Planning for ‘Dirty Weekenders’

This weekend we have the Dirty Weekender Conservation Volunteers from Edinburgh University coming to East Perthshire to help clean up the pond in Loon Braes (Davie Park), Rattray.

We are very much looking forward to welcoming the conservation students back to Perthshire (see here to read about their previous efforts) and today CG were out planning for their visit.

Come back next week to find out how the group got on… and check out the Dirty Weekend blog to read about the groups other activities!

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Alistair in the Wrong Trousers…

Alistair

‘There is a bike in here!’

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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.

 

 

 

 

Natural Health Service – worth a read!

Please see the link below for a brilliant article that I found in the Guardian last weekend about the Natural Health Service.  The article focuses on groups in England. Did you know we have similar projects, led by our Greenspace Rangers, in our parks and open spaces? For more information on how you can get involved please contact us

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https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/02/natural-health-service-wildlife-volunteers-get-mental-health-boost

Upper Tay Path Group

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The Upper Tay Path Group have always managed to get all the work completed without having organised task sessions.  However, with the exceptionally good growing weather, recent flooding and other issues cropping up, it has come to a point where it was required.  So over a short period three very different work parties happened.  In their own words the accounts are as follow;

Working Parties in action

Work is in progress on the Riverside Path (Wade’s Bridge to Comrie Bridge) and Camserney to Dull Path:

1) European Youth Camp

On 18th August a group of fifteen male and female  students from Spain, Germany and Scotland  together with three leaders put in a tremendous day’s work on the Riverside Path cleaning four bridges, staking and marking dangerous holes on the Lurgan Farm section(see below) and cutting back intrusive branches etc.

It was a damp day but using equipment provided by Jeannie Grant (PKC Greenspace Ranger)the students showed great determination and concentration.  Our thanks are due to them.

The bridges are now ready for some minor repairs during which the uprights will be capped. Subsequently the timbers will be treated with a preservative.

2) Minor Works

A number of small holes in the path surface started by moles (and possibly developed by dogs?!) in the path surface have been filled.

3) Lurgan Farm Section

On 8th September, members of the recently established volunteer Path Maintenance Group undertook their first working party.  They filled a substantial series of holes which we believe were started by a combination of small animals and flood water and then, probably, adopted and enlarged by beavers. We are grateful to the landowner for both providing the material and transporting it adjacent to the holes.  Additional pruning and lopping was also undertaken.

Well done the Volunteers !

4) Camserney to Dull Path

On 12th September, a group of pupils from Breadalbane Academy who are studying for a Rural Skills qualification, lead by Mr. Dougie Woodrow and supported by Jeannie Grant, cleaned the large wooden “horse” bridge at the Camserney end of the path and cut back nearby vegetation. A second visit will be scheduled to finish the job.

We are again very grateful to the students and hope that there will be further opportunities for them to practice their skills on path maintenance work.

If any reader would like to become involved with the group get in touch with Susan Duncan Millar (07909 723 115) or Martin Hill (01887 820 942).

Blooming Success 2017

We are delighted to share the news that at the 2017 Beautiful Scotland Awards, Perth and Kinnesswood were awarded trophies for ‘best in’ their respective categories and the following impressive array of medals were awarded to our communities.  We are very proud of our volunteers and delighted that they have been rewarded with such a good result.

Beautiful Perth Gold
Brig in Bloom Gold
Comrie in Colour Gold
Crichton Lang Court Residents Group Silver
Dunkeld and Birnam in Bloom Silver Gilt
Kinnesswood in Bloom Silver Gilt
Muthill in Bloom Silver Gilt
   

Thank you to everyone for all that you do – together we really do make a difference!

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All Together an Outdoor Success!

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Groups from across Scotland came together in the grounds of Blair Castle on Sunday 24th September to celebrate Scotland’s diversity in the Cairngorms National Park at the Outdoor Festival for All.

The day was organised by Backbone CIC, a Social Enterprise that works with communities from all backgrounds to help and inspire them to get outside and engage with nature.

Blair Castle and Atholl Estate played host to the event which saw over 200 people come together and take part in a range of recreational and learning activities within the Cairngorms National Park.  Activities took place throughout afternoon and included bushcraft skills, cycling, animal handling and guided walks.

The day was a huge success as described by some of the attendees:

‘This is the best day of my life, I don’t want to go back!’  Young Syrian boy with the Welcoming Project.

‘Thank you for a lovely day, it has put a smile on people’s faces.’ Rainbow Group Falkirk

‘So much laughter and fun today with Backbone CIC at Blair Castle. Keep up the good work, a brilliant partnership.’ Eileen Stuart Head of Policy & Advice SNH

Backbone CIC ran the event to showcase the leadership talent of their Community Leadership Project participants.  This project was funded by the Cairngorms National Park Authority, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, Forestry Commission Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.

Cairngorms National Park Authority Convener Peter Argyle said, “We are delighted to be working with Backbone on this event as we have a shared aim to ensure that the wonderful landscape of the Cairngorms is available for all to enjoy.  It was lovely to see so many people who have never had access to the National Park before being able to enjoy the uniqueness of the countryside and try new skills.”

Groups who attended included; Young Muslim Sisters and the Ahlul Bayt Scoiety from Glasgow, Hindu Mandir an Asian elders group from Edinburgh, the Welcoming Project – Edinburgh who work with Refugee & Assylum Seeker family groups, Dundee International Women’s Centre and the Yusaf Youth Initiative also from Dundee and the Rainbow Group – Falkirk that includes Multi cultural family groups.

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Murthly Playtime

Flash cardsThis week, I had the pleasure of spending the morning at Murthly Primary School where I had been invited by Mrs McCarthy the Headteacher to come and speak to the children about plans to improve their local play area at Broompark Crescent.

The morning started off with speaking in front of the whole school at their assembly where the children told me all about what they thought of the park, what other parks they liked to play in and why and their favourite memories of being in the park. They were all excited about possible improvements and keen to give me their ideas.

After Assembly, I spent time with each of the classes. I had some flash cards to prompt discussion on their favourite types of play as it’s important to understand how they like to play before deciding what equipment would help them enjoy their time at the park. Top things to do by the Primary 1’s and 2’s were to have a tree house with a slide and things to jump over. However the Primary 3 and 4 class preferred logs and boulders to clamber over and things to climb. The older children in Primary 6 and 7 loved adventure trails, climbing and running. The children also said they would like more plants and trees.

The play area is due to be improved next year so I said I would keep in touch with the children on progress and get back to them if there were any decisions on equipment and layout we needed help with.

 

Fun with Flail at Loch Leven NNR

Neil Mitchell Scottish Natural Heritage Reserve Manager at Loch Leven NNR writes;

“Wednesday is volunteering day at Loch Leven NNR and we have a great gang of volunteers who join us in all weathers and all seasons carrying out a massive variety of tasks on the reserve. There is always some vegetation management to be done along with control of  the non-native invasive plant Himalayan Balsam but this summer our volunteering team have stepped up a gear to help Perth & Kinross Council Greenspaces team and become more involved in the maintenance of the trailside vegetation which can so easily engulf the path.

To assist in this we had a training session with PKC instructor Peter [McGrath] who brought along the Rolls Royce of mowers to help us. After Peter had skilfully guided us through the somewhat daunting array of levers the team were soon getting stuck into the path proper and giving the trail its ‘final’ haircut of 2017. Everyone was really impressed with how much easier it was with this machine when compared to the mower we had been using and I think this haircut will be whole lot quicker than the first one was. We’ll definitely be putting our name on the list to borrow it again next season.”

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