Barnhill Meadows – Tree cage clearing

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.

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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.

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 cbachell@pkc.gov.uk or 01738 476792

Loon Braes Conservation Group – update.

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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 ajmacleod@pkc.gov.uk

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Community Spirit

American Students

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.

2. Volunteering for all: – The Lady of the Lade

“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.”

Janie Scott.

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.

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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.

Lade Green Corridor consultation survey

When you tweet… please tag! #volunteersweek #PKCGreenVolunteers

Morrison’s Academy Primary School JASS award in MacRosty Park

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 levels with 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.

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Auchterarder Provost Walk: Planting and Path Maintenance

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.

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Tree Planting

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.

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Litter Picking

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 adorman@pkc.gov.uk

Perth Lade, March Litter Pick

 

“As the Community Greenspace Partnership Officer one of my community projects is the Perth Lade. We have been carrying out a number of different vegetation, tree and litter clearance works and are also working with local schools and community groups on different improvement projects.

This litter pick was one in a number of community litter picks that are carried out on the Perth Lade; this was on a much smaller scale than our action day carried out in October of 2017.  Regular litter picks/action days are to be planned for the future.

We will advertise our next litter pick soon, everyone is welcome to join”.

Kirsty Scott

 

 

Crieff Path Group on Lover’s Lane

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Clearing the drainage on Lover’s Lane

Crieff Path Group were out recently with a trusty core group turning up to carry out some work on the lovers lane path from the Glenturret Distillery to Comrie Road (a special thank you to the distillery for allowing us to use their staff car park for our task).

The group weren’t fazed by the freezing cold conditions or the level of labour that was required for the task and achieved a fantastic amount of work. Clearing all the drains (several of which were well overdue a bit of maintenance) and getting them flowing again.

The group also used the leaf blowers to clear the path of mud and leaves that had built up over the winter. There is still some work to be done to the path but it is much better than it was and definitely worth a visit!

If you are interested in volunteering for with the Crieff Path Group contact Richard Armstong by email richardarmstrong15283@gmail.com or contact Alan Dorman Greenspace Ranger 01738 475000

 

 

Behind the scenes

For a number of years there has been a partnership between Abernethy Trust – Ardeonaig Centre and Perth and Kinross Council. Participants from Ardeonaig help the Community Greenspace Ranger to complete Forest Plan works in the Birks of Aberfeldy and with Path Groups.

For the second year running the “Gappies” who work hard behind the scenes at Ardeonaig are getting the opportunity in completing their John Muir Awards.  This has also therefore involved a couple of trips to the Birks of Aberfeldy. In their own words…..

Team involvement in the John Muir Award at Abernethy Ardeonaig

The first part of the John Muir Award is to discover a wild place. Loch Tay is a large beautiful loch surrounded by an inspiring mountainous landscape with stunning trees scattered around it. In exploring it, we have canoed and kayaked on it, giving us hours of fun and entertainment. It is easy to see just how appealing the area is at first glance, as the shimmering water is virtually begging for attention. Here at Ardeonaig we have the privilege of having such a wonderful natural spectacle right outside our front door!

We went to the Birks of Aberfeldy to help Jeannie Grant for our conservation day. It is a forested area that also has beautiful waterfalls and path to walk on. Scotland’s national poet Robbie Burns wrote his poem The Birks of Aberfeldy about the birch trees here.

When people think of conservation, they tend to think about making or introducing something to the area to help it along, but we conserved the area by doing the opposite. We got rid of beech trees because they prevent other trees from growing properly. Beech trees are a massive problem at the Birks because they tend to dominate other species of plant and they multiply quicker than other trees. Jeannie gave us the tools to get rid of the beech trees that cover the paths and disrupt other trees from growing. We used tree poppers to get the trees out of the ground and used many types of saws including a bow saw and pole saw to cut down branches that are in the way of the path. The best tool to use was the tree popper because it took out the roots from under the ground so prevented more trees from growing. This could be quite hard work and a lot of the time you also needed to use a spade to help get the tree out of the ground.

One of the trees we were protecting was an oak tree sapling that had been damaged by a deer. We used some of the branches that we sawed off the beech trees to put around the little oak tree. We also helped protect a monkey puzzle tree by cutting back the trees around it to let more light in.

After quite a while of pulling out trees and cutting down branches we had cleared quite a bit, so we moved on to something different. We split into two groups and we both had to make a natural shelter out of whatever we could find. Then we learnt how to make fires in Kelly Kettles when out in the wild.

When we got back to Abernethy Ardeonaig, we took some of the baby beech trees and planted them in our grounds here. They are in the raised beds by the tool-shed, and in the future they will be planted in the hedge near where the archery range is. This is to help stop children from getting too near the maintenance zone when they are playing in the grounds.

It was a really good day and it was a great feeling of taking responsibility for our surroundings and knowing that other people and nature will benefit from our hard work.

Finally, to complete our Discovery Level Award, we prepared a presentation on what we had done, with anecdotes and photos, and presented it to the rest of the Abernethy Ardeonaig Team.

Esteban, Jakob, Katrin, Liane, Marvin, Murray & Will

Abernethy Ardeonaig Gappies 2017-18

 

 

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