At Green Routes to Wellbeing Perth we have been up at St Mags hill working our socks off to battle back the wall of goarse and broom so that whoever has decided to walk to the summit can experience the best view available. Another advantage of doing this is that it gives other trees a chance to grow as when the quantity of broom and goarse is that bad it can dominate saplings putting them in the shade not giving them a chance to grow.
The Green Routes to Wellbeing group in Crieff have been doing a range of activities going from planting bulbs to reinstalling a core path sign. The first session of this year for the first part planting daffodil bulbs at the side of the lade then because we managed to race through all the bulbs we restored a tree cage.
The next week we found a sign that was looking a bit worse for wear as it was completely broken at the bottom so the group got to work using spades and a pinch bar to create a new hole for the sign then put the sign along with a mix of smaller stones, big stones and soil and packed it in with the pinch bar to make sure it was as solid as possible. With the job that they done I think its safe to say that sign isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. After this there was still some time left so we cleared a few ditches to make sure the water was not restricted by leaves whilst going through drains.
Recently a family of beavers have moved into a area at the Lady Marys walk so the task was to walk this path and to keep an eye out for any beaver damage. The day for this was perfect as the sun was in the sky and there wasn’t a cloud in sight combined with the great scenery you experience when you walk Lady Marys.
February & March divides the UK into potential spring down south, and still winter up north. Its tempting to try and get a head start on the season as the day lengthen but be patient! A warm spell can be followed by freezing weather or flood. Spend time removing dead growth and generally clipping back for the season.
As for what you should do for growing vegetables here’s what to do.
- Chit seed potatoes as soon as you have them.
- From mid February onwards sow tomato and cucumber seeds for greenhouse growing
- Plant out garlic and shallots in light soils only
- if you have light soil and live in a mild part of the UK, you can sow Broad beans, carrots, parsnips, early beetroot, salad onions, lettuces, radish, spinach and summer cabbages outside under cloches
- Peas can be sown in old(but clean) guttering that has had drainage holes drilled in it
- Plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers
- Buy new potting compost (peat free and organic) for this year’s sowing and growing. Last year’s product shouldn’t be used as it deteriorates over winter.
- Spread the old stuff over the garden, or use it as top dressing on the lawn.
- Start sowing hardy annual flower seeds in cleaned pots/trays under cover.
- Choose plants that will attract beneficial insects into your organic garden.
- Seed trays and pots should be clean; Potting compost should be fresh; Watering should be from below, and be clean tap water; Keep watering to a minimum; Seedlings must have plenty of light and ventilation, and not be too sown too thickly
- If a frost is forecast, be sure to protect any tender plants.
What is coppicing you ask? Coppicing is a woodland management technique that involves repeatedly felling trees at the base ,then allowing them to regrow, then providing suitable timber. This technique reigns supreme over replanting as the trees roots have already developed so this means the branches growth would be much quicker and less chance of browsing and shading.
But what can coppicing do for the environment? As trees already shed their branches to extend their lifespan this good be a great way to simulate this to the life of the tree. It also increases woodland biodiversity as more light will be able to reach the ground allowing other species to grow. These species will usually be food for butterflies and other insects which means that they can be eaten by birds and bats etc. It can actually provide habitat as well, is there anything it can’t do…
On the 6th of September I was set on a journey through to MaCrosty Park in Crieff to help out Alan with the Green Routes to wellbeing. Unfortunately due to the poor weather Green Routes had to be called off.
Despite the weather Alan and I decided to soldier on and started to work on this over grown lade. Although the lade had started to look like more of a jungle than a lade we managed to get quite a lot of work done and managed to get the lade water back to a good flow.
Although the weather was quite miserable I really enjoyed the day.
Hi I’m Cara. I have been with the Community Greenspace Team since January as a Modern Apprentice. I am also studying part-time for a degree in Geography and Environmental Science and have a keen interest in the outdoors.
While working with the team I will be completing a Business and Administration Modern Apprenticeship, and mainly working on Park Events and Football. I am also keen to be involved with the community and helping the Greenspace Rangers.
So far I have processed many event applications, all happening in parks throughout Perth and Kinross, I have been involved in site meetings and have had the opportunity to drive an electric car!
I have also been out of the office and helped the greenspace rangers and volunteer groups, by putting posters up, updating signs and tree planting.
I am looking forward to working with the team more and gaining valuable skills and knowledge of Greenspaces throughout Perth and Kinross.