Mysterious little doorways and shelters, small enough for faeries or a “peg person” to child size have been appearing in the woods….. in the Birks of Aberfeldy. This has been
partly due to the increase use by Breadalbane Primary School. This has been done through outdoor education sessions.
PKC Community Greenspace Ranger Service has been supporting a number of groups to complete both the John Muir Awards and Patrick Geddes Awards by introducing them to the woodland and its history and providing conservation tasks, all in line with the woodland management plan.
Other groups such as the Aberfeldy Beaver Scouts are also using this resource. There will be many more that we do not even know about!
This has seen an increase of den building by all user groups. This has unfortunately lead to habitat piles being taken apart for this educational exercise and just for fun. The Ranger Service will therefore be trialing adopt a habitat pile and a designated area for den building and would love to hear what the users of the Birks think of this.
The Crieff High School Group have been busy with a special day carrying out some willow weaving to create the start of a willow dome. They were learnt about the properties of willow and how it is a useful resource for building structures.
Jay and James said “Prior to doing the activity, we had no knowledge or experience of willow weaving, so it was completely new to us.
When we arrived at the site we marked out the circle for the dome with line paint.
Sizing the willow and trimming it.
We then sorted the willow out by size and trimmed it if needed.
Next, we built the frame of the structure by hammering stakes in to the ground which we put the willow in to tying it together so that the arch was stable.
Then we started weaving the willow, we bent it and manipulated it in to the shape we needed and secured it with string
Base Structure taking shape.
We managed to complete the base of the structure.”
A special thanks to Jeannie Grant (Highland Ranger) for coming and showing us and sharing her knowledge.
The group really enjoyed the day and learned a wonderful new skill.
Junior Rangers from Pitlochry High school recently spent the day working on the Dunkled footpath network. Improving and maintaining the steps at the summit of Birnam Hill.
After an hours walk with tools and equipment the Junior Rangers were tasked to dig out and use locally collected stone to fill in the steps. This involved working as a team to move the stone in buckets to the work site up the hill.
Local charity Beautiful Perth is welcoming the Beechgrove Garden team to Perth on 23 May. FREE tickets are now available for a ‘Gardeners’ Question Time’ session that evening, in Joan Knight Studio, Perth Theatre.
Gardeners from Perth and beyond are invited to come along and put their questions to Jim McColl, Carole Baxter, George Anderson and Brian Cunningham, who will be on the panel to provide expert horticultural advice.
Pictures of garden problems or actual problem plants, can be brought along to help the experts answer questions. Doors are open from 17.30, audience to be seated by 18.15 and filming starts at 18.30.
Earlier in their visit to the Fair City, the Beechgrove team will be filming with volunteers from Beautiful Perth at the heather garden in Riverside Park, and will also visit the allotments on Moncreiffe Island.
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 levelswith 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.
It has been a little while since I have updated about the Green Routes group. There has been a wee bit of change within the group with our NHS support worker Grant leaving and the new support from Occupational Therapy Work Sheila.
The group are grateful that this support is continuing and that NHS recognise the importance of a group such as Green Routes. We have also had a couple of new members to the group and the return of a couple others which is great to see!
The group has also received some funding from the Soroptimists who raised the funds through the local community. The group would like to say thank you for this it will help them with money for clothing and equipment for carrying out their work. The group will be carrying out some maintenance on behalf of the Soroptimists in their raised bed in MacRosty Park.
Weeding Beds around the Pavillion
The group have been very busy recently we have been carrying out a range of tasks such as weeding the beds around the pavilion in MacRosty, we decided to try and keep on top of the beds this year with some minimal maintenance to keep on top of them although a few of the beds will need some considerable work to bring them back to a good standard.
Helping with the dome
They also helped to finish the main structure of the willow dome started by the school group.
Every second week we have been having a bit more of a laid back time and appreciating some of the wildlife around us as well as carrying out some small maintenance tasks this has included litter picking and drainage clearance down Lady Mary’s walk we managed to spot a range of different wildlife including: Common Sandpiper, Dippers, Pied Wagtail, Goosander and Red Squirrel!
Staff from Community Greenspace recently partnered with BRAN to help maintain and improve the steps on the popular River Ericht walk, near Blairgowrie.
Keen volunteers from BRAN were on site to help scrape back years of mud to expose the stone below. Quarry dust was then moved from Parkhead Farm to the work site and compacted to improve the surface.
Thanks also to Ian Cruickshank, who went for a walk along the path towards Rosemount farm armed with a pair of loppers cutting back any over hanging branches and finally not forgetting our other members Eric Grant, Keith Reid and his son Alistair who went litter picking from Kitty Swanson’s Bridge to Lochlands Farm.
Should you be interested in joining BRAN. Please contact Ian Richards group secretary Ian Richards on email@example.com
Community Greenspace recently partnered with a range of organisations to upgrade and improve the footpath around Guildtown Park. Over the years the path had become overgrown and waterlogged making it difficult for the local school and community to use the path.
The task was to remove weeds and resurface with type 1 stone and quarry dust. This was achieved by a group of young volunteers from the Princes Trust who worked hard learning footpath building techniques, tool use and how to safely operate machinery.
We would also like to thank the keen volunteer’s from the Guildtown community who gave up there Saturday to come along and complete the task. By the time the task was complete over 400 metres of footpath had been upgraded and 30 tons of material moved.
“On Sunday the 15 April 2018 a successful partnership action day took place in the Dalreoch Area within Letham. In attendance were local residents, local Community Group, the Letham Co-op, local Councillor, Perth and Kinross’s Council’s Community Greenspace and Perth and Kinross Council’s Operations team. As a collective group we are keen to take on more community action days within the Letham area.”
Scone Park pond was given a spring clean on Friday 13th April and although the date maybe unlucky for some, no one fell in the pond so proved lucky for us!
A group of local residents helped extract litter from the pond edges using extended litter pickers. We will go back into the pond in October to remove some of the vegetation when pond insects have stopped breeding and will collect the litter in the centre of the pond then. The pond was busy with bird life – mallard ducks, moorhen and the swans were guarding their newly constructed nest.
A big thanks to everyone who came along on the day. We are gauging interest in a volunteer group to help with tasks in Scone Park and wider Scone area such as footpath maintenance and keeping paths clear from vegetation. If you are interested, please get in touch with Greenspace Ranger Joanna Dick by emailing JoannaDick@pkc.gov.uk