Please go have a look at what the Crieff Green Routes Group have been doing recently at their blog here
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.
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!
To read about what the Green Routes group have been up to recently head over to their blog page.
It has come to the end of the year for the Crieff High School Skills Group.
They have learned a huge amount over the year and have came on hugely in their development.
From Himalayan Balsam and Bracken Bashing, to path maintenance and drainage(seen above) they have covered a huge amount of activities in their time.
Here is how they feel the year has went:
“Before starting to go out with Alan, the Greenspace Ranger, we didn’t really take part in any physical activity in school.
In the beginning it was pretty hard work, especially learning about all the different tools but it has got easier and more enjoyable as the term went on.”
Jay said, “I really enjoy the freedom of going out. My favourite activity is bracken bashing because you get to use a slasher and you can really see the difference.”
James said,” I don’t enjoy school so going out is a great escape. My favourite thing to do is digging the ditches for the drainage because it’s fun and it’s great to see the water flowing once it’s clear.”
“We have learnt lots of skills throughout the time, from cleaning the tools correctly to make sure they fit to use, to recognising non-native species and weeds.
It is great to visit different places around Crieff too, we go to Lady Mary’s Walk, MacRosty Park and up the Knock so get to see different landscapes.”
The contribution of the group to their community has been invaluable and we have been really impressed with their progression over the year. We hope to maintain the group going in to the next school year and support more young people to learn new skills and developing the young workforce of the future.
Recently PKC have been producing a draft management plan for the Knock of Crieff.
This management plan will be looking at the infrastructure across the site and how we can improve it for the local community.
We will also integrate the Forest Plan within the new Management Plan. Interested parties were invited directly and the walk was advertised in the local area.
The walk and talk was a success with several groups represented and able to give their opinions and comments on the draft proposals which are now being fed in to create a second draft which will go to wider online consultation in the coming weeks.
We talked about items such as proposals for improving the two car parks, inclusion of an all abilities path, improving the views from the summit of the knock and providing some more informal seating around the site.
Thank you to those who came along to our walk and talk your input has been invaluable!
The school group have been busy since the start of the year.
The winter weather looked like it was going to snow the group off but the pupils were given the option and decided they would still like to go out! So we headed to the park to carry out some tool maintenance. The group have been learning about all the different tools and how to maintain them, they are now so skilled they tell me how its maintained! The weather did progressively get worse so we did curtail the task as pupils started to get a little blue!
Fortunately the following week the weather was a little better and we headed down to Lady Mary’s Walk and the group worked really hard on the
drainage (just in time for all the snow melt and rain that we had!). They really enjoyed this task and even asked if they can do it again which is really positive. Ensuring the drains are clear prevent the risk of the paths flooding so its important that we keep them flowing.
Finally this week the group were up the knock carrying out some of the broom management as part of the forest management plan. We were using tree poppers which are a useful tool that remove trees and shrubs from the roots. This is a task the group had done before so they are well versed in it and put in a great effort to finish off the section that we hard started before. Removing the broom is important as it acts like an invasive, takes over and out-competes other vegetation such as trees.
The group are going to be looking at some more drainage work, some path maintenance work and some willow weaving soon!
We have been working hard on our plan to improve the Knock have come up with a Draft Management plans and we want your opinions! We need your help to make the Knock the place the community wants it to be.
To assist with this we will be hosting a walk and talk session on the 12th of February from 13:00 until 14:30 meeting at the upper car park (see map below) of the Knock. We will also be holding a drop in session at Strathearn Community Campus from 15:30- 17:30 on the 12th of February.
This is your opportunity to have your say!
For more information, please contact the Greenspace Ranger – Alan Dorman – through the contact us page.
Every Tuesday a group come out from Crieff High School to help manage the woodland and park sites around the town. Whilst the group find the school environment a struggle they thrive in practical and outdoor activities. They are learning and developing skills that hopefully will assist them in getting in to training and eventually a career in the future.
Recently the group were up the Knock carrying out some heathland management. Using loppers and saws the group were cutting any saplings or scrub that was developing within the heathland.
The reason that we remove the saplings is because if we didn’t we would lose the heathland as it would turn in to woodland eventually. Heathland is a Biodiveristy Action plan priority habitat and supports a wide range of wildlife such as the earth ball seen in the picture to the left that the group discovered while carrying out the task.
By carrying out the brilliant work that the group do, they are learning about different habitats, the importance of those habitats and why sometimes we need to prevent natural succession to protect them and also about the wildlife within those habitats. They are also assisting Community Greenspace achieve objectives and helping to keep the sites maintained.
I have recently had the opportunity to work with pupils from our local school who are working towards their John Muir Award
The group have taken part in activities from kayaking, to rock climbing and they are now entering the conservation phase of their Award.
To aid this I took the group to the Knock in Crieff to carry out some bracken bashing and heathland management. During the day the group learned that it was important to control the bracken on the Knock as it shrouds out new tree growth and also prevents ground flora. On their second visit they learned about the heathland – a priority habitat for biodiversity as there is so little left in the United Kingdom.
Both days included ‘citizen science’ to measure the air quality of the site which was then fed in to a national recording scheme through the Open Air Laboratories (https://www.opalexplorenature.org/surveys).
If you have a group who are carrying out the John Muir Award and are looking for some support please contact your local Greenspace Ranger