Crieff High School Group

The Crieff High School group have been out again carrying carrying out practical management of the heathland by removing scrub and saplings from it.

During the session we talked about why Heathland is an important habitat within Scotland in terms of carbon storage and supporting a wide range of species, to find out more information please follow the link: http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-1432.

The group were using tree poppers to remove scrub from the heathland. The tree poppers remove the tree or shrub by the roots meaning it is significantly less likely to regenerate and removes the need to return to areas and continually cut.

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The other benefit of this method is it disrupts the soil and allows new communities of plants to be introduced.

The group talked about the activities they enjoyed from last year and what they didn’t enjoy and this will be incorporated in to John Muir Award.

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MaCrosty Park Lade

On the 6th of September I was set on a journey through to MaCrosty Park in Crieff to help out Alan with the Green Routes to wellbeing. Unfortunately due to the poor weather Green Routes had to be called off.

Despite the weather Alan and I decided to soldier on and started to work on this over grown lade. Although the lade had started to look like more of a jungle than a lade we managed to get quite a lot of work done and managed to get the lade water back to a good flow.

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Although the weather was quite miserable I really enjoyed the day.

The Knock Promoted Path Maintenance

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Before cutting back

Crieff Community Trust Path group were hard at work again. This time on a section of the Knock Promoted Path running along the back of the golf course. The path had become severely overgrown with rhododendron and laurel over the years to where it was only passible in single file.

The group decided to take this on and improve it to make it easier for all access takers.

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Working away cutting back the rhododendron

 

 

They proceeded to hack away at the bushes to original path width leaving the cut material in habitat piles in the open areas next to the path. The next step will be to re-grade the path and take it back to its original width and put some additional path materials down to re-secure the path.

It was a great day and the group had a lot to show for their efforts!

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Finished Section of Path

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.

 

 

 

Green Routes to Wellbeing Round-up

It has been a little while since I have updated about the Green Routes group. There has been a wee bit of change within the group with our NHS support worker Grant leaving and the new support from Occupational Therapy Work Sheila.

The group are grateful that this support is continuing and that NHS recognise the importance of a group such as Green Routes. We have also had a couple of new members to the group and the return of a couple others which is great to see!

The group has also received some funding from the Soroptimists who raised the funds through the local community. The group would like to say thank you for this it will help them with money for clothing and equipment for carrying out their work. The group will be carrying out some maintenance on behalf of the Soroptimists in their raised bed in MacRosty Park.

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Weeding Beds around the Pavillion

The group have been very busy recently we have been carrying out a range of tasks such as weeding the beds around the pavilion in MacRosty, we decided to try and keep on top of the beds this year with some minimal maintenance to keep on top of them although a few of the beds will need some considerable work to bring them back to a good standard.

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Helping with the dome

 

They also helped to finish the main structure of the willow dome started by the school group.

Every second week we have been having a bit more of a laid back time and appreciating some of the wildlife around us as well as carrying out some small maintenance tasks this has included litter picking and drainage clearance down Lady Mary’s walk we managed to spot a range of different wildlife including: Common Sandpiper, Dippers, Pied Wagtail, Goosander and Red Squirrel!

 

 

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

 

 

Consultation on the Knock Management Plan 2018 – 2023

untitledWe have been working hard on our plan to improve the Knock have come up with a Draft Management plans and we want your opinions! We need your help to make the Knock the place the community wants it to be.

To assist with this we will be hosting a walk and talk session on the 12th of February from 13:00 until 14:30 meeting at the upper car park (see map below) of the Knock. We will also be holding a drop in session at Strathearn Community Campus from 15:30- 17:30 on the 12th of February.

This is your opportunity to have your say!

For more information, please contact the Greenspace Ranger – Alan Dorman – through the contact us page.

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Path Maintenance at Bennybeg

This month the Crieff path group were out at Bennybeg, which is a circular all abilities route located in between Muthill and Crieff starting at the Bennybeg plant centre.

It was noticed that the vegetation on the edge of the path had started to creep in so the group wanted to make a start on remediating this and bringing the path back to its original standard.

The group were enthused and we managed 5 volunteers on the day this allowed the group to split in two and head in both directions, the group managed to get approximately 400m of path widened back to the original width which was fantastic for the size of group that we had.

Hopefully this work will ensure that the path remains an all abilities path for years to come.

The Crieff path group meet on the last Saturday of the month.

If you are interested in volunteering with the Crieff Path Group contact Richard Armstrong- richardarmstrong15283@gmail.com for more information.