Making a Meadow at St Mags Part 2

This spring 1,200 wildflower plants were planted on St Magdalene’s Hill to create a wildflower meadow to provide nectar and pollen for bees and butterflies. The plants were kindly donated by the Tay Landscape Partnership and were planted by Perth Brownies, Beavers and Perth High School. Despite the summer drought a good number of plants survived and added beautiful colour to the grassland.

A group from Perth High School who planted the flowers completed the next step by raking off the cut grass to prevent excess nutrients and allow the young plants to push up next spring. The grass was raked onto large tarpaulins and then piled under trees and broom bushes.

 

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After hot chocolate and biscuits, the group finished by litter picking the main path to the summit and back to the car park.

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A big thanks to Perth High School for their help. There is still grass to be raked off so we will be back shortly to finish the job.

Major Success for Perth at Britain in Bloom

Beautiful Perth volunteers group

Local charity Beautiful Perth, which runs the ‘Perth in Bloom’ campaign in the Fair City, has brought home a clutch of major awards from the 2018 Britain in Bloom Awards ceremony, which was held in Belfast on Friday night (19 Oct). Perth won:

  • A Gold Medal
  • The trophy for the Best Large Town* in the UK (beating off stiff competition from 8 other locations**)
  • The Parks and Green Spaces Award for Riverside Park
  • An individual ‘Neighbourhood Champion’ Award for one of its volunteers, Tom Lowdon.

The evening was topped off with the announcement that Beautiful Perth is one of only 5 groups in the UK to be nominated for the much-coveted ‘Champion of Champions’ Award in 2019.

Beautiful Perth Chairman John Summers said: “We are absolutely overwhelmed by these fantastic successes. These Awards represent thoroughly well-deserved recognition for all the work done by our amazing volunteers and I couldn’t be more proud of them! And we share our success with our many other supporters – including Perth & Kinross Council’s Community Greenspace, Waste Services and Community Justice teams, staff at the Westbank nursery and the local residents, businesses and community groups who help us as supporters, suppliers, sponsors and partners in action. Our grateful thanks to them all. We are very honoured indeed to have been nominated for the Champion of Champions Award next year. This is the highest honour awarded by Britain in Bloom, but it also has the very highest judging standards. That means a lot of work for us, but we know we are up for the challenge.

 “I am delighted that Tom Lowdon has received a ‘Community Champion’ Award. Anyone who visits Riverside Park is likely to have seen him hard at work amongst the heather beds, the Compassionate Friends Garden, the sustainable planting beds in the Rodney Garden or the raised beds on Dundee Road. He works tirelessly for our cause and it is only right that he should receive this national recognition.”

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The RHS Britain in Bloom Awards reflect the work done by volunteers in villages, towns and cities right across the UK. Scotland did particularly well this year – of the 76 ‘bloom groups’ who entered in the 12 categories, five were from north of the border (Perth, Falkirk, Linlithgow, East Haven and Aberdeen). All five won Gold medals and four won their categories – Aberdeen was best city, East Haven best small coastal community, Falkirk topped the Town Centres & Business Districts category, Linlithgow was best Town and Perth Best Large Town*.

*The Britain in Bloom Award categories are set by population size, and Perth falls into the ‘Large Town’ category.

 **The other entrants in the Large Town category were Ballymena (Ulster), Beverley (Yorkshire), Bury St Edmunds (Anglia), Colwyn Bay (Wales), Congleton (North West), Oswestry (Heart of England), Penrith (Cumbria) and Royal Tunbridge Wells (South East)

 Full results from the Royal Horticultural Society’s Britain in Bloom Awards 2018 can be found here: https://www.rhs.org.uk/get-involved/britain-in-bloom

 

Barnhill Meadows – Tree cage clearing

There are some hidden gems within our countryside sites. At Barnhill, within Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park, there are some old hay-meadows hidden in the woodland. Over the last several years these meadows have been left unmaintained – almost forgotten and now overgrown. Together with the Kinnoull Hill Woodland Group we have plans to clear the meadows and plant some wildflowers, adding a more plant diversity to the area – turning near-forgotten grasslands into species-rich meadows.

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One of the Barnhill meadows

Within these meadows we found several fruit trees, which had been planted to celebrate the millennium. These trees are each surrounded by a cage from when they were planted, to protect the young trees from grazing animals like deer and rabbits. Whilst these cages were initially useful for keeping out the grazers, the trees have grown too large for rabbits to damage, and tall enough that deer can reach regardless of a cage.

On Saturday 6th October we started the process of bringing life back to the meadows. The first step was to open up the cages surrounding the trees. Once these cages were opened up we could access the vegetation that had been swamping the trees. As the volunteers cleared the overgrown vegetation and pruned back some of the branches from the fruit trees, the Community Greenspace Horticultural Modern Apprentice Adam was also able to prune back some of the surrounding Hawthorn trees to improve access to the meadow.

There are upcoming volunteer days planned within the Barnhill meadows on Kinnoull Hill. Would you be interested in joining? To find out more contact Greenspace Ranger Calum Bachell at cbachell@pkc.gov.uk or 01738 476792

Perth Lade Action Day – 26th October 2018

The Perth Lade Action Day

Trimming, Weeding and Litterpicking

Friday 26th October 2018- 2pm – 4pm

Please meet at the Stanley Crescent Play Area at 1.45pm.

Refreshments will be provided.

All equipment will be provided, please ensure you wear sturdy shoes/boots and clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty and are weather appropriate.

Please come join us we would love to see you there.

If you are attending please contact Kirsty Scott on (01738) 476476

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Photo: Richard Wilkins

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

Working in partnership with Wisecraft.

Community Greenspace have recently been working partnership with Wisecraft in Blairgowrie to run practical conservation projects on sites accross the area. Meeting twice per month the group have been learning new skills while carrying out a range of tasks.

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The group have been busy fixing/ re-dusting steps and cutting back overhanging Tree branches. The group also helped with the efforts of removing Himalayan balsam from the Loon Braes which was a big task in heat of summer.  Its great to see the members of the group gaining confidence and continue to enjoy making a contribution to the management of sites.

The sessions are ended by a well earned cup of tea around the Kellie kettle.

 

 

 

Community Working Hard in Glenfarg

The community of Glenfarg came together to spruce up Wallace Park and create homes for local wildlife on Saturday 11th August. Luckily the heavy rain stayed away and a team of 15 people worked hard clearing vegetation, cleaning the sun dial and picking litter.

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These impressive bug hotels, creep crawlie palaces and hedgehog homes were built using recycled materials from local homes and businesses. Greenspace Ranger Joanna, provided tools and advice on the best location for the animal homes.

If you would like to be involved in further work days, please email Friends of Wallace Park on fowp@glenfarg.org

Train Station Garden

On the 4th September I was shown a hidden gem that is the Perth station garden.

This garden is beautiful and full of life. What I got up to when I was there was exploring the garden for any type of insect that was living there. We searched high and low tallying off each bug we found in forty five minutes.

We split the garden into three sections, we had a section for things we found on plants, a section for things we found on man-made objects and a section for things we found on the ground and it was fifteen minutes per section.

We had a list of six special species of which we managed to find three! The ones we discovered were the two spotted lady bug, the leopard slug and the shield bug.

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