We were fortunate enough to be awarded two native tree packs this year to expand our little woodland. The first pack, from The Woodland Trust, contained over 100 trees from the 'Edible Hedge' pack (crabapple, wild cherry, hazel, rowan, elder, dogrose and blackthorn). The second pack of 50 trees came from the Trust for Conservation Volunteers (field maple, birch, rowan, wild cherry, willow).
With so many trees we needed lots of willing helpers, and we weren't disappointed. The first session was by the Fairburn Cubs, and to make things more exciting, it was by torchlight to coincide with their regular evening meeting! They did a brilliant job with every tree the right way up when checked the next morning :) The second session was led by the industrious P5 class from Strathpeffer Primary School. They all to great pride in planting, staking and protecting the saplings. The remaining trees have been planted by other volunteers from across our community, helped by some lovely sunny days. Thank you to everyone involved.
All of the children turned out to be very knowledgeable about why trees are important to help fight climate change, how they will become home to many native species, clean our air and provide both us and wildlife with fruits and nuts long into the future. We hope they will take pride when they return to see the fully grown trees, perhaps with their own children, one day.
We are in the middle of a climate and nature emergency. Between 1994 and 2016, almost half of Scottish species decreased (State of Nature Scotland, 2019). This is why we want our park to play a small part in reducing this loss, while also creating an attractive and usable community space.
The SRA is pleased to have been awarded £2,500 from the Highland Council's Nature Restoration Fund. We will use this to develop our community orchard, which will provided us with local, free, fresh fruit, as well as an important source of nectar for pollinating insects. The orchard will include apples, nuts and other types of fruit, including our local (and most northerly) heritage apple variety 'Coul Blush'. We will also use the grant to purchase tools to manage the open areas for wild native flowers, creating colourful and attractive nature-rich areas, and to manage our small area of woodland.
Please get in touch if you'd like to join our growing team of volunteers and to help shape how the park develops. For those who don't follow us on social media, we will meet at the park shed on the first Saturday of every month (10:00 till 12:00) from May to October.
A hardy team of volunteers braved a wet February morning to erect our new storage shed. It will make a big difference to our ability to manage the park now we can keep our tools on-site. We will plant around the shed to help it blend in.
We are grateful to Foundation Scotland for funding from the EDF Renewables Corriemoillie Strathpeffer Community Fund.
We are absolutely delighted to hear we've been awarded a grant of £50,560 from the Place-Based Investment Programme (PBIP) to develop our community park path network. This is a critical phase of the project and one of the planning pre-requisites before we can install a new play park. The paths will also create a new all ability safe-route to school, avoiding the steps along the alternate route. Many thanks to the Council Members who chose to support us and all those who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make the application possible.
We have updated our park plan to show progress and how we envisage each area will be managed. As ever though, this is your park and new ideas are always welcome via our Facebook page or by emailing email@example.com.
Have you seen our new balance beams down at the park? Logs kindly donated and delivered by our local Forest and Land Scotland depot and crafted by members of our growing team of volunteers.
We hope these items provide some fun for our kids while we secure funding for the new play area.
If you have other ideas, or would like to join our volunteer team, please get in touch...it's your park
We are so excited to finally see our drainage works get underway. This will provide the vital long-term foundations for our future play area and increase the amount of usable green-space for recreation.
The works include a drained area for the play equipment, an intercept drain around the main field and wide filter trench on the bottom field. This wide trench (swale) will filter the water and has enough volume to hold back storm water before it is slowly discharged into the underlying culvert (Kinellan Burn). This way we won't contribute flooding further down the glen. We will initially seed the swale with grass to stabilize its banks, and will add a diverse range of native pond plants along the wetter base to benefit pollinators and our local frogs, toads and newts.
Many thanks to our contractor James MacLean for doing such a neat and considerate job on such a difficult boggy site. And of course, than you to our funders; Highland Council (Town Centre Fund), EB Scotland and Foundation Scotland from the EDF Renewables Corriemoillie Strathpeffer Community Fund .
The SRA Board have reviewed and refreshed our Business Plan. It now covers the period 2021 to 2024 and gives an overview of our aims, progress to date and ambitions for the next three years. Please take a look!
The illustration below, taken from the Business Plan, shows the winning design we are working towards for the inclusive children's play park. We can't wait!