Conservation Work in the Birks

20160507_11001220160507_11411020160522_150403IMG_6188IMG_6195Perth and Kinross conservation Volunteers had a planned task of Management plan works in the Birks of Aberfeldy.  unfortunately, none of the volunteers were available BUT the work still happened due to Abernethy Ardeonaig “Gappies” joining Jeannie to get the work done.  All involved are completing their John Muir Awards and have written a short article on their experiences. So in their own words;

“On Saturday 7th May and Sunday 22nd May, small groups of Abernethy Ardeonaig staff used the day to volunteer with Jeannie Grant, conserving the Birks of Aberfeldy area. I went on the Sunday. We spent the day next to the bench look-out point on the right hand side of the walkway. Jeannie told us all about how to tell between the different trees, and what ones we would be working with. Our job was to remove the beech trees as they are becoming a dominant species, not allowing other plants to grow. We used a variety of tools including spades, loppers and a bow saw. Everyone split away to different areas and started pulling up the small beech trees, snipping the bigger ones, digging out the roots and some were sawn down.  We additionally learnt how to make a fire in a Kelly kettle base so that it was safe and controlled, using small broken twigs, cotton wool and Vaseline. Once the fire was going we toasted marshmallows, celebrating the work and effort put into the day. By the middle of the afternoon the area looked clearer, and a big difference could be seen. It will take a while to clear the whole Birks area, but every bit of volunteering helps and makes a big impact.”

Jess Newbigging

Farewell Daniele, Hi Dragonfly

Four intrepid, hard-working volunteers and two rangers dug vegetation out of Murthly Pond this week in the name of dragonflies, who like a bit of open water.

It was hard work in the drizzle but rewarding, not least of all because we found a few frogs while we were at it.

This was Daniele Muir’s last task with Perth and Kinross Conservation Volunteers because she has moved on from the council (she was with us as a volunteer this time) to run her own business and work for the Dragonfly Society. We wish her well.

Many volunteers will miss her knowledge and enthusiasm, as will her colleagues.  A fitting tribute was that a member of the public came to speak to us during the task to let us know that they had recently noticed a member of council staff checking the road drains near the pond for amphibians and reptiles. This is part of a nationally acclaimed project to protect these creatures which is one of Daniele’s major legacies.

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Simply strimming!

Crieff Community Trust Paths Group

Crieff Community Trust paths group recently received funding through Community Environment Challenge Fund and have purchased strimmers and relevant health and safety equipment. The group have also received training from Perth and Kinross Council to use the equipment.

The machines will be used by the group to help prevent some local paths becoming overgrown and unpleasant to use. This will hopefully contribute to local people and visitors to Crieff getting out and enjoying the surroundings.

These pictures were taken during the strimmers first outing at Bennybeg, some of the group opted for a more peaceful task of widening the path ensuring it remains suitable for use by mobility scooters and prams / pushchairs.

Crieff Paths (2)

Crieff Paths (1)

Room to Roam in Crieff – thank you volunteers!

A huge thank you to the Crieff Community Greenspace Volunteer group who were out last week widening the surface of a well-used footpath.

Vegetation had grown over the paths edges making it narrower than it used to be.

Crieff Community Greenspace Volunteers group is a run in partnership with the NHS and aims to help people get active outdoors to reap the many health benefits that green spaces have to offer.

Andrew from the group is using this experience to help achieve his Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Crieff Cons Vols (2)

Crieff Cons Vols (1)

Five Years of Green Flag Awards for MacRosty Park – Thank you volunteers!

We are delighted to share the news that MacRosty Park in Crieff has been awarded a Green Flag by Keep Scotland Beautiful for the 5th year in succession.

The park is a truly beautiful place to spent time at any time of year, but it is looking particularly lovely in the summer sun. We know that this is because of the hard work of all the volunteers who give their time to help keep the flower beds blooming marvelous,

Thank you to everyone who has volunteered in MacRosty Park in 2015.

Greenflag 1516

If you would like to volunteer in MacRosty Park please contact Susan Whyte, MacRosty Greenspace Ranger.

email: GreenspaceRangers@pkc.gov.uk or phone (direct dial): 01764 657776

Partnership working to keep our paths clear.

For a few years now there has been a partnership approach between Rannoch Path Group and Ardeonaig Centre to work on the paths in the Rannoch and Tummel area.  The Greenspace Ranger has joined this partnership, by providing tools, expertise and resfreshments.  This has enabled a number of paths in the Rannoch and Tummel area to recieve annual maintenance and improvements over the last three years.

Part of the John Muir Award and their Duke of Ediburgh Gold we asked the participants of Ardeonaig to write a short article on the works they have completed in the area.  They have been quoted saying “Rannoch was great”.  Their summary of what they have done and learnt is as follows;

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

Abernethy Ardeonaig Environment & Conservation DofE Gold Residential

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PKC Conservation Volunteers tackle Himalayan Balsam in Crieff

Greenspace Ranger Richard Armstrong will be leading our Conservation Volunteer task at Lady Mary’s Walk in Crieff, tomorrow – Saturday 4th July. Volunteers will be removing invasive non-native Himalayan Balsam.

If you are joining us for this task, please remember to bring plenty of water and dress appropriately for the task and the weather.

himalayan_balsam_a

 * * * UPDATE  07/07/15 * * *
A big thank you to the volunteers who braved the heavy rain on Saturday morning to come out and help clear Lady Mary’s Walk of Himalayan Balsam. Greenspace Ranger Richard Armstrong said  “the task really needed done, so we had to go ahead with it whatever the weather threw at us… and although the weather was quite miserable for the first half of the session, it improved and was actually quite pleasant later in the day and everyone enjoyed it.”