Further works to improve the Provost Walk in Auchterarder are well underway, continuing the incredible work that has already been done to improve this path network.
Meanwhile the Auchterarder Core Paths Working Group have been incredibly busy on the Jubilee walk, public park and surrounding paths through organised tidy-up sessions – even in the torrential rain!
“We still managed to tidy some of the Provost with our new tools today! We were soon warm after a brushing work out. Followed by bramble pruning and a quick litter pick. Primroses are flowering well now! Coffee n biscuits at the finish were well received. Thank you Jane.”
Once the ground had defrosted in mid-February the Crieff Green Routes to Wellbeing group were able to start work on re-edging the paths around MacRosty Park. This turned out to be quite physical work. Using lawn-edgers we could cut the turf and soil back to where the new edge was to go, making sure to keep relatively neat lines. Using hoes, we could scrape the cut turf off the tarmac paths and sweep it into piles. The large amount of cut soil was then shovelled into wheel barrows, and many barrow loads were carted away. In places the grass had grown over the path by over half a foot on each side – meaning that once we had finished there was an addition foot of path to walk on! We are hoping to continue this good work over the next few weeks, targeting the areas where the paths have really been taken over.
Over the last couple of months the Portmoak Paths Group amd Portmoak Community Council have been working hard to maintain the historical “Dryside Road” core path that runs from Easter Balgedie, behind Wester Balgedie to GlenLomond, after which it continues as a vehicular route. The path is well known to some of the locals, but has never benefitted from proper signage. For their last meeting of the year, Ranger Calum met with the group on the 13th December to install new signage posts at either end of the path, as well as another at the start of the core path to Glenvale.
We used a new signage design, one of the first to be used for the core paths in Perth and Kinross, and incorporated it into the new posts. Compared to the finger posts and large arrow blades used elsewhere, these new designs are smaller and mounted directly onto a shorter fence post. This allows easier installation and maintenance, as well as reducing the risk of signs being hit by large vehicles driving past – especially important to consider when placing signs at the entrance to farms! From a walker or cyclists perspective, the signs are at a better height for being read, and they are less intrusive on the landscape.
Moving forward, there are plans to further improve the path by installing a new gate and cutting back vegetation where the path has overgrown.
On the 25th of October I went out to Pitlochry to help Jeannie out with the Pitlochry Path group. The day got off to a good start as I arrived in Pitlochry and I noticed that the group were very hard workers. The task the group were doing was repairing a path just past the train station.
On the train ride home I was treated to some beautiful views with all the trees turning into really nice reds and oranges and a few mesmerizing streams. When I got back to Perth I went to a Modern Apprentice meeting about how to behave on social media.
Blairgowrie and Rattray Access Network (BRAN) continue to work in partnership to maintain and enhance the path network surrounding Blairgowrie and East Perthshire. Its been a busy summer for BRAN with tasks such as grass cutting, strimming and cutting back which all helps to keep the path network open and accessible.
BRAN members recently met on 16th November to litter pick at the Riverside between Keithbank Mill and Brooklin Mill. Many more projects are planned over the winter months including the creation of a viewpoint and path improvements at the top of the Knockie path.
BRAN are always looking for new members and should you wish to come along please contact Ian Richards secretary- firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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!