6th Green Flag for MacRosty Park

 

We are delighted to announce that MacRosty Park in Crieff has been awarded a Green Flag for a 6th year!

Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham MSP, has welcomed the announcement which saw 70 successful parks being celebrated as 2016 award winners

Ms Cunningham visited MacRosty Park in Crieff today (Thursday 21 July) to celebrate it receiving the award for the sixth year running. Members of the Friends of MacRosty Park, Green Routes to Wellbeing and Perth and Kinross Council were on hand to celebrate how their hard work has helped to shape and improve this significant local space.

Councillor Michael Williamson, vice-convener of the Environment Committee of Perth & Kinross Council, said:

We are delighted that MacRosty Park has been awarded its sixth Green Flag Award by Keep Scotland Beautiful. It is an important public space in the heart of Crieff, and has proved invaluable as a venue for events and educational activities for the local community. Quality green spaces such as this are an important natural resource and bring great enjoyment to residents and visitors alike.

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All parks are assessed by volunteer judges with a background in parks management, conservation or ecology. Applicants are judged against testing criteria which includes assessing whether the park or green space is welcoming, safe, well-maintained and secure.

I would like to add a personal thank you from me (Ros) to everyone who helps in the park, in particular in the build up to the green flag assessment and celebration.  We got muddy, got wet (and sunburned) and hopefully we had fun regardless.  This would not have been possible without the support and enthusiasm of the volunteers and the Friends of MacRosty Park (past and present) and we are all incredibly grateful for their commitment.

 

MacRosty Park Volunteer Plantings (III)

Our brilliant volunteer group “Green Routes to Wellbeing” were busy in MacRosty Park last week getting our summer bedding into the flower beds at the Pavilion Café.  We hope that you agree that the volunteers new t-shirts look top-notch and the flower beds look brighter and more beautiful than ever!

If you would like to get involved with volunteering in MacRosty Park, or you would like more information about Green Routes to Wellbeing please contact Richard Armstrong (Greenspace Ranger) here

Conservation Work in the Birks

20160507_11001220160507_11411020160522_150403IMG_6188IMG_6195Perth and Kinross conservation Volunteers had a planned task of Management plan works in the Birks of Aberfeldy.  unfortunately, none of the volunteers were available BUT the work still happened due to Abernethy Ardeonaig “Gappies” joining Jeannie to get the work done.  All involved are completing their John Muir Awards and have written a short article on their experiences. So in their own words;

“On Saturday 7th May and Sunday 22nd May, small groups of Abernethy Ardeonaig staff used the day to volunteer with Jeannie Grant, conserving the Birks of Aberfeldy area. I went on the Sunday. We spent the day next to the bench look-out point on the right hand side of the walkway. Jeannie told us all about how to tell between the different trees, and what ones we would be working with. Our job was to remove the beech trees as they are becoming a dominant species, not allowing other plants to grow. We used a variety of tools including spades, loppers and a bow saw. Everyone split away to different areas and started pulling up the small beech trees, snipping the bigger ones, digging out the roots and some were sawn down.  We additionally learnt how to make a fire in a Kelly kettle base so that it was safe and controlled, using small broken twigs, cotton wool and Vaseline. Once the fire was going we toasted marshmallows, celebrating the work and effort put into the day. By the middle of the afternoon the area looked clearer, and a big difference could be seen. It will take a while to clear the whole Birks area, but every bit of volunteering helps and makes a big impact.”

Jess Newbigging

Atholl Estate Open day

A little out of  the ordinary day was had by the Highland Ranger, Jeannie!  She attended the Atholl Estates Day but NOT as a participant but working with Atholl Estate Ranger Service.  The object was to deliver the Scottish Outdoor Access Code in a fun and memorable manner!  It was a tried and tested game created by the Atholl Estate Ranger Service.  The game was split into seven areas, each with a challenge and a multiple choice question at the end!

What surprised both the new seasonal Ranger and Jeannie was the lack of understanding with regards to dogs and young livestock and how to climb over a gate properly!  The code is very clear that you should not enter an enclosed field where there are young livestock with a dog.  As for getting over the gate, always go at the hinge end, as it is the strongest section of the gate and doesn’t cause damage to the gate.

Lessons were learned and fun was had…. just look at the score board so many teams got 7/7 :)

 

 

Another Path!

The Pitlochry Path Group have spent two sessions improving the access road into the Black Spout Wood in Pitlochry for walkers and vehicles alike.  Since this work has not been carried out for a number of years it was a hard task.  With the un-likelihood of anybody else picking up the yearly maintenance required the group have decided to add this onto their rolling work programme.  Doing it on a yearly basis will make it more manageable.

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As the group take care of more and more tasks in the Pitlochry area, they are in need of community support via new volunteers and finances!  Anybody interested should contact the group via pitlochrypath@gmail.com.  Help can come in many forms and not just physical labour…

MacRosty Park Volunteer Plantings (the story so far…)

I wanted to share some photographs of our wonderful volunteers in MacRosty Park who braved the torrential rain on Thursday 19th May to help Community Greenspace and the Friends of MacRosty Park gap-up the roadside beds and the Tea Garden.

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Don’t forget you can join us on Saturday 21st May, 10.30-2.30pm to further titivate the park… Volunteering Opportunity – MacRosty Park, 19 & 21 May 2016

The Recycle Challenge

The Zero Waste Highland Perthshire Officer and the Bike Station in Perth have set a challenge to the Highland Area Ranger to recycle tyres from bicycles! Not the inner tubes but the actual tyre! In return a large amount of inner tubes from bicycles will be provided to put up bird boxes in two parks (Pitlochry recreation ground and Memorial Park in Blair Atholl).

With the challenge set, Jeannie decided to use the tyres cut up in sections as hinges of the bird boxes made at the Gala Day at Pitlochry recreation ground and at the Cairngorm Park Nature Festival weekend in Blair Atholl. Road bike tyres worked fine but mountain bike tyres were too chunky! So with half of the challenge completed the thinking cap needs to go on how mountain bike tyres can be recycled!

If gloves could talk!

IMG_5973Rangers work with a large number of volunteers. To protect the hands they are provided with gloves. These do not stay clean for long! So they need to be washed before they walk or solidify into a hard mess.

But how do you wash and dry working gloves! The best way to clean them is non biological powder and air dry them! Easy! It is keeping the pairs that is the difficult bit!

So if you want to volunteer be rest assured that you are being provided with clean gloves and there is always a cuppa and biscuit to! So why not join one of the many planned conservation and path management task in Perthshire?!

Wild Fox

Posted by Monty, Greenspace Ranger

Being a Greenspace Ranger doesn’t mean that you meet with wildlife every day, but there’s always the off-chance that if you keep your senses aware and your eyes open, you might just get lucky.

Here’s a lovely dog-fox I caught on camera yesterday near Maryburgh, south of Kinross.

wild fox

As he came across the field towards me, I stood perfectly still. I happened to be downwind of him, with my back to the sun, so he wouldn’t have seen me standing there.  He came right across the field in front of me and after I’d taken a couple of photos, I made a deliberate noise to watch his reaction.  He stopped and sniffed the air, though I doubt he could smell anything unusual.  Nevertheless he turned and trotted unhurriedly back across the way he came.  As he passed under the fence at the other side I happened to notice another large fox, perhaps the vixen, too far now for my poor camera skills.

Saying that, I captured this lovely view of Loch Leven with Vane hill just right of centre, around about the same time yesterday.

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Looking towards Vane Hill

 

World Ranger Day – Celebrating and Remembering Rangers Worldwide

The 31st July is World Ranger Day and it is a time for us and for the world to cast our eyes and reflect on the many aspects of ranger work throughout the world.In the past 12 months, 52 Park Rangers have lost their lives in the line of duty (global statistic).  Many die due to accidents; more were killed at the hands of poachers and militia.  Today we take the opportunity to honour and remember them.

We will also take the opportunity to celebrate the bravery, tenacity and dedication of those rangers who give their all in the service of nature, including our six fantastic Greenspace Rangers here in Perth and Kinross.

Our Greenspace Rangers regularly patrol our sites, looking after the environment that you, your family, friends and many, many tourists enjoy.  Our rangers help to maintain our parks, open spaces and our woodlands ensuring that they are safe and enjoyable places for you to your spend time.   Our rangers regularly work with volunteers, schools, Scouts and more, on tasks such as beech pulling, ditch clearing, coppicing and path maintenance.

Without the hard work and dedication of our Greenspace Rangers and those represented by the International Ranger Foundation, our world would look quite different.

Ranger duties vary throughout the world – demonstrated in the film the Thin Green Line.  (Promo here: https://youtu.be/-eM0gSpoDRE)

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More information on our rangers here: https://pkcvolunteers.wordpress.com/about/

More information on World Ranger Day here: http://www.internationalrangers.org/world-ranger-day/