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.

 

 

Year of Young People with Morrisons Academy!

We had some fantastic assistance from 50 S6 pupils  from Morrison’s Academy in Crieff recently. Originally the group were to be split across 4 sites including Lady Mary’s, MacRosty Park, The Knock and James Square with Crieff in Leaf.

Storm Hector, however, had other ideas! Due to the wind we had to curtail the day slightly and move everyone to MacRosty Park and James Square. The advantage of this was the group was able to go and tidy up and branches blown off trees from the storm within the park quickly.

The group focused on three separate areas within the park:

Maker:S,Date:2017-12-20,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

Group one weeding up at the Comrie Road

Group 1 was helping to weed the border of the park adjacent to Comrie Road. They worked hard and got over half of it completed.

Group 2 were working on the flower beds down the steps to the bottom of the park and also the hard surfaces of the steps as well. Which look fantastic now after all their hard work.

Group 3 were finishing off some of the lade management that was required. They completed that task and hopefully that will keep the lade flowing without fault for the foreseeable future!

20180601_094657

The Lade after some work was carried out.

Group 4 were in James Square supporting Crieff in Leaf to manage some of the hard surfaces removing the weeds from there and also from the beds.

All of these activities had a huge benefit to the community and keep our greenspaces looking amazing.

A special thanks go out to the S6 pupils for their efforts in supporting their local community.

 

 

 

3. VOLUNTEERING FOR ALL – Tuesday MacRosty Volunteers

Volunteer and GS van (16)

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

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

 

Green Routes to Wellbeing Round-up

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.

20180419_133203

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.

20180322_145534

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!

 

 

The MacRosty Maintenance Gang

cropped-cropped-cropped-p615113221.jpg

Recently we have been working with Crieff High School to get some of the pupils out in to the park and learning and developing new skills in the outdoors. The tasks have ranged from weeding of the flower beds and maintenance of the hard surfaces, to cutting back vegetation from the footpaths and tidying up around the pavillion

This week the group have been raking the wildflower areas that were cut by PKC grounds maintenance squad (which is appreciated greatly). The group managed to get one whole area raked off which is brilliant!

There were some issues with dog fouling and the group are going to look at how we can make people aware that the wildflower area is maintained and that try and encourage people to collect their dog mess in the future.

The group are looking a building there skills and may look to do some rural skills in the new year.  They are also going to look at some new and exciting projects in the future.

 

 

 

 

6th Green Flag for MacRosty Park

 

We are delighted to announce that MacRosty Park in Crieff has been awarded a Green Flag for a 6th year!

Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham MSP, has welcomed the announcement which saw 70 successful parks being celebrated as 2016 award winners

Ms Cunningham visited MacRosty Park in Crieff today (Thursday 21 July) to celebrate it receiving the award for the sixth year running. Members of the Friends of MacRosty Park, Green Routes to Wellbeing and Perth and Kinross Council were on hand to celebrate how their hard work has helped to shape and improve this significant local space.

Councillor Michael Williamson, vice-convener of the Environment Committee of Perth & Kinross Council, said:

We are delighted that MacRosty Park has been awarded its sixth Green Flag Award by Keep Scotland Beautiful. It is an important public space in the heart of Crieff, and has proved invaluable as a venue for events and educational activities for the local community. Quality green spaces such as this are an important natural resource and bring great enjoyment to residents and visitors alike.

image1

All parks are assessed by volunteer judges with a background in parks management, conservation or ecology. Applicants are judged against testing criteria which includes assessing whether the park or green space is welcoming, safe, well-maintained and secure.

I would like to add a personal thank you from me (Ros) to everyone who helps in the park, in particular in the build up to the green flag assessment and celebration.  We got muddy, got wet (and sunburned) and hopefully we had fun regardless.  This would not have been possible without the support and enthusiasm of the volunteers and the Friends of MacRosty Park (past and present) and we are all incredibly grateful for their commitment.

 

MacRosty Park Volunteer Plantings (III)

Our brilliant volunteer group “Green Routes to Wellbeing” were busy in MacRosty Park last week getting our summer bedding into the flower beds at the Pavilion Café.  We hope that you agree that the volunteers new t-shirts look top-notch and the flower beds look brighter and more beautiful than ever!

If you would like to get involved with volunteering in MacRosty Park, or you would like more information about Green Routes to Wellbeing please contact Richard Armstrong (Greenspace Ranger) here