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Friends News

NEW Interactive Heritage Trail

Trail with Interactive Signs Installed in the Park

Heritage Trail semaphore signThanks to a grant funding from Heritage Lottery and a huge amount of effort from our Park volunteers and with information from local residents, a new heritage trail has been installed in the Park. Now as you walk around the Park you can find out some details about the history and wildlife of the area from these distinctive interactive semaphore signs.

Heritage Trail Post showing QR code
Lift the sign to read about the history of the location and to find out what wildlife can be seen in the vicinity.


As an added bonus each post has a QR code on the side - see on left. Scan these with your phone and listen to a recorded audio tour of the Park.


Listen to Stirling Council Ranger Jennifer Davidson tell you about the ecology, Friends of Plean Country Park Chair Fran Barr talking on the history and community, and Council archaeologist Murray Cook explaining some of the past history of the Park.

Additionally there are reminiscences from two sisters Mary Taylor and Charlotte Clark who lived on the estate in the 1940s and James Aikman, Stirling Council Land Services and retained firefighter.

You can listen to all the audio from the trail by going to Audio Link

Storm Hector in the Park

Storm Hector has made its presence felt in the Park.Fallen Beech on meadow

Besides the widespread foliage and branches littering the park after the storm a number of paths were affected by fallen trees.

The paths from the North drive to the car park were blocked by fallen branches. A large section of an oak tree blocked the horse trail by the burn, and a giant beech fell across the path from the Meadow to the South Drive.

 

Land Services have reacted quickly and have removed most of the hazards, but the big beech is proving more of a challenge. The trunk has been cut from the root which has fallen almost exactly back into place. Fallen Beech4

Meantime this path has been taped off for safety, so you need to find an alternative route.

A View From Above

Drone 1 reduced

Some wonderful views over the park supplied by a keen young photographer Dan Tetstall taken using a drone.

 

Beat Around The Bush

We held our annual Make a Difference Day Rhododendron bashing event at Plean Country Park on 22nd October.Tool Talk from Jennifer

The Friends of Plean Country Park joined forces with the Rangers Service and spent the day chopping and burning rhododendron. These plants are a huge problem in the park as they take over the ground they grow on, preventing any of our native wild flowers from thriving and block the sunlight out. This directly affects all other wildlife in the food chain dependent on our native flora.

Burning the cuttings also provided a source to cook our baked potatoes which we had with chilli, cheese and beans. In some cases all the fillings on the same plate!! Plenty of refreshments, hot and cold with biscuits and sweets required for energy of course.

Grateful thanks to Volunteering Matters for grant funding which paid for the lunch for our band of volunteers and also paid for some new hi viz vests and tools.

Many thanks to everyone who came along to help out and we hope to see everyone again on the 4th December for the Christmas rhodie bash with a hot lunch and of course mincemeat pies.

Checkout the gallery below for pictures from the day:

 

Community Path Works Project

Due to many hours of hard work by our volunteers we have recently completed an upgrade of the Canter Section within the park.path011

This project was made possible thanks to a Community Path Grant from Paths For All who provide support, advice and training to community voluntary groups & registered charities such as community councils, development trusts and community woodland groups working in Scotland. Groups can apply annually for up to £1500 to improve, upgrade or maintain their local community path. The aim of the grant is to bring local communities and volunteers together to improve their local environment.

Members of the Friends Group joined forces with the Rangers Service, members of the Fisheries Team and were helped by some new volunteers from the community which was greatly appreciated. Everyone worked hard over the three days of the project, learned from one another and had some good laughs.

On day one we installed some new drainage channels at the top of the path and started to remove vegetation from the edges to return it to the original width.

On the second day we continued to clear vegetation from the edges adding about two feet to the current width then we made a start to putting a new surface of whin dust onto the path which had been badly damaged by months of rain.

Day three found us laying the remainder of the seven and a half tons of whin dust which we then compacted with a walk behind roller. The damaged section of the path has now been upgraded making the path usable and safe once more.

We hope to carry out further repairs next year.