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.

 

 

Morrison’s Academy Primary School JASS award in MacRosty Park

The Primary school pupils of Morrison’s Academy have been in the park recently. They have been completing their JASS volunteer award.

Junior Award Scheme for Schools (JASS) is a progressive learning programme for young people which has been designed to recognise wider achievement. A key aim has been to meet the challenges of the transition from primary to secondary but in practice it can be used at either level as well as with wider age groups in additional support need settings. The objectives of the JASS programme are aligned with the wider learning objectives of the Curriculum for Excellence, The Outdoor Challenge, and the National Curriculum, making it easy to run alongside and incorporate existing curricular activities.

JASS develops the whole individual by offering recognition in four key areas – regular physical activity (Get Active, Stay Active), exploring a personal interest (My Interests), working for the good of the community or the environment (Me and My World) and completing an outdoor activity or challenge (Adventure) and is designed so that participants move through the levels with increasing commitment, learning, and challenge.

They have been completing the Me and My World section of the award with the Perth and Kinross Ranger Service.

So far we have been weeding around the bandstand and also weeding some of the steps in MacRosty. With fantastic results as seen below (I must get better at getting before photos!).

They are assisting the community and supporting the environment while carrying out these tasks with us.

We have a few weeks together still left and we will be carrying out a range of activities such as weeding flower beds and litter picking; while also learning about the natural environment and it’s importance.

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Auchterarder Provost Walk: Planting and Path Maintenance

After the huge success of their first task. The Auchterarder Core Paths Group decided to build on that momentum and hold a task to replant some trees, carry out a litter pick and clear the french drain.

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Tree Planting

The group had an amazing amount of volunteers turn up, with 14 on the day (a special thanks goes out to four helpers from BEAR Scotland).  This meant that the tree planting was made light work of.

The group were planting some hawthorn and blackthorn that had been kindly donated by the Rotary Club.

They then picked up 9 bags of rubbish with even an old bicycle being found! Thank you to the community waste team for the loan of the litter pickers for this section.

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Litter Picking

Finally we started cutting some self seeded trees and removing grass from the French drain, although this didn’t quite get finished in the task so will be revisited at the next one!

Phase 2 of the Provost walk is progressing nicely and will hopefully be open in the coming weeks!

If you are interested in volunteering with the Auchterarder Core Paths Group then please contact Alan Dorman – Greenspace Ranger at 01738 475000 or adorman@pkc.gov.uk

Perth Lade, March Litter Pick

 

“As the Community Greenspace Partnership Officer one of my community projects is the Perth Lade. We have been carrying out a number of different vegetation, tree and litter clearance works and are also working with local schools and community groups on different improvement projects.

This litter pick was one in a number of community litter picks that are carried out on the Perth Lade; this was on a much smaller scale than our action day carried out in October of 2017.  Regular litter picks/action days are to be planned for the future.

We will advertise our next litter pick soon, everyone is welcome to join”.

Kirsty Scott

 

 

Crieff Path Group on Lover’s Lane

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Clearing the drainage on Lover’s Lane

Crieff Path Group were out recently with a trusty core group turning up to carry out some work on the lovers lane path from the Glenturret Distillery to Comrie Road (a special thank you to the distillery for allowing us to use their staff car park for our task).

The group weren’t fazed by the freezing cold conditions or the level of labour that was required for the task and achieved a fantastic amount of work. Clearing all the drains (several of which were well overdue a bit of maintenance) and getting them flowing again.

The group also used the leaf blowers to clear the path of mud and leaves that had built up over the winter. There is still some work to be done to the path but it is much better than it was and definitely worth a visit!

If you are interested in volunteering for with the Crieff Path Group contact Richard Armstong by email richardarmstrong15283@gmail.com or contact Alan Dorman Greenspace Ranger 01738 475000

 

 

Knock of Crieff Management Plan Walk and Talk

Top panoRecently PKC have been producing a draft management plan for the Knock of Crieff.

This management plan will be looking at the infrastructure across the site and how we can improve it for the local community.

We will also integrate the Forest Plan within the new Management Plan.  Interested parties were invited directly and the walk was advertised in the local area.

The walk and talk was a success with several groups group 1represented and able to give their opinions and comments on the draft proposals which are now being fed in to create a second draft which will go to wider online consultation in the coming weeks.

We talked about items such as proposals for improving the two car parks, inclusion of an all abilities path, improving the views from the summit of the knock and providing some more informal seating around the site.

Thank you to those who came along to our walk and talk your input has been invaluable!