Looking after Larghan Park Meadow

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Volunteers from Wisecraft in Blairgowrie recently helped give the Wildflower Meadow in Larghan park its Autumn makeover. The meadow is an important feature in the park, creating great habitat for pollinators throughout the summer months. 

Now Autumn is upon us the meadow is cut and raked to help spread the seed while the cuttings are lifted by keen volunteers. Lifting cuttings helps our wildflowers thrive by removing the nutrients from the soil.  

Its is hoped the work will contribute towards the John Muir Award which the group are currently completing.

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Tree Pits in Crieff

The Green Routes Group in Crieff was busy last Thursday creating some tree pits for a few of the trees along the lade-side in MacRosty Park. We were lucky enough to be joined by Graham from another department within the council, and Sebastienne from the NHS.

Tree pits are used for several purposes, and can be very small or vast in size – depending on the location and the size of the tree. In the case of these trees the pits were created to prevent grass from growing right up to the base of the tree. When cutting grass that is too close to the base of the tree there is a risk of damaging the tree with the cutting equipment.

To create these pits we needed to dig out the top 4-6 inches of soil from around the base of the trees. We then put down some mulch matting to prevent weeds from growing as readily, and filled in the rest with bark. Once finished the pits looked great, and should require very little maintenance each year, other than occasional top-up of bark.

Path groups training in Crieff

On Tuesday 3rd September volunteers from several path groups across PKC came to Crieff to take part in some PKC-led strimmer, leaf blower and pedestrian flail training. We had members from path groups in Crieff, Auchterarder and Abernethy taking part, despite a downpour throughout!

Much of the work the paths groups undertake requires the use of these tools, and proper operation of them is essential for the safety of both the user and those around them, as well as preventing damage to the equipment.

If you or your path group would be interested in being trained up on the safe use of strimmers, leaf blowers or flails we hope to hold another session soon. To register you interest please contact communitygreenspace@pkc.gov.uk

John Muir Awards with GRTW Crieff

The Green Routes to Wellbeing in Crieff have done a fantastic job in achieving their John Muir Discovery Awards! 7 people within the group have earned the award through their voluntary activities in MacRosty Park and Lady Mary’s Walk with Calum, the Greenspace Ranger for Strathearn.

 

After discovering the different species that live in the area we have built bird and bat boxes to go up throughout the park. In addition to this we have planted and maintained several flowerbeds, which are regularly visited by bumblebees and butterflies! We also found a red squirrel using an old bird nest box, so it’s anyone’s guess what will make use of our new houses!

We have really enjoyed the nature-focussed activities involved in achieving the award. In the past we have done a lot of vegetation and path management, or maintaining/weeding/planting flower beds, with little context outside of keeping the park looking good. So, by tying in previous tasks with more of a focus on biodiversity and nature we’ve had a greater sense of achievement.

 

With a couple keen birders, an ex-forester and a former landscaper in the group, there has been considerable knowledge shared between us, and I think we all have a better understanding of our surrounding environment as a result. Going forward we will be doing some more nature-focussed tasks to tie in with our routine maintenance. As a group we have plans to create another wildflower area in the park and to promote the red squirrels in the area by building a squirrel feeder.

Never mind the weather!

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.”

New helpers are more than welcome – for more about the group, take a look at their Facebook page here: https://en-gb.facebook.com/auchterardercorepaths/

Snow in MacRosty

On Tuesday 22nd, one of the volunteer groups in MacRosty Park in Crieff braved the wintery conditions to cut back some of the encroaching vegetation. The vegetation surrounding the toilet block had got to the stage where accessing the items stored behind the building was nearly impossible, not to mention being a bit of an eye-sore.

 

As seen in the before and after photos, there was quite a transformation! (not to mention the addition of more snow…)

If you would like to volunteer with community greenspace, or simply want to find out more please email communitygreenspace@pkc.gov.uk

Provost Walk Grand Opening Phase 2

MVIMG_20180818_141154Auchterarder 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.

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It is great to see communities being celebrated for their hard work and here is looking forward to the completion of Phase 3!

 

Volunteer Nominated for Path Group Volunteer of the Year!

IMG_20170930_132318_resized_20171003_043706419We have some great news.

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

David said:

“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!

 

 

Dunkeld Volunteer Celebration

On Thursday 7th June 18 volunteers from across Dunkeld and the surrounding area were invited to an evening of celebration at the Birnam arts centre.

The evening was organised to take place during volunteer week which is a national celebration of volunteers. All the volunteers who participated had been invited along after being nominated by the residents of Dunkeld and the surrounding area.

Local fiddler Pete Clark introduced the evening by playing his fiddle and sharing some stories, this was followed by the presentation of the awards to 12 groups and 6 individuals. After the presentation it was great to hear from the nominees about why each individual or group deserved to be nominated. As the formal part of the evening came to a close,  guests were treated to a buffet and wine giving the volunteers a chance to network and make valuable connections with the wider volunteering community.

The evening was organised in partnership with many organisations which form the HIPSHIRE network. The event could not have happened without the generosity of the community, the Birnam Arts and the organising group especially Lidia and Evelyn for their support in getting the word out about the event plus sending out all the invites. It is hoped the event can become a regular fixture in the volunteering calendar should this be a wish of the community.

 

 

 

Scone Park Pond Spring Clean

20180413_141148Scone Park pond was given a spring clean on Friday 13th April and although the date maybe unlucky for some, no one fell in the pond so proved lucky for us!

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A group of local residents helped extract litter from the pond edges using extended litter pickers. We will go back into the pond in October to remove some of the vegetation when pond insects have stopped breeding and will collect the litter in the centre of the pond then. The pond was busy with bird life – mallard ducks, moorhen and the swans were guarding their newly constructed nest.

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A big thanks to everyone who came along on the day. We are gauging interest in a volunteer group to help with tasks in Scone Park and wider Scone area such as footpath maintenance and keeping paths clear from vegetation. If you are interested, please get in touch with Greenspace Ranger Joanna Dick by emailing JoannaDick@pkc.gov.uk