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Following on from our successful dry stone dyking course, we were recently able to provide a free training course for hedge laying, again with grant funding from CSGN (Central Scotland Green Network).
Fifteen people were able to learn new skills from champion hedge layer Guy Robbins and together we tackled 65 metres of hedge which is planted along the bottom of the event field.
Laying a hedge encourages the shrubs to regenerate and promote growth to make it bushier which is exactly what our straggly,gappy hedge needed. Hedge laying is a traditional way of managing hedgerows and helps to provide a thicker barrier and a great place for wildlife.
There are many different styles used in various parts of the UK and the one which has been used in Plean Country Park is the Midland style. The stems are cut most of the way through so that they can be bent over. These laid stems are called pleachers and new growth will come from the base of them where the base has been cut.In the Midland style the hedge is strengthened with upright stakes and tied together along the top with binders woven in and out to support the structure.
Click on the gallery below for pictures from the day :
To learn more about the art of hedgelaying check out the NHLS website.
CSV Make a Difference Day
This year the national action day was a joint venture held in the park on Saturday 27th October. The Friends group joined forces with Forth Valley Orchards and the Ranger Service to organise what was a successful and enjoyable day, with the Rangers providing a BBQ lunch.
Forth Valley Orchards funded an expert to provide training within the walled garden to a dozen local people on pruning and maintenance of fruit trees while two groups of volunteers worked on tasks. One group prepared some ground around the Gamekeepers Cottage for wildflower planting and the other continued the quest to enhance access by clearing paths of vegetation.
Those attending the course joined the Rangers and volunteers for lunch which gave everyone time to relax and enjoy some late Autumn sunshine. Anyone who wishes to become involved as a volunteer should contact us through the website.
Friends Receive Civic Award
Stirling Council Provost Mike Robbins honoured local citizens at a civic awards ceremony on Friday 26th October at Stirling Castle. The awards are presented to local people and organisations who have made significant contributions in their field or to their community. This year 28 awards were made across 9 categories and the Friends of Plean Country Park were delighted to receive recognition in the communities section for their work in conservation and promotion of the park.
Good for another 100 years!
On Saturday 10th November a group of Rangers, Friends and other volunteers under the guidance of Alice and Archie from the West of Scotland Dry Stone Walling Association rebuilt a 6 metre section of dyke.
Click on the images to see the results and how it was done ...
We are fortunate in the park to have one of the best displays of Greater Butterfly Orchids (Platanthera chlorantha) nationally. This plant with its lovely vanilla coloured flower spikes grows in old meadows and other unimproved grasslands and during the months of June and July appear in the in large numbers. During July we held two successful orchid events which were both quite different but closely related.