Making a Meadow at St Mags Part 2

This spring 1,200 wildflower plants were planted on St Magdalene’s Hill to create a wildflower meadow to provide nectar and pollen for bees and butterflies. The plants were kindly donated by the Tay Landscape Partnership and were planted by Perth Brownies, Beavers and Perth High School. Despite the summer drought a good number of plants survived and added beautiful colour to the grassland.

A group from Perth High School who planted the flowers completed the next step by raking off the cut grass to prevent excess nutrients and allow the young plants to push up next spring. The grass was raked onto large tarpaulins and then piled under trees and broom bushes.

 

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After hot chocolate and biscuits, the group finished by litter picking the main path to the summit and back to the car park.

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A big thanks to Perth High School for their help. There is still grass to be raked off so we will be back shortly to finish the job.

Tayside Ponds Project – Volunteer days

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As part of the Tayside Ponds Project, we have three pond volunteer days and an amphibian-ladder making workshop programmed throughout September, October and November.

Ponds need regular management to keep on top of the growth of vegetation – most of them are gradually infilling with greater reedmace, soft rush and other fast-growing plants – so we need to prevent these encroaching on the areas of open water that amphibians use for breeding.

The amphibian-ladder making workshop will involve putting together ladders to go in gullypots, which can act as pitfall traps and end up drowning lots of wildlife.

The details are as follows:

    • September 29th – Perfect Ponds Day at Craighall pond near Blairgowrie
    • October 13th – Perfect Ponds Day at Elm Drive pond in Blairgowrie
    • November 3rd – Amphibian ladder making workshop and gullypot survey training day, Murthly village hall (and local sites)
    • November 18th – Perfect Ponds Day at Kinclaven Rd pond, Murthly

We will meet at 10am and finish by 3pm. Refreshments will be provided but please bring a packed lunch and wear warm clothes, wellies and waterproofs if you have them. We will have some waterproofs available for borrowing.

Please contact me for more details and to let me know if would like to come along so I know how many tools to bring.

We will also be planting native wildflowers to improve the habitat for a variety of wildlife.

More info will be on the Tayside Amphibian and Reptile Group Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TaysideAmphibiansReptileGroup/

Daniele Muir

TayARG

300 Wildflowers In, 13 Bags of Litter out

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Perth High School enjoyed a day glorious sunshine at St Magdalene’s Hill last week planting 300 wildflower plants to create a wildflower meadow for bees and butterflies. A mix of yellow rattle, ox eye daisy and birds foot trefoil were kindly donated by the Tay Landscape Partnership and will add a riot of colour to the open grass area.

After lunch, we walked to the top of the hill litter picking as we went. A lot of litter was found at the summit and we filled 13 full bags of drinks bottles, cans and BBQ leftovers.

Photo of Perth High School

In this prolonged dry weather, all of Scotland is at a high fire risk. A campfire, disposable BBQ or even a discarded cigarette could cause a wildfire that can destroy trees and kill ground nesting birds and their chicks. Do not light open fires near woodland during high fire risk times. If camping, please follow the Outdoor Access Code – https://www.outdooraccess-scotland.scot/Practical-guide/public/Lighting-fires

Thank you to the hard working Perth High students and thank you to volunteers and walkers who regularly remove litter from St Magdalene’s Hill so it is enjoyable for all.

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5. VOLUNTEERING FOR ALL – Make a Meadow at St Mags

beavers craigie hill 14th may 2018Summer has finally arrived and what better way to spend a beautiful evening than planting wildflowers at St Magdalene’s Hill to provide food for bees and butterflies in the coming months.

4A Perth Brownies  and 74th Perthshire Beavers joined 20180502_185726Greenspace Ranger Joanna on two evenings at St Magdalene’s Hill to plant wildflowers and both groups managed to plant a whopping 200 in less than an hour!

Very impressive work! We even had time for a game that involved learning about the animals that make St Magdalene’s Hill their home such as foxes and owls and involved the best worm impressions I have ever seen.20180502_184922

The flowers will transform the grass into a riot of yellow and white petals in the next few months.

Yellow Rattle, Ox Eye Daisy and Birds Foot Trefoil were planted to create a wildflower meadow and were kindly donated by the Tay Landscape Partnership, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

A parent said, “My child really enjoyed it and in all the excitement came home with someone else’s kneeling mat”.20180502_185126

Another parent added, “My child loved it and learned a lot about a place we have never visited before, thank you!

Both the Beavers and Brownies will be back in late Summer to see how the flowers are looking and survey for butterflies.A big thank you to everyone who helped make this project happen including the Butterfly Conservation Trust for advice.20180502_184925

Volunteering allows you to try something new, make new friends and its fun! If you would like to help us on a Greenspace near you, please get in touch.

When you tweet… please tag! #volunteersweek #PKCGreenVolunteers

The MacRosty Maintenance Gang

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Recently we have been working with Crieff High School to get some of the pupils out in to the park and learning and developing new skills in the outdoors. The tasks have ranged from weeding of the flower beds and maintenance of the hard surfaces, to cutting back vegetation from the footpaths and tidying up around the pavillion

This week the group have been raking the wildflower areas that were cut by PKC grounds maintenance squad (which is appreciated greatly). The group managed to get one whole area raked off which is brilliant!

There were some issues with dog fouling and the group are going to look at how we can make people aware that the wildflower area is maintained and that try and encourage people to collect their dog mess in the future.

The group are looking a building there skills and may look to do some rural skills in the new year.  They are also going to look at some new and exciting projects in the future.

 

 

 

 

Verging on the Ranunculus

Trimmed to 6 inches once or twice per year and we’re left with a mower’s-width strip of plain, ordinary, everyday, common-or-garden grass stretching for miles and miles along our roadsides, whether in the country or in town.

But leave this strip to grow for a while and we begin to see that the grass is neither plain nor ordinary, but is made up of foxtails, bents and cat’s-tails, timothy, wild-oats and bromes, spires and plumes, wisps and spikes, grasses of all sorts, tufted, tall or waving in the wind!

Early in the year we see our roadside verges brilliantly lit up with the sunshine yellow of dandelions, soon followed by hosts of dandelion ghosts as they set their clocks to produce seed. Yet, leave it a little while longer and we’ll begin to see vetch and primrose, celandine, scabious and cow parsley, then red clover, bluebells, campions and cuckoo flowers. Later still, poppies, yarrow, teasels and honeysuckle appear, and of course buttercups and daisies in their many, many forms.

Beetles, bees, butterflies and moths as well as hoverflies, sawflies and spiders of many kinds all find their refuge in these verges. In fact I’m told that they have wonderful names like the marmalade hoverfly, the orange-tip butterfly, the froghopper and the buff-tailed bumble bee.

Our good friends at the Tay Landscape Partnership have recently launched a campaign which is aimed at managing your favourite roadside verges for the protection of wildlife. To take part in this great initiative, take a wander over to http://www.taylp.org/are-you-a-road-verge-champion/ where you can nominate particular verges which capture your eye, photographs more than welcome!

Spread the word and spread the wildflowers!

Patrick

Road Verge Champions poster