Heather, our Project Officer, reports that it was a bit of a snowy start for our next intake of Rural Skills Trainees today. Great to have some new young faces on board. Looking forward to spending the next 20 weeks with this crew. Lots of learning and adventures ahead, just as soon as it stops snowing.....
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“The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” Chinese proverb
Planting trees is a gift for the future and this is what’s been going on at Dùn Coillich since 2002, when 418 hectares, between Glen Goulandie and Schiehallion, was purchased on behalf of the community by Highland Perthshire Communities Land Trust (HPCLT). The Trust’s overall aim is to create an environment to benefit both wildlife and the well-being of Highland Perthshire residents and visitors. This is being achieved through the restoration of a healthy ecosystem, and key to this is the planting of native trees, such as scots pine, downy birch, rowan and sessile oak. At Dùn Coillich the vision of the founders is now being realised as young trees overtop the heather and bracken, and a wealth of plants, fungi, birds, insects, spiders and mammals is to be found.
There are established trees at the Wee Birks Field in Aberfeldy, gifted to the community in 2016 and looked after by HPCLT. It will be kept as an open space for public enjoyment, perhaps with some picnic tables and seats and some additional native flowering trees – we’re still open to suggested uses.
If you like the sound of this, come along to the 2018 AGM and find out more; it’s at 2pm on Saturday 24th March at Kynachan Hall, Tummel Bridge. The meeting is open to all – you don’t have to be a member. The AGM will be quite short, and will be followed by a talk by Dr David Hetherington, Ecology Adviser with the Cairngorms National Park Authority and a Trustee of the native forest restoration charity, Trees for Life. There will also be light refreshments, displays illustrating some of the exciting work being done by HPCLT, including our Rural Skills training for young people, and the chance to talk to some of the people actively involved in HPCLT.
Dr Andrew Walker, Chair, HPCLT
01887 830461, email@example.com
Our next Rural Skills Training Course starts next month and we are now accepting applications. This free course is open to anyone aged 16-25 based in Highland Perthshire and is a great opportunity for any young person interested in a career in the outdoors. We offer training in Chainsaw, Brushcutter and Quadbike use, Dyking, Fencing, Footpath Work, Habitat Management and more.
If you are in Aberfeldy over the next couple of months, you may notice that Alex Butter, Landscape Contractor, is working in the Lower Birks, between the War Memorial Arch and our Wee Birks field. He is upgrading paths, making stone seats, erecting some statuary etc.
We have given him approval to use our field to access his work site from the level area near Burns Brae. He will be putting mats down across the level grass area and making an angled ramp down the steep slope. A couple of red-berried elders may suffer. He will be using a flail mower across the field itself, mostly along a route that we have already begun to establish.
He is obligated to reinstate all "damage" upon completion. We may wish to retain the ramp, but we will have time to decide that during the 5-6 weeks contract time.