BRAN – Cuttle Burn Steps Project

Work party report WE 2nd June 2018

Ally Donald was once and again out and about with the mower keeping our path network in good order during weekday evenings, the current run of dry weather has slowed down the growth a bit but the grass & weeds still need attention.

2018_02_06 Cuttle Burn work 2nd day IMG_4810rs

The long planned Cuttle Burn Steps project has now been actioned with work starting at 3.00pm on Friday 1st, a group of very hard-working volunteers working well into the evening. The same group minus one were again toiling in the heat early on the morning of the 2nd. By the early afternoon the majority of the work had been completed, the only remaining job being to install a hand rail on the new section of steps.

For anyone who is familiar with the Cuttle Burn Steps the section beneath the top flight of steps becomes hazardous in wet or icy conditions. The new stepped section of over 20mtrs now allows walkers to negotiate the section in safety and has completely eliminated the slippery part.

The path that takes walkers along the gorge from the Oakbank Road to Lornty Road is a lovely short walk and also acts a short cut from the top of town down to the riverside. Already very popular, BRAN now hopes that even more people will be encouraged to use it.

The BRAN team consisted of Kristin Barrett, Nina Bell, Grahame Mustard, Ally Donald and Bob Ellis on both days with Roger Mackey on the first day. Conditions underfoot couldn’t have been better but the heat and humidity was energy sapping. The five did a great job!  2018_01_06 Cuttle Burn work 1st evening IMG_4809rs

More projects are planned on the Knockie and on a near section of the Cateran Trail at East Gormack

Although BRAN is very well supported by its volunteer group it will always welcome new folk, if you are interested in helping please contact the secretary, Ian Richards., 01250 871122 0r 07787 317022


Easy Butterfly Surveys

This glorious weather has brought the butterflies out and what a beautiful sight it is.  We  recently joined Anthony McCluskey from Butterfly Conservation Scotland for a fascinating insight into butterflies.

Did you know only the male orange-tip butterflies have the bright orange tipped wings? Both have the beautiful green patterns on the underside of their wings.

butterfly 2

We visited the North Inch to see the wildflower meadows while Anthony explained how simple it is to record urban butterflies. You choose an urban Greenspace, visit it three times through the spring and summer and report your findings to Butterfly Conservation Scotland using your smart phone or the website. All you need is a sunny day, a simple id guide and a picnic!butterfly one

If you would like to record butterflies as part of the Urban Butterfly Survey, visit the iRecord website –

There are lots of events happening in the Butterfly Conservation Scotland East Branch area this summer, and you can see them all here;

You can also help by planting pollinator friendly plants and herbs in your garden or window boxes.



Beechgrove Garden comes to Perth! – Airing Thursday 14 June 7pm

The whole Beechgrove team are on the road to the Fair City of Perth.

Tune in on Thursday 14 June on BBC 2 Scotland at 7pm or Sunday 17 June on BBC 2 at 9.25am


Invited by the ‘Beautiful Perth’ volunteers, Jim, Carole, George and Brian find out exactly how the city earns that title horticulturally as they visit some of the City’s best-kept gardens, including the unique and culturally diverse Moncrieffe Allotments that are situated on Moncrieffe Island in the middle of the Tay and only accessible by vehicles at low tide.

Jim, Carole, George and Brian then host a Beechgrove Gardener’s Question Time in the recently renovated Perth Theatre.

If you love gardening or just love Perth you will enjoy the show!

300 Wildflowers In, 13 Bags of Litter out


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 –

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.



First meeting of the Loon Braes Conservation Group


Seven keen volunteers turned out for the first Loon Braes conservation group. After a walk round the site to look at various habitats and issues we talked about plans to turn the site into a Nature Park. This giving an insight into some of the future projects the volunteers could be involved in.

The first task was to remove invasive Himalayan Balsam which is taking over many of the grassy areas, causing the wildflowers to suffer. After getting to know each other, the group got to work clearing a large area of Balsam near the pond. It is important that we clear before it seeds.

This is just the start of the project, with the aim of creating an area which can be a resource for the whole community. We aim to improve the area whilst maintaining and enhancing the great habitats which are already present in the Loon Braes

The Loon-Braes conservation group meets on the last Thursday of the month. Please contact Greenspace Ranger, Alistair Macleod on 01250 871457 or if you wish to come along or require more information.



Far reaching Rangers!

In  Perth and Kinross there are a total of two full time rangers and three part time rangers covering an area of 5,286 km, the fifth largest area covered by a Council in Scotland.

Although every ranger service is unique, throughout Scotland we all have some common aims which are to engage with people of all ages and encourage all to use green spaces.

In Perth and Kinross we are taking the lead in working with community groups, in particular path groups, health and well being and dementia groups.  Our work also contributes to the Scottish wide statistics as shown on the poster below.


If you are interested in finding out more about the work we do or want to volunteer in one of the many groups please do get in touch.


IMG_4483rs 24th June 2017 KW

Blairgowrie and Rattray Access Network maintain the core path network surrounding Blairgowrie. The group have over 30 fantastic volunteers who help with various tasks from cutting back, strimming, litter picking and a whole range of other tasks which BRAN lend their hand to.

One committed volunteer is Ally Donald. Even though Ally works full time and volunteers with a number of groups, he still finds the time to cut grass on several evenings a week, keeping the path network accessible. One such path is the 8 mile River Ericht path which is a mix between field edges and riverside paths. Ally is often seen on his trusty mower cutting the path and chatting to passers-by. He is full of enthusiasm and his nickname in the group is ‘Q’ for Quartermaster.

Ally also helps fundraise for tools and equipment. Recently co-ordinating the groups charity shop in May and organising a Fun Run along the river Ericht path.

If you would like to volunteer with BRAN. Please email group secretary Ian Richards on

When you tweet… please tag! #volunteersweek #PKCGreenVolunteers


6. VOLUNTEERING FOR ALL – Celebrating 20 Blooming Years

Take a Pride in Perth & Kinross Association are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year. To get the festivities underway the Association held a Garden Party at Perth Racecourse on Friday 1 June.

Past and present members of the 48 ‘bloom’ groups currently operating across the Perth & Kinross area turned out in their finery to enjoy the afternoon and we were honoured to be joined by the Provost and Deputy Provost.

Everything was perfectly planned – but this being Scotland, the weather didn’t co-operate! Not long after the formalities got underway a thunderstorm hit with rain in the proverbial biblical proportions. The lightning blew out the power in our marquee so our carefully laid plans had to be swiftly revised, but us ‘Bloomers’ are made of hardy stuff, our community spirit came to the fore, so a great time was had by all!

Congratulations not only to the winners of the Best Hat competition, but also to everyone who entered for brightening up the marquee!

Our thanks (and sympathies) to founder member Euna Scott, whose excellent presentation was cruelly cut short, and to the Rock Choir who had to perform ‘acapella’ and did so absolutely brilliantly.

Thanks also to Fergus Cook aka ‘David Douglas’, to cartoonist Neil Smith and to our organising committee aka Bill, Elspeth and Caroline.

Photographer Ian Potter of LightPress Media & Design also did a brilliant job despite impact of the weather on light levels, and his excellent a photo album of the event can now be viewed on Beautiful Perth’s Flickr site.

We couldn’t get the planned group photo because of the conditions, but copies of the other event photos are now available – go to the Flickr site (click the link above, hover mouse over the picture you want and you’ll see the photo number;  email with the number(s) you want and she will forward them to you.

When you tweet… please tag! #volunteersweek #PKCGreenVolunteers

Pictures (from left): Before the deluge; Provost Melloy; (below) Hats!


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