John Muir Awards and Training

holly in the hollow

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.


Planning for ‘Dirty Weekenders’

This weekend we have the Dirty Weekender Conservation Volunteers from Edinburgh University coming to East Perthshire to help clean up the pond in Loon Braes (Davie Park), Rattray.

We are very much looking forward to welcoming the conservation students back to Perthshire (see here to read about their previous efforts) and today CG were out planning for their visit.

Come back next week to find out how the group got on… and check out the Dirty Weekend blog to read about the groups other activities!

Alistair 2

Alistair in the Wrong Trousers…


‘There is a bike in here!’

June in the Coupar Angus Community Gardens

June has been a huge month for growing and other activities down in the gardens – We’ve had some very busy Wednesday night volunteer sessions, started our Sunday nights “bring and shares” and have hosted several skill-shares in the gardens, with new people coming to learn bush-craft, painting and soon to come – making things with pallets!

All Skill-shares offered for FREE of charge!

As schools break up next week – we also hope to see plenty of kids and families down at the gardens and have lots of events where they are invited to join! Not least our family fun art day on the 13th August – where we will have a fun, messy, arty, outdoorsy afternoon planned with local artists Cat and Wayne.

But the cream on the cake this month, has to have been our new community shop, which has opened at number 2 High Street, (the old Meg’s Cafe).  This shop is a wonderful outlet for our excess garden produce and a brilliant place to find local, seasonal veg at a low price, while also show casing some wonderful artwork for local crafts people.   We hope to see you there!

We welcome all people of Coupar Angus into the community gardens – they are a lovely place to stop for a rest when out walking, exploring or adventuring with the children and we believe they are a vital part of Coupar Angus’s commitment to a lower carbon future and food independence in our region.

Come and Join us on Saturday 13th August for some FREE Family Art Fun at the Caddam Road, Community Garden with local artists Cat and Wayne. We will be painting a large colourful “Save the Planet” mural for the garden site, creating some eco banners/flags, painting some slate pictures to take home and generally having some messy eco themed fun. Children should be accompanied by parents or guardians and come in messy, “doesn’t matter if they get dirty clothes”.  Event starts at 1pm till 4pm.  To book please text 07833938536

Dates for you diary at the Caddam Road Community Garden.

The next free Skill-Share event will be “Pallets, Making & Breaking” Thursday 14th July 3pm – 5pm

Free Skill-Share event “Spindle Spinning” Thursday 28th July 3pm – 5pm

Free Skill-Share event “Learning to Dye Wool with Plants” Friday 26th August 5pm – 7pm

Free Skill-Share event “Introduction to Permaculture” Saturday 13th August 10am – 1pm, (Nether Larghan, Coupar Angus)

JOIN US FOR “Bring and Share Sundays” 3pm – 7pm Sunday 31st July

For more information contact Sharon on 07833938536