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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the last couple of months the Portmoak Paths Group amd Portmoak Community Council have been working hard to maintain the historical “Dryside Road” core path that runs from Easter Balgedie, behind Wester Balgedie to GlenLomond, after which it continues as a vehicular route. The path is well known to some of the locals, but has never benefitted from proper signage. For their last meeting of the year, Ranger Calum met with the group on the 13th December to install new signage posts at either end of the path, as well as another at the start of the core path to Glenvale.
We used a new signage design, one of the first to be used for the core paths in Perth and Kinross, and incorporated it into the new posts. Compared to the finger posts and large arrow blades used elsewhere, these new designs are smaller and mounted directly onto a shorter fence post. This allows easier installation and maintenance, as well as reducing the risk of signs being hit by large vehicles driving past – especially important to consider when placing signs at the entrance to farms! From a walker or cyclists perspective, the signs are at a better height for being read, and they are less intrusive on the landscape.
Moving forward, there are plans to further improve the path by installing a new gate and cutting back vegetation where the path has overgrown.
The Auchterarder Sports and Recreation Path Group have been going from strength to strength with almost a full year worth of tasks now under their belt.
The group were out on the Provost walk again this time starting from the primrose park end and managing the vegetation going along phase two of the walk. We noticed that there was some Himalayan balsam coming from the stream but unfortunately all the seeds had already popped on this. This will be something the group will tackle next year as it is only a small amount and easily manageable.
The group split in to two smaller groups with one group focusing on strimming the edges and the other group cutting back any woody plants or branches along the length.
A special thank you to Bear Scotland who have been very supportive of the group and were able to provide some willing volunteers!
The next focus for the group will be to get out on the paths and figure out what is needing to be done over the next 6 months looking at the wider network above and beyond the improved footpaths.
If you are interested in joining the group on one of the tasks please contact Alan Dorman- email@example.com
I got to visit the beautiful Loch Earn the other week to assist our St Fillans path group on the Glen Tarken Loop there are a couple of fords on the route and one of them is particularly challenging to cross at times.
The group decided they wanted to try and assist walkers using the path by creating an “option” of stepping stones that people could choose to use if they couldn’t get across any other way.
The task involved manoeuvring some boulders and getting them flat and stable with no movement at all, also ensuring that the river can still flow effectively. It is a little experimental and there is no guarantee the stones won’t just get washed away in the first storm but it is worth a try.
View from Glen Tarken over Loch Earn
The group are going to keep an eye on the stones and monitor for movement and also make sure they aren’t too slippy. If they become to slippy we will remove them.
There are some hidden gems within our countryside sites. At Barnhill, within Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park, there are some old hay-meadows hidden in the woodland. Over the last several years these meadows have been left unmaintained – almost forgotten and now overgrown. Together with the Kinnoull Hill Woodland Group we have plans to clear the meadows and plant some wildflowers, adding a more plant diversity to the area – turning near-forgotten grasslands into species-rich meadows.
One of the Barnhill meadows
Within these meadows we found several fruit trees, which had been planted to celebrate the millennium. These trees are each surrounded by a cage from when they were planted, to protect the young trees from grazing animals like deer and rabbits. Whilst these cages were initially useful for keeping out the grazers, the trees have grown too large for rabbits to damage, and tall enough that deer can reach regardless of a cage.
Volunteer Jane removing vegetation
Volunteer David pruning a fruit tree
Ranger Calum removing the wire cages
On Saturday 6th October we started the process of bringing life back to the meadows. The first step was to open up the cages surrounding the trees. Once these cages were opened up we could access the vegetation that had been swamping the trees. As the volunteers cleared the overgrown vegetation and pruned back some of the branches from the fruit trees, the Community Greenspace Horticultural Modern Apprentice Adam was also able to prune back some of the surrounding Hawthorn trees to improve access to the meadow.
There are upcoming volunteer days planned within the Barnhill meadows on Kinnoull Hill. Would you be interested in joining? To find out more contact Greenspace Ranger Calum Bachell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01738 476792
A few keen volunteers have been coming along to help maintain the Loon Braes, in Rattray. Over the last few sessions we have been concentrating on removing the Himalayan Balsam from around the pond, tidying up the orchard area and keeping the site tidy.
Over the winter Months it is hoped to involve the community to help shape the future of the Loon Braes. We will shortly be forming a steering group to help push forward fundraising and ideas to help improve the area.
We are always looking for more volunteers and anyone who is keen to come along can find us at the Davie park pavilion at 1pm. The Loon Braes group meets on the last Thursday of the month. For more info please contact email@example.com
Exchange students from America worked hard clearing and opening up a path at St Magdalene’s Hill earlier this month. Scott Tominey from the Evangelist Church of Christ, Scotland contacted the Greenspace Rangers and offered the students time to help with a task. The weather this year certainly made the task all the more enjoyable, last year was torrential rain, this year beautiful blue skies. Always nice to see the difference made at the end of a mornings work. Well done guys.
“A number of friends and neighbours took local kids out for a litter pick and it became clear how much the kids loved the Lade. This enthusiasm drove us to get a bit of community funding, set up a Facebook page, plant bulbs, grow wild flowers and do a bit of landscaping. It’s the kids enthusiasm that keeps us going.”
Day 2 of National Volunteer Week and we want to highlight Janie Scott; the enthusiastic Lady of the Lade who is helping to drive the Tulloch’s Blooming Lade project.
PKC sourced tools for Tulloch’s Blooming Lade in 2017 and with support from Janie these have been put to good use; including weekend sessions clearing the area at the bridge in the hope that the wild flowers will grow again.
Bulbs were planted and have come into bloom this spring; these are very much appreciated by the community demonstrated by the positive responses when the group posted about them on their Facebook page. The tulips in particular are stunning.
Thanks to the efforts of the group with litter picks and clearing the vegetation the wildlife in and along the lade is thriving with lots of lovely ducklings and the heron is a regular visitor, the group are also aware of a resident kingfisher and their Facebook page is packed full of photos of all of these.
If you use Perth Lade and would like to feedback on the future management please complete our survey below.
The Primary school pupils of Morrison’s Academy have been in the park recently. They have been completing their JASS volunteer award.
Junior Award Scheme for Schools (JASS) is a progressive learning programme for young people which has been designed to recognise wider achievement. A key aim has been to meet the challenges of the transition from primary to secondary but in practice it can be used at either level as well as with wider age groups in additional support need settings. The objectives of the JASS programme are aligned with the wider learning objectives of the Curriculum for Excellence, The Outdoor Challenge, and the National Curriculum, making it easy to run alongside and incorporate existing curricular activities.
JASS develops the whole individual by offering recognition in four key areas – regular physical activity (Get Active, Stay Active), exploring a personal interest (My Interests), working for the good of the community or the environment (Me and My World) and completing an outdoor activity or challenge (Adventure) and is designed so that participants move through the levelswith increasing commitment, learning, and challenge.
They have been completing the Me and My World section of the award with the Perth and Kinross Ranger Service.
So far we have been weeding around the bandstand and also weeding some of the steps in MacRosty. With fantastic results as seen below (I must get better at getting before photos!).
They are assisting the community and supporting the environment while carrying out these tasks with us.
We have a few weeks together still left and we will be carrying out a range of activities such as weeding flower beds and litter picking; while also learning about the natural environment and it’s importance.
After the huge success of their first task. The Auchterarder Core Paths Group decided to build on that momentum and hold a task to replant some trees, carry out a litter pick and clear the french drain.
The group had an amazing amount of volunteers turn up, with 14 on the day (a special thanks goes out to four helpers from BEAR Scotland). This meant that the tree planting was made light work of.
The group were planting some hawthorn and blackthorn that had been kindly donated by the Rotary Club.
They then picked up 9 bags of rubbish with even an old bicycle being found! Thank you to the community waste team for the loan of the litter pickers for this section.
Finally we started cutting some self seeded trees and removing grass from the French drain, although this didn’t quite get finished in the task so will be revisited at the next one!
Phase 2 of the Provost walk is progressing nicely and will hopefully be open in the coming weeks!
If you are interested in volunteering with the Auchterarder Core Paths Group then please contact Alan Dorman – Greenspace Ranger at 01738 475000 or firstname.lastname@example.org