On 22nd November we went out to meet the Portmoak Path Group, bringing along our “flail” – essentially a large grass cutter capable of cutting long and thick undergrowth. We were cutting the vegetation and grass along a 600m length of core path between Kinnesswood and Portmoak Moss, before it gets too overgrown. Despite a bit of rain, the flail made short work of the cutting while some volunteers used machetes to remove some bracken on the path edge.
Andrew from the group tackling the path edge
Reminding ourselves which button does what…
The freshly cut path – ready to be walked!
Calum taking the flail for a spin
The Portmoak Paths Group meets almost every week to maintain a variety of paths in the Kinnesswood/Baldegie area. If you would like to be involved, or to be put in contact with the group please contact Ranger Calum at firstname.lastname@example.org
On Thursday I met with some members of the Portmoak Paths Group to find out a bit about the work they are doing. We went to the paths on the hillside above Kinnesswood with the intention of de-berming some of the paths. Sharing the paths with the many walkers, joggers and cyclists are also some cattle. The intensive use of these paths combined with the heavy footfall of the cattle has resulted in trench-like paths with banks on either side. This creates small gulleys in which streams are formed after any rainfall, further eroding the paths.
Removing the banked sides of the paths and filling in the trenches had the effect of widening the paths and allowing water to flow off rather than along it. The result should be a reduced rate of erosion, less standing water (and therefore less mud) and paths that are easier to walk along.
In addition to the levelling out of paths the group also remove encroaching gorse and brush, cut back vegetation and carry out maintenance on a variety of paths in the area. There is always more to be done, as the path maintenance is an on-going but rewarding effort.
If you would like to join the Portmoak Paths Group, they would love to hear from you! They tend to meet every Thursday at 14.00 in the public car park in Kinnesswood (near to Portmoak Primary School). To get involved contact Greenspace Ranger Calum Bachell at email@example.com
Auchterarder Sports and Recreation held an event a Primrose Park recently which celebrated their hard work and efforts in fundraising and creating phase 2 of the Provost Walk footpath. To date the path has had £595,000 with in excess of £500,000 pounds needed to upgrade phase 3 – the most ambitious phase yet.
There was a very good turn out with support from lots of different organisations providing different experiences and showing how they supported the project in different ways from Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust who supported the group in fundraising and delivery, to funders such as Sustrans, local councillors and also the contractor who delivered the works . There were some fantastic bikes t supported those with support needs as well electric bikes. The electric bikes are free to hire for Auchterarder residents at Synergy Cycles in the town which is a great resource for a local community to have.
Julia and Jane who are co-chairs of the group deservedly opened this phase of the path as it has taken a huge amount of their time and effort for it to come to fruition.
It is great to see communities being celebrated for their hard work and here is looking forward to the completion of Phase 3!
One of the volunteers we support has been nominated as Paths for All Path Group Volunteer of the Year.
David is a member of the Crieff Community Trust Path Group and also regular out with our Crieff Green Routes Group
“I just love being outdoors with nature – and seeing how I’m helping to breathe life back into the land and paths in the local area just spurs me on. Five years ago, I retired from the Forestry Commission and moved to Crieff. I’m really chuffed to be nominated for the award and as a ‘newbie’ up here, I really feel as though I have been accepted. When I moved to Crieff the newly formed path group were looking for volunteers and I hoped that with my forestry background spanning some years, I might be of some use.”
Dave is so valuable in the volunteering he does in the Crieff area and we are thrilled that Dave has been nominated for this award. Good luck!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org should you wish to set up a paths group or require more info.
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!
Ally Donald was once and again out and about with the mower keeping our path network in good order during weekday evenings, the current run of dry weather has slowed down the growth a bit but the grass & weeds still need attention.
The long planned Cuttle Burn Steps project has now been actioned with work starting at 3.00pm on Friday 1st, a group of very hard-working volunteers working well into the evening. The same group minus one were again toiling in the heat early on the morning of the 2nd. By the early afternoon the majority of the work had been completed, the only remaining job being to install a hand rail on the new section of steps.
For anyone who is familiar with the Cuttle Burn Steps the section beneath the top flight of steps becomes hazardous in wet or icy conditions. The new stepped section of over 20mtrs now allows walkers to negotiate the section in safety and has completely eliminated the slippery part.
The path that takes walkers along the gorge from the Oakbank Road to Lornty Road is a lovely short walk and also acts a short cut from the top of town down to the riverside. Already very popular, BRAN now hopes that even more people will be encouraged to use it.
The BRAN team consisted of Kristin Barrett, Nina Bell, Grahame Mustard, Ally Donald and Bob Ellis on both days with Roger Mackey on the first day. Conditions underfoot couldn’t have been better but the heat and humidity was energy sapping. The five did a great job!
More projects are planned on the Knockie and on a near section of the Cateran Trail at East Gormack
Although BRAN is very well supported by its volunteer group it will always welcome new folk, if you are interested in helping please contact the secretary, Ian Richards. Ian_richards2007@yahoo.com, 01250 871122 0r 07787 317022
Blairgowrie and Rattray Access Network maintain the core path network surrounding Blairgowrie. The group have over 30 fantastic volunteers who help with various tasks from cutting back, strimming, litter picking and a whole range of other tasks which BRAN lend their hand to.
One committed volunteer is Ally Donald. Even though Ally works full time and volunteers with a number of groups, he still finds the time to cut grass on several evenings a week, keeping the path network accessible. One such path is the 8 mile River Ericht path which is a mix between field edges and riverside paths. Ally is often seen on his trusty mower cutting the path and chatting to passers-by. He is full of enthusiasm and his nickname in the group is ‘Q’ for Quartermaster.
Ally also helps fundraise for tools and equipment. Recently co-ordinating the groups charity shop in May and organising a Fun Run along the river Ericht path.
If you would like to volunteer with BRAN. Please email group secretary Ian Richards on email@example.com
When you tweet… please tag! #volunteersweek #PKCGreenVolunteers
Community Greenspace recently partnered with a range of organisations to upgrade and improve the footpath around Guildtown Park. Over the years the path had become overgrown and waterlogged making it difficult for the local school and community to use the path.
The task was to remove weeds and resurface with type 1 stone and quarry dust. This was achieved by a group of young volunteers from the Princes Trust who worked hard learning footpath building techniques, tool use and how to safely operate machinery.
We would also like to thank the keen volunteer’s from the Guildtown community who gave up there Saturday to come along and complete the task. By the time the task was complete over 400 metres of footpath had been upgraded and 30 tons of material moved.
After the huge success of their first task. The Auchterarder Core Paths Group decided to build on that momentum and hold a task to replant some trees, carry out a litter pick and clear the french drain.
The group had an amazing amount of volunteers turn up, with 14 on the day (a special thanks goes out to four helpers from BEAR Scotland). This meant that the tree planting was made light work of.
The group were planting some hawthorn and blackthorn that had been kindly donated by the Rotary Club.
They then picked up 9 bags of rubbish with even an old bicycle being found! Thank you to the community waste team for the loan of the litter pickers for this section.
Finally we started cutting some self seeded trees and removing grass from the French drain, although this didn’t quite get finished in the task so will be revisited at the next one!
Phase 2 of the Provost walk is progressing nicely and will hopefully be open in the coming weeks!
If you are interested in volunteering with the Auchterarder Core Paths Group then please contact Alan Dorman – Greenspace Ranger at 01738 475000 or firstname.lastname@example.org