Provost Walk Maintenance

The Auchterarder Sports and Recreation Path Group have been going from strength to strength with almost a full year worth of tasks now under their belt.

The group were out on the Provost walk again this time starting from the primrose park end and managing the vegetation going along phase two of the walk. We noticed that there was some Himalayan balsam coming from the stream but unfortunately all the seeds had already popped on this. This will be something the group will tackle next year as it is only a small amount and easily manageable.

The group split in to two smaller groups with one group focusing on strimming the edges and the other group cutting back any woody plants or branches along the length.

A special thank you to Bear Scotland who have been very supportive of the group and were able to provide some willing volunteers!

The next focus for the group will be to get out on the paths and figure out what is needing to be done over the next 6 months looking at the wider network above and beyond the improved footpaths.

If you are interested in joining the group on one of the tasks please contact Alan Dorman-




Glen Tarken Loop with the St Fillans Path Group


Group installing stepping stones

I got to visit the beautiful Loch Earn the other week to assist our St Fillans path group on the Glen Tarken Loop there are a couple of fords on the route and one of them is particularly challenging to cross at times.

The group decided they wanted to try and assist walkers using the path by creating an “option” of stepping stones that people could choose to use if they couldn’t get across any other way.

The task involved manoeuvring some boulders and getting them flat and stable with no movement at all, also ensuring that the river can still flow effectively. It is a little experimental and there is no guarantee the stones won’t just get washed away in the first storm but it is worth a try.


View from Glen Tarken over Loch Earn

The group are going to keep an eye on the stones and monitor for movement and also make sure they aren’t too slippy. If they become to slippy we will remove them.




The Knock Promoted Path Maintenance


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.


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!


Finished Section of Path

No slowing down for BRAN!

As Autumn takes over and the growing season is slowing down . Bran are still hard at it with Ally Donald out on three evenings strimming  Kirklands Path and Cargill’s Way.

BRAN had another party out on Saturday 30th, once again tidying up areas of Davie Park and particularly the Loon Braes. This was very much a follow on from the work done two weeks previously. Davie Park was litter picked and areas around the seats on Loon Braes were cut back to provide views of the pond etc.

On this occasion four volunteers carried out the work, Bob Ellis, David Stanghon, Ally Donald and Ian Richards. The group noted that many of the other seats had views of the park and the pond completely obscured by bushes and trees. Too much work on the day but the group will tackle the issue over the winter and into next season.
BRAN is always happy to welcome new recruits; the work is usually varied and people of all abilities are able to do their bit in helping to keep our paths in good order. Please contact the secretary if interested in joining., 01250 871122, 07787 317022

BRAN 30 (3)
Photo- Bran member’s enjoying the view after clearing the area on the Loon Braes!

BRAN – work party update

The Cateran Yomp will be held next month and a couple of sections of the trail had been identified by Bob Ellis as requiring attention so this week BRAN organised the first of two working groups that would be required to fix the issues.


Equipped with strimmer, loppers, bow saws and spades, seven volunteers assembled at Woodhill across the river from Ballintuim on Friday the 12th. Working west along the Cateran Trail for several hundred meters the group cut back side and overhead growth and undertook ditching work, improving flow in existing ditches and cutting a new cross ditch. Stones were also laid across the path in a couple of poorly drained places.

BRAN would like to express its thanks to James Donald who cut the path from West Gormack Farm to the old bothy during the week.


This group photo, taken on the 12th, shows from the LHS:  Helen and David Stanghon, Roger Mackey, Cyril Reid, Bob Ellis and Ian Cruickshank.

Anyone interested in joining the BRAN volunteers should contact the secretary, Ian Richards., 07787 317022 or 01250 871122.

Pitlochry Junior Ranger Scheme

Ranger Services from throughout Highland Perthshire, including the National Trust and the Cairngorms National park help to deliver the Junior Ranger Scheme annually at Pitlochry High School. In its third year PKC Greenspace Rangers were invited to get involved.

To date the Group has joined me (Jeannie Grant, Highland Greenspace Ranger) to help complete the planned PKC Forest Plan works and footpath maintenance in the Pitlochry Area.

While taking part in the Junior Ranger Scheme pupils also complete their John Muir Conserve Award. One of the remits of this is that participants share their experiences. I requested that the participants write a short article on their experiences.

So in their own words;

Sycamore clearing day Saturday 5th Dec from Hannah

On Saturday 5th December, four of us (Ellie, Cameron, Callum and I) and some of the S4’s travelled to Black Spout woods with Jeannie & Mr Kearney to clear sycamore saplings and trees. Sycamore is a dominating species that easily spreads, taking over parts of the woods. It can be identified by its green buds – not to be confused with ash that has black buds – and our job was to get rid of them. We snipped the tiny sycamore trees with loppers and bow-sawed the bigger ones. Some really large trees we had to use the bird’s mouth technique which is where you cut into the trunk diagonally & then horizontally to remove a chunk. You then cut horizontally across from the other side and the tree will fall in the direction the chunk was removed.

At lunch we toasted marshmallows on the Kelly kettle and also tried out the four person emergency tent which is basically a large waterproof sheet that you pull down over the top of you, then pull in the edges and sit on them. It was actually surprisingly warm inside.

After lunch we continued clearing.

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Rhododendron clearing day sat 14th November from Cameron

On Saturday 14th November 2015 the Pitlochry high school junior rangers went to the lower slopes of Ben Y Vrackie to cut down rhododendrons that were invading the majority of the path so we had to cut a lot down. When we were doing the task we had to count the people who walking up the hill to see how much money should be spent on repairing the path.

We went up to the rhododendrons. We then started to cut them down. We all had areas each while Jeannie and Mr Kearney took the branches that we cut down to habitat piles. Habitat piles are piles of branches where little animals and bugs can live as it naturally decomposes.

We had lunch and some hot chocolate from Jeannie’s Kelly Kettle.

After lunch we went back to finish off the job. There were overhanging branches up the path so a couple of us went and got them as the others completed the rhododendrons and made the path neat. We all had a great day and all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Author: Jeannie Grant