeannie at jgrant@pkc.gov.uk and you will be contacted with times and meeting place for the next stage of restoration in November.

In the volunteers own words of their experience, please see the facebook post below.

Rannoch Station Tearoom shared a post.

Many Thanks to Jeannie and the Rannoch Paths Group for their work at Rannoch Station Car Park yesterday

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Annie Benson added 7 new photos to the album: Rannoch Paths Group.

Lead by Jeannie Grant PKC Greenspace Ranger 4 members of Rannoch Paths Group joined Rannoch Station in Bloom to START the renovation of the board walk at the station. Clearing, chopping and fixing. Pressure washing supplied by Moor of Rannoch Hotel and sustenance provided by Tea Room who saved the day with cake and welcome midge head bags! Future plans are to interpret and reinstate the bog garden.

Burns Statue & Seat (Birks of Aberfeldy)

The Robert Burns statue and seat in the Birks of Aberfeldy  has been removed for essential maintenance. We anticipate that the statue will be back in place soon and we are sorry for any disappointment this causes visitors.

64 burns statue repair

 

Whilst the statue is away, the seat is getting a clean and the seating area will get a proper tidy up. Please adhere to any other signs whilst this work is being completed.