All Ability Play Area – MacRosty (20th April)

The Friends of MacRosty Park are delighted to announce the opening of the All Ability Play Area on 20th April.  Please visit their website to find out more.

friendsofmacrostypark.wordpress.com/2019/04/09/all-ability-play-open-day/

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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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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!

Tayside Ponds Project – Volunteer days

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As part of the Tayside Ponds Project, we have three pond volunteer days and an amphibian-ladder making workshop programmed throughout September, October and November.

Ponds need regular management to keep on top of the growth of vegetation – most of them are gradually infilling with greater reedmace, soft rush and other fast-growing plants – so we need to prevent these encroaching on the areas of open water that amphibians use for breeding.

The amphibian-ladder making workshop will involve putting together ladders to go in gullypots, which can act as pitfall traps and end up drowning lots of wildlife.

The details are as follows:

    • September 29th – Perfect Ponds Day at Craighall pond near Blairgowrie
    • October 13th – Perfect Ponds Day at Elm Drive pond in Blairgowrie
    • November 3rd – Amphibian ladder making workshop and gullypot survey training day, Murthly village hall (and local sites)
    • November 18th – Perfect Ponds Day at Kinclaven Rd pond, Murthly

We will meet at 10am and finish by 3pm. Refreshments will be provided but please bring a packed lunch and wear warm clothes, wellies and waterproofs if you have them. We will have some waterproofs available for borrowing.

Please contact me for more details and to let me know if would like to come along so I know how many tools to bring.

We will also be planting native wildflowers to improve the habitat for a variety of wildlife.

More info will be on the Tayside Amphibian and Reptile Group Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TaysideAmphibiansReptileGroup/

Daniele Muir

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Rattray Fun with Nature event.

Community Greenspace recently attended the family fun with nature event at Rattray primary school. The event was used to promote the fantastic parks and open spaces which are in the area. In particular the Loon Braes which is less than five minutes walk form the event. Greenspace Rangers Alistair and Joanna had a range of activities on offer including pond dipping with mini-beasts from the Loon Braes pond, scavenger hunts plus animal mask making. Over 130 adults and children visited the stall and the rangers were able to engage and explain the importance of our greenspaces for both wildlife and recreation.

The event was run in conjunction with community learning and included a visit from the wild about Scotland bus and visitors enjoyed a free nature themed lunch.

Crieff High John Muir Award

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Knock of Crieff

Crieff High were recently out with Alan and Jeannie  participating in Conservation activities to achieve their John Muir Discovery award. Here is them describing their award.

12 young people from S4 Crieff High School took part in the John Muir Award and we did a variety of activates like team building, rock climbing and conservation work.

They provided the following statement to Alan for use on this Blog.

“On the first day we went up the Knock to complete team building exercises like walking with ski’s and bat and moth.

We also went orienteering up and around the knock. We then went to the bush craft area and had a campfire in the fire pit, we ate marshmallows and sausages.

On the Wednesday we went climbing and abseiling at Bennybeg which was very fun but it started to rain halfway through the day which made it very hard to abseil on the slippery rocks.

Thursday we went to Loch Monzievaird. We walked all the way around the Loch looking at different types of stuff like different types of trees and trees that beavers chewed on. We also looked at nature’s pallet.

On Friday we did Conservation work on the Knock and we took out beach trees from the ground because it is not a native tree and when it grows it will block out the sun and the native plants will not grow, we did the conservation in different places up the Knock.”

John Muir Awards and Training

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The PKC Ranger Service is able to support groups, or individuals, that wish to use Perth and Kinross Council owned greenspace sites to achieve a John Muir Award.

The John Muir Award is an environmental award scheme that encourages people to discover and explore an area of greenspace, and then take practical action to conserve this area. The final part of the award is to share your experiences with other people. The award is the educational programme of the John Muir Trust. They are the UK’s leading wild land conservation charity, inspired by the legacy of John Muir.

 

 

With a number of new rangers joining the greenspace team, it was recommended to do the formal training lead by a John Muir Trust member of staff.  We were fortunate to use Breadalbane Community Campus and opened the days training to PKC teaching staff and other ranger services in the area.

During the course the group learned about the award structure is being versatile making it suitable for a wide audience. It can be carried out in an array of greenspace from gardens to mountains. There are three different levels for the award, discovery, explorer and conserver levels.

  • The discovery award is the introductory level which requires the participant to carry out a minimum of 4 days working on a project.
  • The intermediate level is the explorer award which requires participants to carry out a minimum of 8 days.
  • The advanced level is the conserver award where a minimum of 20 days over a period of 6 months is required.

The day crammed in a lot of information including writing up a proposal form and trying out a number of resources the John Muir Trust had to offer.

The award can be done on its own or to complement other awards such as Duke of Edinburgh or the Junior Ranger scheme and the Rangers are keen to do this.

If you would like to discuss a John Muir Award project, PKC Ranger Service can be contacted here

loitering in the woods  subtle sign of natureoutside warm-up

Our JMA Poem – Various Participants

Standing in the cold,

Deep roots take a hold,

Cracked, mossy bark,

Lichens have left their mark,

What are you?

 

 

Autumn Family Fun Days

A partnership between Community Greenspace, Live Active, Adult and Family Learning and Perth and Kinross Culture – Library services has seen the planning and delivery of two Family Fun Days held at Breadalbane Community Campus.

Funding was established by the Adult and Family worker Jinty Smart, lead to lunches and refreshments being supplied by Tayside Contracts. The days were split into hour slots and all partners provided their time and services for free, which enabled the Fun Days to be accessible for all.

The first day had 21 people booked on with a total of 45 (all ages) participating. The second ended up being full with (49 bookings) with over a week to go!

A hidden landscape.

Autumn is a great time of year to get outside and explore our Greenspaces. One of our best Autumn walks is through the Den o Alyth.

The Den is divided by the Alyth burn, which winds its way through the site exposing Red Sandstone outcrops of rock . The woodland is mixed with native trees and the not so native Beech Tree which dominates the landscape at this time of year with its copper leaves.
Did you know:-

  • The area is a haven for wildlife including Otters, Red Squirrels and Salmon.
  • Alyth den has been wooded for several thousand years.
  • The area is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to the diverse forest habitat.
  • Den o Alyth was gifted to the people of Alyth in the 1950’s and is now managed by Perth and Kinross council.