Crocodile or alligator?

Perhaps someone will be able to fill me in, but I’ve never been able to tell the difference between crocodiles and alligators.

Anyway, our Greenspace Ranger Susan spotted this one in one of the rivers around Perth and Kinross only yesterday!

See what you think?

scary

Meanwhile elsewhere in Perthshire . . .

Saturday 23rd saw the first task for a new paths group just over the border in Dunblane.

The paths maintenance team sits under the umbrella of the Dunblane Development Trust and on this inaugural task we stared out with a little light pruning.  Like everywhere else there’s no shortage of things to do.

well worth a look at work of the Development Trust on their website here: Dunblane Development Trust and the Dunblane path network here: http://www.dunblane.info/images/News/1%20News/Dunblane%20Community%20Paths%20INNER%20(1)%20060114.pdf

darn road dunblane.JPG

Dave Stubbs PKC Community Coordinator and some time volunteer (that’s me in the shorts and wellies. Very, very 2016).

Salmon in the Classroom

Once again, the coming of March highlights our Salmon in the Classroom project where school-children from across Perth & Kinross are given the responsibility of looking after salmon eggs in their classrooms.

It’s great news once again for the ‘alevins’, as the newly-hatched salmon are called, as over 95% have successfully hatched this year.  Under the supervision of the Tay Salmon Fisheries Board the salmon will soon be released into burns where they will be monitored over the coming months.

Young Salmon

There are roughly 12 schools involved in this project each year, each of whom are asked to keep a diary of their project which is then entered into a competition with a £200 prize. Last year’s prize was split between Moncrieffe and Kirkmichael Primary Schools as it was declared a draw.

The winning school will be the one which produces a diary with lots of content and ideas as well as general facts about what they have learned about the Salmon lifecycle. The schools in the past have submitted models of salmon, poems and songs as part of their entry.

Among the schools involved this year are Stanley, St Madoes, and Rattray Primary Schools. Is your school involved?

You can find out more about this project in last year’s story here and more about the many conservation projects which the Tay Salmon Fisheries Board carry out here

www.pkc.gov.uk/article/2551/Biodiversity-Projects (ongoing Greenspace Rangers projects)

The Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board is the statutory body empowered to protect and improve the salmon fisheries in the Tay district.  http://www.tdsfb.org/index.html

The Tay Foundation is a Charitable Trust helping the River Tay and its tributaries, fish and environment. www.tayfoundation.org/

International Volunteers Day

We may have missed International Volunteers Day which was celebrated on Saturday 5th December, but we couldn’t have written a better message of thanks to our own volunteers than the one recently published on the FromScotlandWithLove blogsite. I’ll offer you this quote from it and then let you read it at your leisure.

“If you are a volunteer, never underestimate how valuable you are. It doesn’t matter how big or small your contribution or what the cause you choose to give your time to – the fact that you are doing it makes the world a better place. Don’t compare what you give to what others give, everyone is in a different circumstance and always remember that even if you can change one thing for the better, make one person smile, that is what is important. That is what is invaluable. That is what inspirational.”

Inspirational stuff, indeed!

fromscotlandwithloveblog.wordpress.com/

It’s been ‘All Go’ at North Inch Golf Course

As we near the end of the year, it’s a great time to reflect on what has been an extremely busy and productive year at the golf course. Our newly formed volunteer group have helped us to transform the presentation of the course and offer a facility that the golfers of Perth and Kinross are happy to play.
 
one]
 
Taking on tasks not included in the maintenance contractors remit, our volunteers have focussed on the extra touches that show there is some real TLC being put into the golf course. They have worked hard on raking up of leaves and tree fall debris, painting fences, all the way to cleaning up an old stone bridge, to name just a few!
 
two
 
When we launched the volunteer program, we felt that we wanted to give something back as a thank you for donating time to the golf course. We developed a reward scheme to go along with the program, now what better way to reward a golfer than to reward then with golf!
For every 3 hours of volunteer time that is given to the golf course, our volunteers earn a Free round of golf (also 3 hours, if you don’t hang about!). This has proved very popular, with these rounds being used by either the volunteer themselves or having been passed on to a friend or colleague.
If you would like to get involved and help us to continue with our improvements at North Inch golf Course, then please get in touch by calling Niall McGill on 01738 476372 or email nmcgill@pkc.gov.uk

Extra help welcome

Milnathort and Kinross Allotments Association recently contacted Perth & Kinross Council to engage the services of the Unpaid Work Team to assist with the planting of trees in allotments in Kinross.

The Association had received a donation from the Woodland Trust of 420 young native trees which were suitable for planting throughout the site to not only encourage more wildlife but also provide a windbreak around the boundary of the site in the Turfhills area of Kinross.

M&Kaug2014

In addition to the 30 allotment plots, which are in their second season the site also provides a community garden area. The facility is used by local residents including the local children’s gardening club, Kinross High School’s Learning Support Department, the local day centre for older people and the ‘Broke not Broken’ Group who plan to grow food at the site.

To improve the allotments further, the Unpaid Work Team delivered a load of compost for the gardeners’ use and also laid some slabs next to the Association’s main polytunnel to improve access.

Anyone interested in engaging the services of the Unpaid Work Team, (which are free of charge), to carry out tasks for the benefit of the community should complete an application form which can be obtained by telephoning 01738 445793 or 472564 or by e-mailing cjs@pkc.gov.uk

Verging on the Ranunculus

Trimmed to 6 inches once or twice per year and we’re left with a mower’s-width strip of plain, ordinary, everyday, common-or-garden grass stretching for miles and miles along our roadsides, whether in the country or in town.

But leave this strip to grow for a while and we begin to see that the grass is neither plain nor ordinary, but is made up of foxtails, bents and cat’s-tails, timothy, wild-oats and bromes, spires and plumes, wisps and spikes, grasses of all sorts, tufted, tall or waving in the wind!

Early in the year we see our roadside verges brilliantly lit up with the sunshine yellow of dandelions, soon followed by hosts of dandelion ghosts as they set their clocks to produce seed. Yet, leave it a little while longer and we’ll begin to see vetch and primrose, celandine, scabious and cow parsley, then red clover, bluebells, campions and cuckoo flowers. Later still, poppies, yarrow, teasels and honeysuckle appear, and of course buttercups and daisies in their many, many forms.

Beetles, bees, butterflies and moths as well as hoverflies, sawflies and spiders of many kinds all find their refuge in these verges. In fact I’m told that they have wonderful names like the marmalade hoverfly, the orange-tip butterfly, the froghopper and the buff-tailed bumble bee.

Our good friends at the Tay Landscape Partnership have recently launched a campaign which is aimed at managing your favourite roadside verges for the protection of wildlife. To take part in this great initiative, take a wander over to http://www.taylp.org/are-you-a-road-verge-champion/ where you can nominate particular verges which capture your eye, photographs more than welcome!

Spread the word and spread the wildflowers!

Patrick

Road Verge Champions poster