Bringing Football Back to Stanley – Update

BRINGING FOOTBALL BACK TO STANLEY

Stanley football pitch drainage improvements

PROJECT AIM

This partnership project between Stanley Development Trust (SDT) and Perth & Kinross Council (PKC) aims to re-instate the football pitch in Stanley and thus enable our local football team to train and play league games in their own village and develop teams for younger players. It will also enable Stanley Primary School children to undertake physical activity and play football on a well-drained natural turf surface. The football pitch is located within the grounds of Stanley Primary School.

THE PROBLEM

The Stanley football pitch drainage system was last serviced and repaired by the community in the early 1980’s. In more recent times ongoing drainage problems have meant that the football pitch is regularly waterlogged. The pitch is unsuitable therefore for use by Stanley Primary School and unplayable by the local youth football team which has had to play home games at other football grounds in Perth & Kinross.

THE SOLUTION

To renovate the pitch by commissioning a specialist grounds care contractor (SportsMasters UK) to improve the drainage by:

  • Top-dressing the pitch with 60 tons of approved sports sand
  • Applying a winter feed at 35g/m2
  • Decompact the soil (earthquake)
  • Aerate the soil by Verti-draining the pitch

FUNDING THE PROJECT

In 2018 the SUEZ Communities Trust awarded PKC/SDT £9,924.00 for this project with the condition that it must be spent on improvements to the drainage system. The SUEZ grant was match funded with an award from PKC Community Environment Challenge Fund (£16,476). The match funding was originally planned to have paid for essential and non-essential renovation works to the football pitch. However, in reality it was just the essential works (as described above) that were carried out. PKC informed SUEZ Communities Trust of this change of plan and it was agreed that the SUEZ grant could be used to pay for the essential drainage renovation works.

THE STORY OF THE STANLEY PITCH RENOVATIONS

The renovation works were scheduled for the October 2018 school holiday fortnight (8th – 19th October) when the school would be closed and access to the grounds could be limited with little inconvenience to the public. However, exceptionally heavy and prolonged rain was forecast for the week beginning 8th October 2018. The contractor advised SDT that it would be not prudent to come on site in those weather conditions. The risk of damage to the pitch, of machinery not working efficiently in muddy conditions, of the renovations running over scheduled time, and of resultant extra costs to SDT were all considered to be too great. Given the two week window available in which to carry out renovations, it was decided to undertake essential works only (as described above) during week commencing 15th October when the weather forecast for more conducive. The renovations took place on the 15th and 16th October 2018. Please see story board on page 3 of this report for photographic evidence of the renovation works.

Similar treatments have been applied to other water-logged and compacted pitches in the Perth & Kinross area with good results. Whilst it will take some time for the Stanley pitch to fully recover from the renovations, it is already in a much better state to cope with the coming winter and the inevitable rain and snow. The pitch can be used straight away by Stanley Primary School pupils for their ‘Daily Mile’ walking and other physical and sports activities without fear of muddy shoes and clothes. The local football group is in the process of re-forming teams for the 2019/20 season.

There has been a great deal of interest in the project from the local community. A post on SDT’s Facebook page which credited SUEZ Communities Trust with funding the renovation works to the football pitch reached 895 people – a remarkable reach for a village with a population of around 1300.

Thank you SUEZ Communities Trust for helping the Stanley community to realise our long-held wish to improve the condition of the pitch and to help bring football back to Stanley

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Provost Walk Grand Opening Phase 2

MVIMG_20180818_141154Auchterarder Sports and Recreation held an event a Primrose Park recently which celebrated their hard work and efforts in fundraising and creating phase 2 of the Provost Walk footpath. To date the path has had  £595,000 with in excess of £500,000 pounds needed to upgrade phase 3 – the most ambitious phase yet.

There was a very good turn out with support from lots of different organisations providing different experiences and showing how they supported the project in different ways from Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust  who supported the group in fundraising and delivery, to funders such as Sustrans, local councillors and also the contractor who delivered the works . There were some fantastic bikes t supported those with support needs as well electric bikes. The electric bikes are free to hire for Auchterarder residents at Synergy Cycles in the town which is a great resource for a local community to have.

Julia and Jane who are co-chairs of the group deservedly opened this phase of the path as it has taken a huge amount of their time and effort for it to come to fruition.

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It is great to see communities being celebrated for their hard work and here is looking forward to the completion of Phase 3!

 

Rattray Fun with Nature event.

Community Greenspace recently attended the family fun with nature event at Rattray primary school. The event was used to promote the fantastic parks and open spaces which are in the area. In particular the Loon Braes which is less than five minutes walk form the event. Greenspace Rangers Alistair and Joanna had a range of activities on offer including pond dipping with mini-beasts from the Loon Braes pond, scavenger hunts plus animal mask making. Over 130 adults and children visited the stall and the rangers were able to engage and explain the importance of our greenspaces for both wildlife and recreation.

The event was run in conjunction with community learning and included a visit from the wild about Scotland bus and visitors enjoyed a free nature themed lunch.

Path Group Training event.

Community Greenspace recently organised a training day for path group volunteers at St Magdalene’s Hill Perth. Peter our trainer from PKC provided training in the safe use of strimmers, leaf blower and introduced the flail (with full training to be provide at a future date)

We support a number of path groups throughout Perth and Kinross. Providing training, insurance and advice to help communities maintain and improve the network of paths around the region.

Please contact us at communitygreenspace@pkc.gov.uk  should you wish to set up a paths group or require more info.

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Community Spirit

American Students

Exchange students from America worked hard clearing and opening up a path at St Magdalene’s Hill earlier this month. Scott Tominey from the Evangelist Church of Christ, Scotland contacted the Greenspace Rangers and offered the students time to help with a task. The weather this year certainly made the task all the more enjoyable, last year was torrential rain, this year beautiful blue skies. Always nice to see the difference made at the end of a mornings work. Well done guys.

Crieff High School Skills Group End of Year!

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It has come to the end of the year for the Crieff High School Skills Group.

They have learned a huge amount over the year and have came on hugely in their development.

From Himalayan Balsam and Bracken Bashing, to path maintenance and drainage(seen above) they have covered a huge amount of activities in their time.

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Here is how they feel the year has went:

“Before starting to go out with Alan, the Greenspace Ranger, we didn’t really take part in any physical activity in school.

In the beginning it was pretty hard work, especially learning about all the different tools but it has got easier and more enjoyable as the term went on.”

Jay said, “I really enjoy the freedom of going out. My favourite activity is bracken bashing because you get to use a slasher and you can really see the difference.”

James said,” I don’t enjoy school so going out is a great escape. My favourite thing to do is digging the ditches for the drainage because it’s fun and it’s great to see the water flowing once it’s clear.”

“We have learnt lots of skills throughout the time, from cleaning the tools correctly to make sure they fit to use, to recognising non-native species and weeds.

It is great to visit different places around Crieff too, we go to Lady Mary’s Walk, MacRosty Park and up the Knock so get to see different landscapes.”

The contribution of the group to their community has been invaluable and we have been really impressed with their progression over the year. We hope to maintain the group going in to the next school year and support more young people to learn new skills and developing the young workforce of the future.

 

 

Year of Young People with Morrisons Academy!

We had some fantastic assistance from 50 S6 pupils  from Morrison’s Academy in Crieff recently. Originally the group were to be split across 4 sites including Lady Mary’s, MacRosty Park, The Knock and James Square with Crieff in Leaf.

Storm Hector, however, had other ideas! Due to the wind we had to curtail the day slightly and move everyone to MacRosty Park and James Square. The advantage of this was the group was able to go and tidy up and branches blown off trees from the storm within the park quickly.

The group focused on three separate areas within the park:

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Group one weeding up at the Comrie Road

Group 1 was helping to weed the border of the park adjacent to Comrie Road. They worked hard and got over half of it completed.

Group 2 were working on the flower beds down the steps to the bottom of the park and also the hard surfaces of the steps as well. Which look fantastic now after all their hard work.

Group 3 were finishing off some of the lade management that was required. They completed that task and hopefully that will keep the lade flowing without fault for the foreseeable future!

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The Lade after some work was carried out.

Group 4 were in James Square supporting Crieff in Leaf to manage some of the hard surfaces removing the weeds from there and also from the beds.

All of these activities had a huge benefit to the community and keep our greenspaces looking amazing.

A special thanks go out to the S6 pupils for their efforts in supporting their local community.

 

 

 

Far reaching Rangers!

In  Perth and Kinross there are a total of two full time rangers and three part time rangers covering an area of 5,286 km, the fifth largest area covered by a Council in Scotland.

Although every ranger service is unique, throughout Scotland we all have some common aims which are to engage with people of all ages and encourage all to use green spaces.

In Perth and Kinross we are taking the lead in working with community groups, in particular path groups, health and well being and dementia groups.  Our work also contributes to the Scottish wide statistics as shown on the poster below.

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If you are interested in finding out more about the work we do or want to volunteer in one of the many groups please do get in touch.

Litter….

The Highland Perthshire litter picking “kit” has been out in force this year, bringing together a number of groups and people. It all started in in the winter with Rannoch Path Group tackling a viewpoint and car park, whilst planting a new wildlife hedge!

March saw Deeds for Needs targeting core known areas within Aberfeldy, which was done again in May with pupils from Breadalbane Academy and teachers doing litter picks all over town and on Core paths.  Their efforts alone brought in another 20-30 kg of litter.  Deeds for Needs were delighted and pleased to see pupils engaging with the issue.  The litterpick has been repeated again by the 17th Perthshire Aberfeldy Cubs in May.  Grandtully Primary school have issued litter picking as part of their “homework” and Eco-school project.

In Blair Atholl the community and Estate joined forces to clear the litter in the village and the approaching roads in March.

Many communities continue to do regular litter picks such as Pitlochry Litter picking group and at Strathtay and Grandtully.  So if you want to join a group near you, please get in touch.

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Crieff High School Group Willow Weaving

The Crieff High School Group have been busy with a special day carrying out some willow weaving to create the start of a willow dome. They were learnt about the properties of willow and how it is a useful resource for building structures.

Jay and James said “Prior to doing the activity, we had no knowledge or experience of willow weaving, so it was completely new to us.

When we arrived at the site we marked out the circle for the dome with line paint.

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Sizing the willow and trimming it.

We then sorted the willow out by size and trimmed it if needed.

Next, we built the frame of the structure by hammering stakes in to the ground which we put the willow in to tying it together so that the arch was stable.

Then we started weaving the willow, we bent it and manipulated it in to the shape we needed and secured it with string

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Base Structure taking shape.

 

We managed to complete the base of the structure.”

A special thanks to Jeannie Grant (Highland Ranger) for coming and showing us and sharing her knowledge.

The group really enjoyed the day and learned a wonderful new skill.