New Block of Green Routes to Wellbeing in Perth

A new 6 week block of Green Routes to Wellbeing started last week clearing gorse and broom from the summit. Join us tomorrow at 10am for unlimited tea, coffee and chocolate biscuits while making St Magdalene’s Hill better for people and wildlife.

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Pond Spring Clean Under Way

Work started this week to clear out the pond in Scone Park. Over the last couple of years, the vegetation has grown and joined the island to the land. Vegetation is being removed from the pond to reinstate the island that makes it safer for the ducks and swans during nesting time. It will also create more surface area of water that will benefit the swans and ducks that make call it home. Work should be completed by early next week. Watch this space for updates….

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Litter is also being removed and so far 6 footballs have been collected and couting!

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Clearing Goarse and Broom at St Mags

On the 16th of October I was up St Mags with Joanna helping out a group called the six circle clearing back goarse and broom.

This is a really important job as the broom and gorse are taking over the hill and stopping other plants and trees from growing.

It is also really important as they can block some of the amazing views you can get on the summit.

The group worked really hard and managed to clear a lot, revealing that view of the Tay and the bridge.

I tried my first Cadbury Boost that day and I think its safe to say I found my new favourite chocolate.

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Tis the Season To Love Trees

Have you put your Christmas tree up yet? Trees make a huge contribution to our environment, our health and our economy as well as a centrepiece of Christmas. Forestry Commission Scotland has created a short video entitled ‘There’s more to Scotland’s forests than meets the eye’ that is well worth a watch. So sit back, relax and enjoy this video with a mince pie.

If, over the festive period you would like a break from Christmas T.V, Scotland’s Native Woodlands is an excellent short film presented by naturalist Nick Baker.

And these are informative too:

Native pinewoods – http://youtu.be/I6AaNp-5VN0
Upland birchwoods – http://youtu.be/jGzkh6X9ENk
Upland oakwoods – http://youtu.be/WV2LjVxObzM
Lowland mixed deciduous woodland – http://youtu.be/zNauIovTjCw

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Scottish Invasive Species Initative

Invasive Species are a tricky thing in Tayside. There is a multitude of different invasive species and they all come with different challenges. It is very difficult to conquer these without a catchment wide approach and large amount of parties working together to tackle it.

Invasive species alter our natural environment, they out-compete other native species and dominate areas, creating habitats which don’t provide the diversity our wildlife need to sustain themselves and their populations.

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Himalayan Balsam – An Invasive Species

The Scottish Invasive Species Initiative was covered on BBC Landward recently. This is a project funded over the next 3 years to tackle invasive species within several areas including Tayside.

There are training and volunteering opportunities within it find out more information here:  https://www.invasivespecies.scot/about-us.

These are great skills to develop for those who are part of the groups we support or lead and also for those looking to get involved in the land management sector.

 

 

Craigie Community Woodland Coppicing

South Perth Greenspace Group volunteer in Greenspaces owned by the Council and other landowners including Dupplin Estate. The rain didn’t dampen the sprits of eight enthusiastic volunteers who coppiced an area of Craigie Community Wood 24th November .

Coppicing is the traditional rural skill of cutting small trees to encourage more small stems to grow back. This adds diversity to the woodland by creating more variety of tree ages and the new stems are favoured as bird nesting sites.

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Traditionally, most broadleaf trees were coppiced to provide wood for a long list of household items such as furniture and broom handles. All the branches cut on Saturday will be used to create traditional fencing and the cut stumps will produce new shoots in the spring. The area was fenced by the Tay Landscape Partnership to prevent rabbit and deer nibbling on the tasty fresh shoots.

Thank you to South Perth Greenspace Group for all their hard work and to Torquil Varity for his coppicing expertise and advice.

South Perth Greenspace Group meet every month on the first Tuesday at 7.30pm in the Glenearn Community Campus and new faces are always very welcome.

Badger the Collie was a great help while coppicing!

Drainage ditch clearing with PSYV

In order to keep the paths on our countryside sites in good condition we need to prevent too much water from the undergrowth from flowing onto the path. Of course, it is never possible to keep the path completely dry, so the path is usually shaped to ensure that water is able to run off the path rather than puddling. An important method for this is to have drainage ditches on some of the wetter parts of the paths to allow water to run away from, and underneath, the paths. At this time of year, once all the leaves have come off the trees, it isn’t unusual to find that drains suddenly become clogged – more so if the drains haven’t been cleared for a couple of years.  

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We were recently joined by the Police Scotland Youth Volunteers (PSYV) to undertake some work on the drainage ditches on Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park to maintain the high quality paths. Despite a bit of rain, the 13 volunteers worked along a stretch of the pathway on the western side of Kinnoull Hill. While in the area we took the opportunity to remove some of the younger beech trees, in keeping with our long-term plan of encouraging the regeneration of native oak, birch and pines trees.

PSYVLogoThe PSYV did a fantastic job, both at clearing the ditches and removing surrounding vegetation and beech. Although the ditches hadn’t quite reached the stage of being fully clogged up the difference before and after was still quite significant, and now the ditches should be good for a couple more years. To find out more about the PSYV visit their website or check them out on their Facebook page.

For more information about volunteering with community greenspace in your area, please contact communitygreenspace@pkc.gov.uk or call 01738 475000.

Coppicing at Craigie Community Woodland – All Welcome

Would you like to find out more about the traditional woodland management technique of coppicing and give it a go?

If so, join the South Perth Greenspace Group on Saturday 24th November at Craigie Hill Community Woodland 10am-3pm to try your hand at this ancient rural skill of cutting small trees to encourage more small stems to grow back, traditionally used for fencing, furniture, charcoal and clothes pegs!

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