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- firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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!
The Auchterarder Path Group have been out again on a glorious sunny day.
The group were working on one of the town’s popular paths the Johnny Mathis Walk. They were clearing vegetation growing in and across one of the main drains, clearing two culverts on the walk of leaves and vegetation.
The group worked really hard in difficult conditions due to the heat and also a cleg or two! They managed to clear a huge pile of vegetation from the drain and it will certainly help when the wet weather comes round to make sure the path doesn’t flood.
Due to the heat we did curtail the task slightly – who would of thought in Scotland we would have to call a task early because it was too warm!
This blog is about my Tuesday volunteers! Alistair and Dave, both have been volunteering with the council for several years and they are a real asset to us.
The group works autonomously, allowing me to go and set out instruction, show them what to do, then leave them to carry out the work. They are highly skilled and more than capable of carrying out the work.
Both Dave and Alistair came to the council to build skills and experience whilst looking for employment, And I am delighted that Dave has since found employment with a local landscaping firm.
They enjoy a range of tasks within the park including weeding, vegetation management, water course management and litter picking. They are invaluable to us and carry out work that we just wouldn’t be able to do otherwise.
They are volunteers definitely worth recognition for Volunteer Week, and I would like to thank them for all their efforts within the park.
When you tweet… please tag! #volunteersweek #PKCGreenVolunteers
The Highland Perthshire litter picking “kit” has been out in force this year, bringing together a number of groups and people. It all started in in the winter with Rannoch Path Group tackling a viewpoint and car park, whilst planting a new wildlife hedge!
March saw Deeds for Needs targeting core known areas within Aberfeldy, which was done again in May with pupils from Breadalbane Academy and teachers doing litter picks all over town and on Core paths. Their efforts alone brought in another 20-30 kg of litter. Deeds for Needs were delighted and pleased to see pupils engaging with the issue. The litterpick has been repeated again by the 17th Perthshire Aberfeldy Cubs in May. Grandtully Primary school have issued litter picking as part of their “homework” and Eco-school project.
In Blair Atholl the community and Estate joined forces to clear the litter in the village and the approaching roads in March.
Many communities continue to do regular litter picks such as Pitlochry Litter picking group and at Strathtay and Grandtully. So if you want to join a group near you, please get in touch.
The Crieff High School Group have been busy with a special day carrying out some willow weaving to create the start of a willow dome. They were learnt about the properties of willow and how it is a useful resource for building structures.
Jay and James said “Prior to doing the activity, we had no knowledge or experience of willow weaving, so it was completely new to us.
When we arrived at the site we marked out the circle for the dome with line paint.
Sizing the willow and trimming it.
We then sorted the willow out by size and trimmed it if needed.
Next, we built the frame of the structure by hammering stakes in to the ground which we put the willow in to tying it together so that the arch was stable.
Then we started weaving the willow, we bent it and manipulated it in to the shape we needed and secured it with string
Base Structure taking shape.
We managed to complete the base of the structure.”
A special thanks to Jeannie Grant (Highland Ranger) for coming and showing us and sharing her knowledge.
The group really enjoyed the day and learned a wonderful new skill.
The Primary school pupils of Morrison’s Academy have been in the park recently. They have been completing their JASS volunteer award.
Junior Award Scheme for Schools (JASS) is a progressive learning programme for young people which has been designed to recognise wider achievement. A key aim has been to meet the challenges of the transition from primary to secondary but in practice it can be used at either level as well as with wider age groups in additional support need settings. The objectives of the JASS programme are aligned with the wider learning objectives of the Curriculum for Excellence, The Outdoor Challenge, and the National Curriculum, making it easy to run alongside and incorporate existing curricular activities.
JASS develops the whole individual by offering recognition in four key areas – regular physical activity (Get Active, Stay Active), exploring a personal interest (My Interests), working for the good of the community or the environment (Me and My World) and completing an outdoor activity or challenge (Adventure) and is designed so that participants move through the levelswith increasing commitment, learning, and challenge.
They have been completing the Me and My World section of the award with the Perth and Kinross Ranger Service.
So far we have been weeding around the bandstand and also weeding some of the steps in MacRosty. With fantastic results as seen below (I must get better at getting before photos!).
They are assisting the community and supporting the environment while carrying out these tasks with us.
We have a few weeks together still left and we will be carrying out a range of activities such as weeding flower beds and litter picking; while also learning about the natural environment and it’s importance.
It has been a little while since I have updated about the Green Routes group. There has been a wee bit of change within the group with our NHS support worker Grant leaving and the new support from Occupational Therapy Work Sheila.
The group are grateful that this support is continuing and that NHS recognise the importance of a group such as Green Routes. We have also had a couple of new members to the group and the return of a couple others which is great to see!
The group has also received some funding from the Soroptimists who raised the funds through the local community. The group would like to say thank you for this it will help them with money for clothing and equipment for carrying out their work. The group will be carrying out some maintenance on behalf of the Soroptimists in their raised bed in MacRosty Park.
Weeding Beds around the Pavillion
The group have been very busy recently we have been carrying out a range of tasks such as weeding the beds around the pavilion in MacRosty, we decided to try and keep on top of the beds this year with some minimal maintenance to keep on top of them although a few of the beds will need some considerable work to bring them back to a good standard.
Helping with the dome
They also helped to finish the main structure of the willow dome started by the school group.
Every second week we have been having a bit more of a laid back time and appreciating some of the wildlife around us as well as carrying out some small maintenance tasks this has included litter picking and drainage clearance down Lady Mary’s walk we managed to spot a range of different wildlife including: Common Sandpiper, Dippers, Pied Wagtail, Goosander and Red Squirrel!