Kids Week in Crieff 2019

This summer Kids Week in Crieff begins on Sunday 14th July with Gala Day. KWIC then includes a variety of activities and events through five consecutive days of activities timetabled from Monday 15th to Friday 19th July 2019. KWIC is aimed at all ages of kids (from tots to teens) and is an all-inclusive, intergenerational, week-long event held in various venues throughout Crieff.

Several events will be taking place in MacRosty Park, including the Fairy Walk throughout the week and the Gala Day on Friday the 19th July. Visit the Kids Week in Crieff website or the KWIC Facebook page for more details. Event timetables are available in many stores in Crieff as well as the Pavillion Café and Strathearn Community Campus.

The MacRosty Maintenance Gang


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.





Branston/PKCV/Stagecoach/SSE Bonanza

Four tasks, four lots of volunteers, three sites and too many numbers being listed here in one blog. Not exactly poetry, whereas the quote from one of our Stagecoach volunteers was pure poetry: “Cinnamon swirl at eleven fifty-seven.” It wasn’t relevant to the task but it was poetry. And it showed the contrast between the rationed pleasures of office routine and the enjoyment of getting out there into the wider world.

On Wednesday, 3rd June, volunteers from Branston Potatoes Ltd, Abernethy were joined for the day by two PKCV volunteers. They used “slashers” cut back the encroaching vegetation of over a kilometre of path on St Magdalene’s Hill. This will keep the paths clear enough to allow people to walk along them without getting brushed with wet vegetation, or feeling that they are stuck in a “tunnel effect.” The saw a red squirrel, explored the old powder store and met a blue tit fledgling along the way.

On Friday 5th June Stagecoach staff picked up two bin liners worth of litter from Moncreiffe Island and taught Fergus how to play word games with film titles. This hidden gem of a place, sitting in the middle of the Tay, opposite Tay Street, is a beauty spot again. They found wild garlic and sweet Cecily to try the scent of as well as tasting nettles on their island getaway.

On Friday 12th June SSE completed two tasks on St Magdalene’s hill. The first was to clear a stretch of the right of way from Hilton Wood, (above Craigie, on the way to Calla Fountain) and then in the afternoon to build protective lattices or cages of brushwood over precious oak seedlings to protect them from browsing roe deer. They tasted pignut (no wild boars were harmed in this exercise – it’s a plant) and tried nettles too. They were also treated to catching sight of a great tit visiting a nest box and, a first for Fergus in Perth, a red kite soaring over the top of the hill.

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Tree cage clearing in Black Spout Woods

Last Friday (29th May) some of the conservation volunteers went to Black Spout woods near Pitlochry to help Greenspace Ranger Jeannie to clear out some tree cages. The wood is a semi-natural oak woodland which was managed as an oak coppice and is an easy walk from the town centre on pavements, or via the Edradour Path. There have been several trees planted over the last 5 years, including Hazel, Birch and Scots Pine.

Most of these trees were planted in cages or tree tubes to prevent them being eaten by deer or rabbits. The task today was to remove any overgrown vegetation from within these cages that may have a negative impact on the growth of the planted trees, as well as releasing trees that had outgrown their tree tubes.

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There was a huge difference made in some of the cages. In some cases it was difficult to tell there was still a tree in the Scots Pine cages before they were cleared, but they now stand a much better chance after removing the encroaching plants. Around 10 to 15 birch trees were also freed from their tubes now they are big enough to avoid grazing by deer.

To find out about volunteering opportunities in Black Spout Woods contact:
Jeannie Grant
Community Greenspace Ranger
Breadalbane Community Campus, Crieff Road, Aberfeldy, PH15 2DU
Tel – 01887 822 425
Mobile – 07788 190 876

Volunteering at Loon Braes, Rattray.

There has been a hub of activity at Loon Braes in Rattray over the past few weeks. As well as our usual monthly ‘Loon Braes Task Force’ meetings, we have been lucky to have the support of The Conservation Volunteers and Strathmore Centre for Youth Development (SCYD) to help us keep the park looking beautiful for both wildlife and people.

Over the past few weeks we have worked with various volunteers to plant new trees in the wildlife hedge and to weed around the hedge to make way for some wildflower plugs, which will be planted next week. We have also made a hibernaculum, which is a safe place for amphibians and reptiles to hibernate over winter time. And today we removed lots of Rosebay willowherb from the fruit trees and night-scented flowers that we planted to help the park’s bats by attracting moths (moths are a tasty bat-snack).

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If you would like to help out then please do join us! The Loon Braes Task Force meets on the first Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at the Pavilion. We will provide tools, gloves and any training needed. Thursday is our day with The Conservation Volunteers, meeting at the Pavilion at 10.30 am, finishing about 3pm (though you only need stay as long as you like). Again, tools and gloves are provided, along with tea, coffee and biscuits. Please wear old clothes and sturdy shoes and bring waterproofs. If staying for the day, please bring a packed lunch. Have fun, get fit, meet some like-minded people and help your local wildlife and greenspaces!

Birnam Balsam Initiative

Today we have a guest post from a local conservation volunteer group based in the Dunkeld & Birnam area:


This is the third year we have been involved in removing H. Balsam in the Birnam/Dunkeld area. With the cooperation of landowners, our operations have been centred on the Birnam Oak woodland but have involved outcrops 800m or more upstream and downstream.


Our group is currently seven strong, but we would like to see more people involved more regularly and extend our operation to take in areas further up the Tay valley. Pulling balsam in the Birnam Dunkeld area is underway again and there is no doubt that it is starting to have an effect.

Heavy balsam growth around the Birnam Oak

Heavy balsam growth around the Birnam Oak

Slashing thick growth at mouth of the River Braan

Slashing thick growth at mouth of the River Braan

The alien plant population is certainly on the decrease, but there is much more to be done. Hopefully we will extend operations as far as the Dalguise and Balinluig areas this year, and there is hope that our Sustrans connection will see people pulling balsam in the Perth area as well. Some of us are out every day so there is every chance that we can fit in with your own availability.

 Contact and have a chat if you are interested:

Bill Melville

01350 727048


Further paths works & volunteering in Pitlochry and Aberfeldy

Aberfeldy Tree Trail

Whilst doing the Explorer John Muir Award with the Community Greenspace Ranger, the volunteers have been helping to record the condition of the trees along the Tree Trail in the Birks of Aberfeldy.  The Tree Trail was designed and planted by the Matterson Family (Cluny Gardens) in the early 1960’s.

Birks of Aberfeldy PathsTo date the group has concentrated in maintaining the multiuser path width and removal of competition species to those in the tree trail.  However, over the past two weeks we have been looking at the condition of the trees.  They have been using a variety of information from maps drawn in the 1990’s to records of what trees were given plaques in 2011.  The group is thinking of ways how to collate all the historical data onto one spreadsheet or map.  This has the potential to be developed into a project towards schoolwork or higher education qualification. If interested please contact the Ranger as below.

Pitlochry Path Group start upgrading with SSE funding 

Pitlochry Path Group have been busy filling in application forms for Pitlochry Path upgrades.  They have been successful in gaining a £10000 grant from SSE.  The money will be spent on making a multiuser path from the Pitlochry Dam to the shore of Loch Faskally, new fencing and the group are repairing Lady Dell section of the path.

Today’s task was building up the path at Lady Dell using sandbags and type one materials.  The group split into smaller teams and production lines were created to fill sand bags, laying the bags, back filling and compacting the materials.  Work has not been completed and if you feel like joining in why not contact the Ranger to find out more!

Jeannie Grant
Community Greenspace Ranger
Breadalbane Community Campus, Crieff Road, Aberfeldy, PH15 2DU
Tel – 01887 822 425
Mobile – 07788 190 876

Have you volunteered recently?

Would you like to help us with some volunteering?

We have been involved in a great number of tasks around Perth and Kinross; from improving ponds for amphibian life in Blairgowrie to the removal of invasive plant species on countryside sites, such as the Knock of Crieff and Kinnoull Hill.


Task on Kinnoull Hill was enjoyable, even in the rain!

We have a number of tasks coming up that we would love for you to join us on.

  • 29th May – we will be visiting the Black Spout Woods at Pitlochry to clear out tree cages with Greenspace Ranger Jeannie Grant
  • 3rd June – we will be doing vegetation maintenance on St Magdalene’s Hill, Perth, with Greenspace Ranger Fergus Cook.
  • 15th June – removal of invasive, non-native plant, Himalayan Balsam at the Loon Braes in Rattray with Greenspace Ranger Daniele Muir
  • 4th July – more removal of Himalayan Balsam, but at Lady Mary’s walk with Greenspace Ranger Richard Armstrong

There may also be tasks involving protection of Oak trees on St Magdalene’s Hill and clearing bracken on the Knock of Crieff – TBC

You can be kept up to date with volunteer tasks in your area by looking at our Upcoming Events page.

If you would like to volunteer see our volunteers page or email

So what are you waiting for? Come join us for our next volunteering event!


It’s starting to seem a lot like summer!

As the days are heating up, insects and birds are starting to return after hiding or migrating for winter.

Well garden 6

This Peacock Butterfly was seen at the well at Scotlandwell in Kinross-shire. Have you seen any where you live? What else have you seen? Let us know in the comments or the share page!

Well garden 4

Some colour appearing at the well!