The attractive loch-side beaches and surrounding scenic landscapes have drawn visitors to the shores of Loch Earn and St Fillans for many years, particularly on weekends when the weather is good. Unfortunately, not all visitors are responsible when out in the countryside, with large amounts of litter frequently left behind.
Organised by the St Fillans Gardening Group and Community Council, many residents were out last week to collect litter from the shoreline, laybys and paths before a new influx of visitors to the area. A fantastic effort was made to get the area much cleaner for both locals and visitors to enjoy. We absolutely love the area in which we live and welcome visitors from far and wide, but ask that when visiting that you love it like you live here too.
Covid-19 restrictions are regularly changing in response to the virus and, at present, the Rangers are not able to lead volunteer groups on site. However, works on our path networks still needs to be carried out. The Perth & Kinross Council Community Greenspace tool loan scheme in Highland Perthshire is in full swing. The scheme aims to provide the means to carry out small path tasks.
It’s not just our regular volunteer groups that can benefit from this scheme! Also making use of our tools has been the Outdoor Education group at Breadalbane Community Campus, which aims to give every child an experience on a hills, river, snow and opportunities to complete the John Muir Award.
Tools can be loaned out to groups that wish to carry out site management works or other great projects. Our Rangers are putting Covid-19 measures in place providing guidelines for groups and putting in extra sterilising measurers into place. If you or your group would like use of any tools, please contact your local ranger for more information.
I’m Chris Martin (not the Coldplay one) and I will be covering the East Perth and Kinross area.
I have recently moved up from Buckinghamshire, a long way south of the border, to settle in this wonderful part of Scotland and look forward to experiencing all this area has to offer.
I previously worked for the Environment Agency in Hertfordshire and North London. I started my career in the Field Teams and progressed to the Asset Performance Team for the Flood Risk Management department of the organisation. I am excited to apply my knowledge, skills and experience to the role of Greenspace Ranger.
I love and thrive being outdoors. I am passionate about people and the environment and I look forward to working with the communities of Perth and Kinross.
In normal circumstances the PKC Greenspace Rangers are fortunate enough to work closely with many different volunteer and community groups; including leading conservation tasks, helping achieve John Muir Awards, undertaking path maintenance and helping raise funds for larger projects. During the current pandemic and social distancing the rangers have not been able to do many of the projects and tasks that we had planned. So what have the rangers been getting up to?
Some of the normal duties are still possible to continue, such as responding to dangerous trees and access issues, but for the most part we have been working from home. We have used this as an opportunity to catch up on some of the less-exciting paperwork that comes with the job such as writing and updating risk assessments! Other things we have been able to do from home include working on site management plans and keeping in touch with our many wonderful volunteer groups (if you haven’t seen our recent paths group newsletter – check it out here!).
Some new duties have also popped up as a result. At the start of lockdown we put signs up around may of our greenspaces with outdoor access guidance. More recently we have been given the opportunity to help other departments with critical services; delivering food parcels to those needing additional support at this time, and delivering leaflets reaching out to as many people as possible about the different support available to anyone that may need it. If you are resident in Perth & Kinross and require additional support please visit this web-page https://www.pkc.gov.uk/coronavirus/communitysupport.