Twin City

On Friday 15th October I went to 2 High Street to meet apprentices from Perths twin city in Germany, Aschaffenburg. The day entailed a quick tour of the old councillors room, some history about the twinning and I also met the provost. After a quick lunch spread we were brought into the new councillors room and team building/ ice breakers so we could get to know the German apprentices more. My favourite part of the day was the charades that everyone had to take part in.

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Water Safety Risk Assessment Training for CG Team

In the coming months the Greenspace Rangers will be risk assessing our Countryside Sites to ensure they comply with PKC Water Safety Policy.

On the 4th October we met in Scone Den to discuss the policy and assess the site as a group.  It was a beautiful autumnal day and we all enjoyed being out of the office learning a new skill.

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We also took the opportunity for a group photo – from left to right:  Ros, Joanna, Jenny, Alistair, Alan, Calum, Adam, Dave, Jeannie

 

 

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

St Magdalene’s Hill

On Wednesday I was lucky enough to go out to St.Magdalene’s hill with Joanna to help out with her Green Routes group. The sun was splitting the sky and I was really excited as this was my first time helping with the group. We got ready for the group getting the gloves, lopers, tea and coffee which were essential. We then set off to work by cutting back some overgrown bushes to show a hidden bench with a great view. It was hard work especially with the sun beating down but we managed to get a fair bit done and definitely earned a tea and biscuit. By the time we had finished it looked like a completely different place, it showed me how much work could get done with just a few people.20180905_104259

Auchterarder Sports and Recreation Core Path Group

MVIMG_20180905_104253The Auchterarder group are really starting to get in to the swing of the practical maintenance and are getting stuck in. After the fantastic opening of phase 2 of the Provost Walk a couple of weeks before the group were back out and hard at work.

They spent a small amount of time on Johnny Mathis walk cutting back any branches and vegetation obstructing path users from walking. This area is cut by council grounds maintenance squads but they are only able to cut twice a year and sometimes this just isn’t quite enough so this work will allow to keep the path usable until the squad can get to it in their very busy schedule!

After completing this area they continued on to the Provost Walk where we had been working last month. The group carried out some more drainage work and cutting back of the vegetation with still quite a bit more to do so we will be back out again next month to continue on.

If you are interested in being involved with the Auchterarder Core Path Group please contact the Greenspace Ranger Alan Dorman adorman@pkc.gov.uk or 01738 475000

 

 

Butterybank and Coupar Angus Primary School

On 28th September Butterybank Community Woodland welcomed the pupils of Coupar Angus Primary School. Unlike regular class visits to the site, this visit was unique in that all the school pupils visited the woodland in just one day!

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The pupils of the primary school have an ongoing relationship with Butterybank, connecting with the site from its beginning by the planting of the first trees in 2013. The school has continued to build on this relationship using the community amenity  as a safe place for environmental learning, the promotion of local and global citizenship and as a local resource to connect with the curriculum for excellence.

Recently the site has been used to support the children as they work towards a John Muir Award. During the last 6 weeks, pupils have visited Butterybank with teachers, helpers and parents, to carry out diferent activities in P5 6 & 7 groups of mixed ages. The children have investigated the woodland from different angles – landscape, poetry, art, environment and minibeasts – before presenting their conclusions on display boards at school for sharing with all.

This relationship continued on Friday with the entire school visiting Butterybank to unveil an information panel that had been developed and designed by the pupils to further enhance the site and educate visitors.

Nikki Drew, headteacher of Coupar Angus Primary School commented…The Butterybank Woodland is an ideal community space to support outdoor education and the children have been very enthusiastic about all the visits and learning about sustainability and wildlife. We are so lucky to have great links and support from the local community, so a huge thankyou to the Butterybank team for their ongoing partnership working with us. Today has been another opportunity to bring local groups, children and parents together to learn about our environment and how we can protect it for everyone to enjoy for many years to come.

The panel containing information on biodiversity was unveiled by the Primary 7 school house captains as a completion of a year long project. The project started with a pupil visit to the woodland to learn more about the site and its historical connection to the town which was followed by class research as to what biodiversity is and why it is important. These findings led onto a school house competition with each house submitting design ideas and drawings for the new panel. Iain Bentley, one of the panel judges commented that “. He continues to be amazed by the children’s powers of observation, curiosity, initiative and teamwork, encouraged by their equally enthusiastic staff. The new information panel they have designed is a tribute to their commitment and is their gift to the community. Visitors will enjoy walking round Butterybank, challenged by the panel. Today is party time and a fun celebration for them and it’s been a privilege for Rona McKinnon and I to have been involved throughout’.

Iain also expressed his thanks to the funders who supported this idea, Tesco Bags of Help Grant scheme, PKC and the people who voted for the project in a PKC Participatory Budget funding scheme.

The day event was also used to launch a Butterybank promotional leaflet and woodland activity booklet which it is hoped will encourage the community, of all ages, to engage further with this new civic amenity. The leaflet and activity book can be collected from Coupar Angus Town Hall and other local collection points.

BIG new park in Blackford

crowdOn Friday, the community of Blackford celebrated the completion of a new park with a barbecue for local residents. A plaque marking the occasion was unveiled by former councillor Anne Gaunt. Perth & Kinross Council replaced the existing equipment while Blackford Improvement Group (BIG) raised thousands of pounds to buy extra apparatus for the park. 

 

 

Perth Lade Action Day – 26th October 2018

The Perth Lade Action Day

Trimming, Weeding and Litterpicking

Friday 26th October 2018- 2pm – 4pm

Please meet at the Stanley Crescent Play Area at 1.45pm.

Refreshments will be provided.

All equipment will be provided, please ensure you wear sturdy shoes/boots and clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty and are weather appropriate.

Please come join us we would love to see you there.

If you are attending please contact Kirsty Scott on (01738) 476476

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Photo: Richard Wilkins

Red Squirrel Awareness Week

Did you know that this week (24th-30th September) is Red Squirrel Awareness Week?

Perth and Kinross can be a great place for spotting these amazing creatures. From Kinnoull Hill in Perth to the Den o’ Alyth or the Black Spout Woods, many of our countryside sites are home to the Red Squirrel. Take a walk out in your local forest and you may be lucky enough to see one! Red squirrels tend to build their nests, or dreys, in tall coniferous trees, and are often seen scrambling up the trunks of trees.

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A Red Squirrel spotted near Aberfeldy by Greenspace Ranger Calum Bachell

Red squirrels are very busy during the autumn, making this time of year perfect for spotting them. Keep a look out on the forest floor as they collect berries, seeds, nuts and fungi to keep themselves fed through the winter months. Listen for the sound of the squirrels climbing up the trees, chewing on a pine cone, or shouting to another squirrel. You can also often tell if red squirrels are nearby by finding chewed pine cones scattered around the forest floor.

Unfortunately red squirrel sightings are becoming increasingly rare in some areas, with the spread of grey squirrels, but you can register your squirrel sightings with Saving Scottish Red Squirrels and follow local sightings and discussions on the Red Squirrels in Perth and Kinross Facebook page

Kids Week in Crieff at MacRosty!

Angela is our guest blog today, she is one the incredibly hard working team that plan and deliver Kids Week in Crieff(KWIC). KWIC is a fantastic range of activities across Crieff for young people providing opportunities for new experiences for all of those involved.

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Fairies from the trail having a disagreement!

“That’s Kids’ Week In Crieff (KWIC) 2018 Summer week-long event over for another year.  It exceeded our expectations once again.  This was our third year and the event is growing in popularity and in size.  It’s just amazing to have been on the inside to see how it’s all evolved. We feel very proud of what has been achieved. It’s great to see everyone coming together in our town and to have so many new faces in attendance from further afield.

This year we had 4 generations of one family spend gala day with us; such a lovely sight. It confirms that KWIC is not just for kids but for everyone. We aim events to include kids from birth to 18 years, however where possible all event are intended to be family friendly, intergenerational and all inclusive.

Our MASH UP IN MacROSTY event is a perfect example. We are so lucky to have MacRosty Park as a venue, it is just outstanding and beautiful park. No matter the season there is always something new to engage with and blow away the cobwebs. We have had amazing feed back from some of the locals at the park saying that the adore Kids’ Week because the whole place comes alive with a buzz of excitement and the sound of families enjoying their time together.

We love to work with members of the community and with as many local groups and organisations as we can. Alan our Greenspace Ranger held both a Lade dippings ession and also an additional event where families volunteered to be lead by Alan in an eco task within the park. Alan gave us advice and support when ever it was needed.

Our Fairy Trail has now become a bit of a tradition, albeit just 3 years. The fairy trail is always well received. It is in Morgans Wood- the section of woodland over the wooden footbridges of the park. This year we added to the trail in a number of ways , most notably by putting up Peter Rabbit figures that were painted by Christine who is now on our committee.

Rob at the Pavilion Cafe (MacRosty Park) helped us where ever he possibly could. Even going as far as to fund raise for KWIC by erecting an assault course for various age groups of kids and adults. It was brilliant!

Without the support and generosity of Gourlays.Co, Johnston Media, Crieff BID, Strathearn Community Campus, The Pavilion Cafe, Artspace and Remake to name just a few. We just couldnt pull our fabulous week off.

We had a spot of everything during the week, storytelling yoga, an assault course, a sing-along cinema, archaeology fun, running club sessions, themed family roller disco, a family ceilidh and of course the KWIC Fairy and Peter Rabbit Trail.  We had nearly 50 events for you to choose from.

We’d like to thank all those who attended and for the continued support. Thanks to EVERYONE that helped to make KWIC 2018 what is was.  If you were with us at KWIC send us your favourite pics of the week on our Facebook page!”