Junior Rangers from Pitlochry High School recently gave up their Saturday to help tidy up the pond in the Beatrix Potter Garden in Birnam. The pond had become chocked with weed, litter and mud which was restricting the look of the pond and the habitat on offer.
Using waterproofs and waiders the group made fast work of this dirty but rewarding task.
This task is just one of many which are run by local ranger services throughout the year working with many partners, which allows the pupils to get enough experience to gain both the Junior Ranger award and the John Muir award.
Next month we will back out working on the Birnam hill path.
Junior Rangers from Pitlochry High school recently spent the day working on the Dunkled footpath network. Improving and maintaining the steps at the summit of Birnam Hill.
After an hours walk with tools and equipment the Junior Rangers were tasked to dig out and use locally collected stone to fill in the steps. This involved working as a team to move the stone in buckets to the work site up the hill.
Nomination forms are out now for the Dunkeld Volunteer Celebration which takes place on 7th June 2018. The celebration is a great opportunity to nominate volunteer’s and groups from the communities of Dunkled, Birnam, Trochry, Inver, Dalguise, Murthly, Caputh, Spittalfeild and Butterstone.
It is hoped the celebration will showcase the valuable contribution volunteers make to the local community.
If you know of any local volunteers or groups who deserve recognition, please nominate them on the attached form.
Despite extremes of weather from cold and windy to wonderfully warm and sunny within a week, we have made good progress on planting our summer and autumn crops. The tatties went in a few weeks ago but no sign yet of any growth. Thousands of onions have been planted and are growing well, but need a little love and attention to keep them growing through the fabric which is covering them to prevent weeds from spreading. Leeks are doing well in the polytunnel and will be planted out soon. Spinach, beans, peas are all being planted out and the Kitchen Garden is looking good with garlic coming on strongly.
The asparagus plot we planted last year for cultivation from 2017/2018 does not seem to be doing very well but we will keep an eye on it.
All this would not have been achieved without the sterling work carried out by all our volunteers and if you are interested come along to the field any Thursday, Saturday or Sunday morning from 10am and join in.
In addition we intend to start selling again in mid July so will have teams of people harvesting, preparing crops for selling, taking down to the stalls on a Tuesday at Birnam Arts and on a Saturday at the Duchess Anne in Dunkeld. We will start organising this during June so if you are interested see contact information below.
Finally a date for your diary is our Annual Summerfest on Sunday 4th September at the field.
Today we have a guest post from a local conservation volunteer group based in the Dunkeld & Birnam area:
This is the third year we have been involved in removing H. Balsam in the Birnam/Dunkeld area. With the cooperation of landowners, our operations have been centred on the Birnam Oak woodland but have involved outcrops 800m or more upstream and downstream.
Our group is currently seven strong, but we would like to see more people involved more regularly and extend our operation to take in areas further up the Tay valley. Pulling balsam in the Birnam Dunkeld area is underway again and there is no doubt that it is starting to have an effect.
Heavy balsam growth around the Birnam Oak
Slashing thick growth at mouth of the River Braan
The alien plant population is certainly on the decrease, but there is much more to be done. Hopefully we will extend operations as far as the Dalguise and Balinluig areas this year, and there is hope that our Sustrans connection will see people pulling balsam in the Perth area as well. Some of us are out every day so there is every chance that we can fit in with your own availability.