New Block of Green Routes to Wellbeing in Perth

A new 6 week block of Green Routes to Wellbeing started last week clearing gorse and broom from the summit. Join us tomorrow at 10am for unlimited tea, coffee and chocolate biscuits while making St Magdalene’s Hill better for people and wildlife.

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Dryside Road

Over the last couple of months the Portmoak Paths Group amd Portmoak Community Council have been working hard to maintain the historical “Dryside Road” core path that runs from Easter Balgedie, behind Wester Balgedie to GlenLomond, after which it continues as a vehicular route. The path is well known to some of the locals, but has never benefitted from proper signage. For their last meeting of the year, Ranger Calum met with the group on the 13th December to install new signage posts at either end of the path, as well as another at the start of the core path to Glenvale.

Some of the group standing by their work

We used a new signage design, one of the first to be used for the core paths in Perth and Kinross, and incorporated it into the new posts. Compared to the finger posts and large arrow blades used elsewhere, these new designs are smaller and mounted directly onto a shorter fence post. This allows easier installation and maintenance, as well as reducing the risk of signs being hit by large vehicles driving past – especially important to consider when placing signs at the entrance to farms! From a walker or cyclists perspective, the signs are at a better height for being read, and they are less intrusive on the landscape.

The newly-fitted core path signage

Moving forward, there are plans to further improve the path by installing a new gate and cutting back vegetation where the path has overgrown.

Pond Spring Clean Under Way

Work started this week to clear out the pond in Scone Park. Over the last couple of years, the vegetation has grown and joined the island to the land. Vegetation is being removed from the pond to reinstate the island that makes it safer for the ducks and swans during nesting time. It will also create more surface area of water that will benefit the swans and ducks that make call it home. Work should be completed by early next week. Watch this space for updates….

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Litter is also being removed and so far 6 footballs have been collected and couting!

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Tis the Season To Love Trees

Have you put your Christmas tree up yet? Trees make a huge contribution to our environment, our health and our economy as well as a centrepiece of Christmas. Forestry Commission Scotland has created a short video entitled ‘There’s more to Scotland’s forests than meets the eye’ that is well worth a watch. So sit back, relax and enjoy this video with a mince pie.

If, over the festive period you would like a break from Christmas T.V, Scotland’s Native Woodlands is an excellent short film presented by naturalist Nick Baker.

And these are informative too:

Native pinewoods – http://youtu.be/I6AaNp-5VN0
Upland birchwoods – http://youtu.be/jGzkh6X9ENk
Upland oakwoods – http://youtu.be/WV2LjVxObzM
Lowland mixed deciduous woodland – http://youtu.be/zNauIovTjCw

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Flailing in Portmoak

On 22nd November we went out to meet the Portmoak Path Group, bringing along our “flail” – essentially a large grass cutter capable of cutting long and thick undergrowth. We were cutting the vegetation and grass along a 600m length of core path between Kinnesswood and Portmoak Moss, before it gets too overgrown. Despite a bit of rain, the flail made short work of the cutting while some volunteers used machetes to remove some bracken on the path edge.

The Portmoak Paths Group meets almost every week to maintain a variety of paths in the Kinnesswood/Baldegie area. If you would like to be involved, or to be put in contact with the group please contact Ranger Calum at cbachell@pkc.gov.uk

Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Its that time of the year again with Christmas just around the corner decorations should be appearing around the street. Another thing that will be appearing in living room windows will be the all important Christmas tree, covered top to bottom in lights, baubles and tinsel.Image result for cartoon christmas tree

Its almost strange to think that the idea of a Christmas tree was actually around before the advents of Christianity, as the ancient Egyptians used to celebrate the winter solstice by bringing green palm rushes into their homes which symbolizes the triumph of life over death. Skip forward to the 16th century in Germany when the first use of the  Christmas tree occurs. It happened when devout Christians took decorated trees into their homes.

If you have decided to have a real tree with roots this year and want it to last through the holidays then here’s how to look after the tree. First of all you should water your tree regularly and you can also cover the top soil with mulch or reindeer moss to prevent water evaporating and you could also empty trays of ice cubes onto the soil to prevent the water pooling. Only limit your tree’s time inside to ten day stretches as trees are at their happiest at cool temperatures and bright outdoor light. Leave the tree in the container you bought it in to avoid disturbing the roots as you do not want to combine transplanting shock with taking the tree indoors. A tip if you do not like the container your tree came in then you can drop it into a larger glazed ceramic pot or metal bucket which can also catch excess water.

 

 

 

Scottish Invasive Species Initative

Invasive Species are a tricky thing in Tayside. There is a multitude of different invasive species and they all come with different challenges. It is very difficult to conquer these without a catchment wide approach and large amount of parties working together to tackle it.

Invasive species alter our natural environment, they out-compete other native species and dominate areas, creating habitats which don’t provide the diversity our wildlife need to sustain themselves and their populations.

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Himalayan Balsam – An Invasive Species

The Scottish Invasive Species Initiative was covered on BBC Landward recently. This is a project funded over the next 3 years to tackle invasive species within several areas including Tayside.

There are training and volunteering opportunities within it find out more information here:  https://www.invasivespecies.scot/about-us.

These are great skills to develop for those who are part of the groups we support or lead and also for those looking to get involved in the land management sector.

 

 

Craigie Community Woodland Coppicing

South Perth Greenspace Group volunteer in Greenspaces owned by the Council and other landowners including Dupplin Estate. The rain didn’t dampen the sprits of eight enthusiastic volunteers who coppiced an area of Craigie Community Wood 24th November .

Coppicing is the traditional rural skill of cutting small trees to encourage more small stems to grow back. This adds diversity to the woodland by creating more variety of tree ages and the new stems are favoured as bird nesting sites.

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Traditionally, most broadleaf trees were coppiced to provide wood for a long list of household items such as furniture and broom handles. All the branches cut on Saturday will be used to create traditional fencing and the cut stumps will produce new shoots in the spring. The area was fenced by the Tay Landscape Partnership to prevent rabbit and deer nibbling on the tasty fresh shoots.

Thank you to South Perth Greenspace Group for all their hard work and to Torquil Varity for his coppicing expertise and advice.

South Perth Greenspace Group meet every month on the first Tuesday at 7.30pm in the Glenearn Community Campus and new faces are always very welcome.

Badger the Collie was a great help while coppicing!

Funding Alert December 2018

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Click here to download the Funding Alert.

Welcome to the December edition of the Funding Alert. Please click the link above to download the Alert in PDF format.

Of particular note this month is the deadline for Common Good Fund applications which is 20 December.

The Community Planning Partnership has a Facebook page!

Like Perth & Kinross Community Planning Partnership on Facebook to keep up to date with the work of the partnership.

 

Drainage ditch clearing with PSYV

In order to keep the paths on our countryside sites in good condition we need to prevent too much water from the undergrowth from flowing onto the path. Of course, it is never possible to keep the path completely dry, so the path is usually shaped to ensure that water is able to run off the path rather than puddling. An important method for this is to have drainage ditches on some of the wetter parts of the paths to allow water to run away from, and underneath, the paths. At this time of year, once all the leaves have come off the trees, it isn’t unusual to find that drains suddenly become clogged – more so if the drains haven’t been cleared for a couple of years.  

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We were recently joined by the Police Scotland Youth Volunteers (PSYV) to undertake some work on the drainage ditches on Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park to maintain the high quality paths. Despite a bit of rain, the 13 volunteers worked along a stretch of the pathway on the western side of Kinnoull Hill. While in the area we took the opportunity to remove some of the younger beech trees, in keeping with our long-term plan of encouraging the regeneration of native oak, birch and pines trees.

PSYVLogoThe PSYV did a fantastic job, both at clearing the ditches and removing surrounding vegetation and beech. Although the ditches hadn’t quite reached the stage of being fully clogged up the difference before and after was still quite significant, and now the ditches should be good for a couple more years. To find out more about the PSYV visit their website or check them out on their Facebook page.

For more information about volunteering with community greenspace in your area, please contact communitygreenspace@pkc.gov.uk or call 01738 475000.