July in the Coupar Angus Community Gardens

by Sharon

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What does summer mean to you?

As a gardener it can mean months of abundant harvest, fantastic food, vibrant wildlife and occasionally deep frustration…….. Why can I never grow a good aubergine!!!

As a community garden we are feeling especially blessed!  Have you paid us a visit recently?

Our poly-tunnel is spectacular, our veg delicious and our events always busy… we have lots going on!   Coming up in August we have several Skillshares, a ‘Gardeners and Growers’ coffee morning, a free kids art party and our fantastic Wednesday volunteer nights, come along, garden, get involved… all are invited!

Our community gardens have been partly funded by the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund and we at the gardens are committed to working with the people of Coupar Angus to understand what climate change is, how it is affecting us and how we can meet these changes together as a community.

Talk to us if you have ideas of how we can jointly achieve this, join us as we work towards this common goal.

August Skillshares:

Introduction to Permaculture Sat 13 August 10am – 1pm, Nether Larghan, Coupar Angus

Growers, Gardeners and Cooks Gathering!   A coffee morning to discuss developing a world gardening, growing and cooking group! Tues 16 Aug 10am – 12noon at the Y on Union St

Learning to Dye Wool with Plants   Fri 26 August 5pm – 7pm Caddam Rd Comm Garden

PLEASE text 07833938536 to book your space, stating your name and which workshop you wish to attend.July

6th Green Flag for MacRosty Park

 

We are delighted to announce that MacRosty Park in Crieff has been awarded a Green Flag for a 6th year!

Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham MSP, has welcomed the announcement which saw 70 successful parks being celebrated as 2016 award winners

Ms Cunningham visited MacRosty Park in Crieff today (Thursday 21 July) to celebrate it receiving the award for the sixth year running. Members of the Friends of MacRosty Park, Green Routes to Wellbeing and Perth and Kinross Council were on hand to celebrate how their hard work has helped to shape and improve this significant local space.

Councillor Michael Williamson, vice-convener of the Environment Committee of Perth & Kinross Council, said:

We are delighted that MacRosty Park has been awarded its sixth Green Flag Award by Keep Scotland Beautiful. It is an important public space in the heart of Crieff, and has proved invaluable as a venue for events and educational activities for the local community. Quality green spaces such as this are an important natural resource and bring great enjoyment to residents and visitors alike.

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All parks are assessed by volunteer judges with a background in parks management, conservation or ecology. Applicants are judged against testing criteria which includes assessing whether the park or green space is welcoming, safe, well-maintained and secure.

I would like to add a personal thank you from me (Ros) to everyone who helps in the park, in particular in the build up to the green flag assessment and celebration.  We got muddy, got wet (and sunburned) and hopefully we had fun regardless.  This would not have been possible without the support and enthusiasm of the volunteers and the Friends of MacRosty Park (past and present) and we are all incredibly grateful for their commitment.

 

MacRosty Park Volunteer Plantings (III)

Our brilliant volunteer group “Green Routes to Wellbeing” were busy in MacRosty Park last week getting our summer bedding into the flower beds at the Pavilion Café.  We hope that you agree that the volunteers new t-shirts look top-notch and the flower beds look brighter and more beautiful than ever!

If you would like to get involved with volunteering in MacRosty Park, or you would like more information about Green Routes to Wellbeing please contact Richard Armstrong (Greenspace Ranger) here

MacRosty Park Volunteer Plantings (the story so far…)

I wanted to share some photographs of our wonderful volunteers in MacRosty Park who braved the torrential rain on Thursday 19th May to help Community Greenspace and the Friends of MacRosty Park gap-up the roadside beds and the Tea Garden.

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Don’t forget you can join us on Saturday 21st May, 10.30-2.30pm to further titivate the park… Volunteering Opportunity – MacRosty Park, 19 & 21 May 2016

Resplendent Rodney Gardens

Here’s a little taster of the wonderful display of the sight that awaits you at Rodney Gardens, Perth. We think that the gardens are going to look pretty spectacular this summer!

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The great majority of the work in planting up the Heather Collection at Bellwood Riverside is due to the wonderful folk who volunteer there, who have been assisted on occasion by the Community Payback Team.

From our wee photo collection you can begin to get a glimpse of the vast amount of planting which was involved over the past few seasons.

The volunteers are now concentrating their collective energy on the herbaceous plantings at the more formal gardens and have an eye on nearby Norrie Miller Walk across the bridge.

We can’t wait to see it all come together!

In addition to the magnificent plantings, Rodney Gardens on the Dundee Road, has a lovely collection of artwork, plenty of greenspace to enjoy, lots of seating and great views across the river.

If you’d like to get involved in helping to bring life back into some tired greenspace in your area, please get in touch with us at communitygreenspace@pkc.gov.uk

 

A Warm Welcome in Grandtully

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A huge thank you to everyone who came along to the play area consultation in Grandtully Village Hall on 15th December.

PKC Staff were made very welcome on a cold, wet winter night.  The hot spiced apple juice, homemade cakes and mince pies were much appreciated by all.

Questionnaires relating to the play area improvements will be available in the village shop and from the Community Council or Hall Committee.

Alternatively you can request a copy from PKC Community Greenspace by calling 01738 475000

Mulled Apple Juice Recipe

Scything Route 77

Eat your heart out Poldark... this is how it is done!

Eat your heart out Poldark… this is how it is done!

A group of Sustrans volunteers sharpened their scythes to regenerate wild flower meadow land along the cycle track behind the Inveralmond Industrial Estate during October.  The group have been focusing their efforts on a five mile stretch of traffic free National Cycle Route 77, beyond the North Inch, over the last year, as part of  the Sustrans ‘Greener Greenways’ project. The project aims to protect and enhance biodiversity along the cycle route.

Volunteers have been given extensive training in species identification, including mammals, amphibians, bees, butterflies, birds, lichen,  fungi, trees, wild flowers and cyclists. Regular surveys throughout the year contribute to a Biodiversity Management Plan and some fun work days.

If you are interested in finding out more about Scything visit 

www.scytheassociation.org

“Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness”

The words of poet John Keats were on message for this Wednesday, 28th, as four volunteers helped out (despite the mist and gentle rain) on Kinnoull Hill.

One volunteer was a PKCV regular, the other three were council staff who were able to take part because of the PKC’s corporate volunteering policy, leaving the comfort and warmth of their offices to guddle in undergrowth in the gentle rain.  They had been encouraged by the promotion of the task by Patrick, in honour of Make a Difference Month.

The tasks were to clear out weeds from fruit tree cages, clear whin / gorse from a viewpoint and remove a few invading beech seedlings.  Grass and tall plants like raspberries suppress the growth of the trees and are best removed. The gorse was cut back to re-open the view from a seat installed in the 1980s.   For an explanation of beech clearance, please see previous blogs.  As Heledd’s comment illustrates, sometimes it is the simple things that make it: “It was quite nice to do some sawing.”

It was rather beautiful among the autumn colours and everyone enjoyed themselves and we all had a good laugh.

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Ode To Autumn  

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;

Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;

To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,

And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;

To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells

With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,

And still more, later flowers for the bees,

Until they think warm days will never cease,

For Summer has o’er-brimmed their clammy cell.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?

Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find

Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,

Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;

Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,

Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook

Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;

And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep

Steady thy laden head across a brook;

Or by a cider-press, with patient look,

Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?

Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—

While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,

And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;

Then in a wailful choir, the small gnats mourn

Among the river sallows, borne aloft

Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;

And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;

Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft

The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,

And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

John Keats

Partnership Working in their words – Rannoch Path Group

As a Ranger it is easy to sell the benefits of volunteering but not often do we hear what the participants have to say.  The Ranger from Highland Perthshire worked with two different groups from Abernethy Ardeonaig Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) residents and the Rannoch Path Group.  As part of their experience to gain the John Muir Award participants were asked to write a few words of their experience…

Week 1

As part of our DofE Gold Residential, we undertook two days of conservation volunteering with Annie from the Rannoch Path Group and Jeannie, the PKC Community Greenspace Ranger. On the first day, we met at the Lassintulloch forest entrance and set off on the path to MacGregor’s Cave.

There was a lot of bracken growing at the sides, so we used bracken bashers to bruise the stems, which weakens the bracken if repeated over a number of years. We also used loppers to cut back some vegetation which was a trip hazard, as well as some overhanging branches by the stepping stones over the burn.

On the second day we cleared the Hillside Path in Kinloch Rannoch, again using bracken bashers and loppers. We also used bow saws to cut back some fallen trees which were across the path, and a scythe for the long grass. We loved using the tools!

The paths are in a beautiful area, and we hope that people will be able to use them walking side by side rather than just in single file.

Andrew, Guy, Michael and Will

Week 2

When we signed up to an Environment & Conservation Residential, I don’t think any of us pictured the following scene: standing in the pouring rain beside a raging (but still beautiful) waterfall. Yet we were there, and we were enjoying it to boot!

Maybe it was down to the company – the group of us who had not met before this week, and since had become the best of friends. Maybe it was down to the instruction – Jeannie, Annie and the Abernethy Team had created an incredible environment in which to work. Yet I suspect it was both of these and more.

The work we were doing felt meaningful. We began by widening a path, then lopping trees, bashing bracken, digging ditches, scooping bark and, in the end, improving the views. Of course, none of this could have been done without a set of awesome (yet dangerous) tools that kept us on our toes!

All was rounded off with a few great surprises – a walker who left a goody-bag for us as thanks for our work greatly boosted morale, the use of a Kelly Kettle for a welcome cuppa and toasted marshmallows created a community atmosphere, and the chance to meet some amazing volunteers made the experience truly excellent, despite the Scottish weather.

James & Ben, on behalf of the rest of the team: Dion, Gianna, Rachel, Kate, Meaghan, Chloe, Bethan, Cecilia & Sophie

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