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.

New Green Routes to Wellbeing Perth Group Starting

A new Green Routes to Wellbeing Groups is starting in Perth on 5th September 2018 and everyone is welcome to join. The group will be working to improve St Magdalene’s Hill by clearing paths, thinning trees and removing litter. No previous outdoor experience is required and all tools, gloves, tea and biscuits are provided for you. Come and feel the benefits of spending time in the outdoors learning new skills.

Screenshot poster

We will meet at the same location each session, in the car park at St Magdalene’s Hill. The car park is accessed from the corner of Glendevon Road and Glenlochay Road.

For more information or to let us know you are coming, please contact Joanna Dick by emailing JoannaDick@pkc.gov.uk or phoning 01738 475 377.

 

 

 

 

Path Group Training event.

Community Greenspace recently organised a training day for path group volunteers at St Magdalene’s Hill Perth. Peter our trainer from PKC provided training in the safe use of strimmers, leaf blower and introduced the flail (with full training to be provide at a future date)

We support a number of path groups throughout Perth and Kinross. Providing training, insurance and advice to help communities maintain and improve the network of paths around the region.

Please contact us at communitygreenspace@pkc.gov.uk  should you wish to set up a paths group or require more info.

20180726_102820

 

Crieff High School Skills Group End of Year!

IMG-20180619-WA0007

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

 

 

Far reaching Rangers!

In  Perth and Kinross there are a total of two full time rangers and three part time rangers covering an area of 5,286 km, the fifth largest area covered by a Council in Scotland.

Although every ranger service is unique, throughout Scotland we all have some common aims which are to engage with people of all ages and encourage all to use green spaces.

In Perth and Kinross we are taking the lead in working with community groups, in particular path groups, health and well being and dementia groups.  Our work also contributes to the Scottish wide statistics as shown on the poster below.

.facebook_1527100448533

If you are interested in finding out more about the work we do or want to volunteer in one of the many groups please do get in touch.

What is in the woods?

Mysterious little doorways and shelters, small enough for faeries or a “peg person” tocof child size have been appearing in the woods….. in the Birks of Aberfeldy.  This has been

 

partly due to the increase use by Breadalbane Primary School.  This has been done through outdoor education sessions.

 

PKC Community Greenspace Ranger Service has been supporting a number of groups to complete both the John Muir Awards and Patrick Geddes Awards by introducing them to the woodland and its history and providing conservation tasks, all in line with the woodland management plan.

Other groups such as the Aberfeldy Beaver Scouts are also using this resource.  There will be many more that we do not even know about!

cof

This has seen an increase of den building by all user groups. This has unfortunately lead to habitat piles being taken apart for this educational exercise and just for fun.  The Ranger Service will therefore be trialing adopt a habitat pile and a designated area for den building and would love to hear what the users of the Birks think of this.

 

Crieff High School Group Willow Weaving

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.

IMG-20180424-WA0001

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

IMG-20180424-WA0013

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.

 

 

Morrison’s Academy Primary School JASS award in MacRosty Park

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 levels with 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.

Capture

 

Salmon in the Classroom 2018

The Atlantic salmon or ‘King of Fish’ is both the largest and best known fish that lives in Scotland’s rivers. Dunning and Royal Dunkeld Primary Schools had the opportunity to get up close by looking after 100 salmon eggs in their classrooms as part of the Salmon in the Classroom project run by the Tay District Salmon Fishery Board and Greenspace Rangers.

100 orange pea-sized eggs were delivered to the classroom with an introduction to the wondrous life cycle of Atlantic salmon. The salmon eggs were kept in a tank in a small fridge at a temperature before 5oc. Once the eggs hatch they are known as alveins and have an attached yolk sac that feeds them for 30 days.

The alvein were then released into nearby burns where they will start feeding themselves and grow into parr. We then studied the burn measuring width, depth, temperature and rate of flow using very scientific objects – oranges and ping pong balls!

salmon 1The schools also enjoyed trips to the Tay District Salmon Fishery Board hatchery to see trays and trays of eggs as well as adult fish and learn about how the fish are protected by River Bailiffs.

20180316_103131

The school will return to the burns in June with the River Bailiffs to see young salmon using electrofishing. A big thanks to the Tay District Salmon Fishery Board staff for all their help.

20180316_102421

More information about these amazing and declining fish can be found on the Atlantic Salmon Trust website -http://www.atlanticsalmontrust.org/

Crieff High School Group January Round up

IMG-20180123-WA0006

Group doing drainage at Lady Mary’s

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

IMG-20180130-WA0003

Group working on the broom up the Knock

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!