Drain clearing at Lady Mary's Walk, Crieff

Saturday (25th) was the first task of the year for the Crieff Paths Group, who were delighted to be joined by a few new members. Armed with a full arsenal of spades, rakes, drainage rods and more, we tackled several of the drainage ditches and culverts along one of Crieff’s most popular paths; Lady Mary’s Walk.

Months (& years!) of leaf litter build-up and vegetation growth had filled in ditches and blocked off culverts. These require occasional maintenance so that water can run off freely without damaging or flooding the path.

Lady Mary’s Walk runs alongside the River Earn and the old dismantled railway. Some of the old railway drainage run offs are still in place, of which one had been overflowing and had started to affect the path. We managed to clear this out and could see immediately that the water was flowing correctly into the ditch and through the culvert into the Earn.

There is still some work to be done along Lady Mary’s Walk, and other paths in the Crieff area will require attention. The group plan to meet on the last Saturday of each month (usually 10.30-12.30) and hope to meet on Wed 19th Feb in addition to this.

If you would be keen to join in with the Crieff Paths Group on future projects, or would like to find out more, please contact the Strathearn Greenspace Ranger, Calum, on cbachell@pkc.gov.uk, or the Crieff Community Trust on crieffcommunitytrust@gmail.com (or check out their facebook page).

REMINDER: We also have a Paths Group Networking and Training Event in Pitlochry on the 27th Feb – book now to ensure your place!

Tree Planting in Viewlands Park

On 5th December a group of 20 volunteers – both members of the pubic and council employees – gathered to plant 88 trees up at Viewlands Park in Perth. We were lucky with the weather as a window of relatively rain-free opportunity was open to us for the hour and a half we were there. It’s surprising how quickly you can plant that many whips with a good few hands to the task, and makes you think what a difference can be made while having fun out in the fresh air. Now we just have to hope that they will thrive in time and give all the good things: beautiful foliage, cleaner air, habitat for fellow creatures, and extra carbon sink in these times of climate uncertainty.

By the end, a steaming cuppa and a biccy were welcome rewards!

Pitlochry final task for 2019

On an eyrie Thursday morning just before Christmas, 15 Pitlochry path group volunteers turned up to clear leaves, dig out drains and steps and sweep the Aluminium Bridge in Pitlochry.  Over 1km of tarmac footways and paths were raked and swept in just over two hours.  Although this was one of the easy tasks, everybody kept warm fuelled by hot beverages and mince pies.

If you fancy joining in helping to keep the promoted pitlochry path network user friendly and “conserved” please contact the group via pitlochrypath@gmail.com or jgrant@pkc.gov.uk

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SSE in action at the Den O Alyth

 

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Community Greenspace work with communities to manage a variety of sites across the area including the Den O Alyth which is known for its native woodland, red sandstone geology and its freshwater ecology.

Recently staff from SSE Renewables as part of their corporate volunteer programme helped to conserve the den by working towards the aims of the management plan. Staff spent the morning working with the rangers to remove Beech Tree saplings from an area of native woodland using tree popping tools and bowsaws. Beech are not native to the area and out compete native stock so staff were given the opportunity to take the trees home to replant. In the afternoon footpaths were cleared of leaves and mud making a huge difference to the paths which crisscross site. As an extra challenge the team also removed a tractor tyre which had been fly-tipped.

This is the second time SSE have helped us at the Den O Alyth. The help is invaluable and allows the many objectives of the management plan to be achieved.  The team from SSE worked hard and enjoyed the challenges of doing something different.

To find out more about corporate volunteering please contact communitygreenspace@pkc.gov.uk

Bulb planting in Bankfoot

On December 1st members of the Bankfoot community braved the cold to come and help plant some daffodil bulbs in the Coronation Park. Despite sub-zero temperatures, there was a fantastic turn out, with people of all ages getting their hands (gloves!) dirty to get the bulbs in. Included were members from the Auchtergaven Community Council, local residents with their friends and family, as well as children from Auchtergaven primary School.

Amazingly, there were around 300 bulbs planted in total, even with frozen topsoil! This was one of the last opportunities in the year to get the daffodil bulbs into the ground to have them come into flower this Spring. Hopefully we will see a very colourful section of the park in a couple of months time!

Well done to everyone that joined in, and a big thank you to all those that supported the event. If you would like to get involved in future projects in the park, or to find out what will be going on, check out the Bankfoot Play Park Improvements facebook page.

To find out more about volunteering with PKC Community Greenspace, please contact communitygreenspace@pkc.gov.uk

Crieff Paths Group at Turretbank Wood

Crieff Paths Group were out with their strimmers, loppers, shears and rakes to improve the existing path at Turretbank Wood, and to create an alternative longer route through the previously overgrown vegetation.

Despite it being a cold, frosty morning we managed to (eventually) convince the strimmers to start up, and set to work widening the path. We lopped back some overhanging brambles and blackthorn from the path’s edge, and scraped he hard surfaces back where leaf litter and grass was starting to decompose.

This area of woodland used to have a large problem with the invasive species, Himalayan Balsam, but over the last couple of years the path group have been working hard to remove it from the site. We were delighted to see that this year there was very little this year, allowing us to improve access and other aspects of the woodland.

If you would be interested in volunteering with the Crieff Paths Group, please get in touch with Catriona Davies at candocrieff@gmail.com or PKC Greenspace at communitygreenspace@pkc.gov.uk.

Helping to look after the Dunkeld Path Network

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P6 & P7 pupils from the Royal School Of Dunkeld recently joined the rangers for a morning of practical  work. The task to help fix the footpaths around Jubilee park and Birnam Oak which is part of the popular riverside walk.

The Pupils raked leaves, dug out muddy patches and wheelbarrowed material to fill In potholes. Pupils will use the practical  experience to help them achieve their John Muir award.

The Royal School of Dunkeld are working with various partners to improve and learn about the Greenspace surrounding the school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Police Scotland Youth Volunteers in Action.

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The Beatrix Potter Garden in Birnam was recently treated to an Autumn tidy up thanks to Police Scotland Youth Volunteers.

The volunteers gave up their Sunday to help cut back and clear overgrown shrub beds, clear ivy plus expose some of the statue’s which are unique to the garden. The group also helped clear shurubs from an overgrown cairn and added a gravel path.

Lunch was kindly provided by the Birnam Arts Centre and the project was supported by staff from  Community Greenspace.

 

 

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.