PKC Community Food Growing Strategy/Allotments meetings in February. – I have been sent the information from the other organisations presenting at these meetings and have forwarded then onto everyone. Some good information regarding the setting up of community gardens etc.
An update from Alison Robb about growing fruit bushes and trees randomly on small areas of land around Pitlochry. She contacted Peter Marshall PKC again and he reiterated that he still had to check these sites and that we would have to do some kind of community consultation regarding the planting of fruit bushes and trees in these areas. She mentioned we could help them with this and that there would be an educational element to this situation such as children and youths knowing where their food comes from and also address some anti-poverty issues.
Alison has been in contact with SSE too about the piece of land by the Old Armoury building down towards the Dam. They will check with their land management team and get back to her asap.
Lend and Tend (Lend and Tend.com) or Garden Share: There are lots of people here hoping for an allotment one day, so until then we are going to promote the sharing of gardens either as a garden owner or a garden tender. We have been in touch with Joyce Veheary from Lend and Tend and she is really interested to help us set up a garden share group here and helping to match people. She has a registration form we can use, which we can include a link to on our website, along with some information about it. In our April advert in the Pitlochry Life and The Quair I have also included Alison’s mobile number for those who are interested but don’t have internet. They will be able to pick up a paper copy of the form from Kaja in Handam to fill out and return. I have asked that they return these forms by Saturday May 1st 2021 as it would be good to get people matched asap as the growing season will be started soon. But we will continue to promote it after that too.
Would anyone be interested in helping with a wildflower turf/plugs idea in a meadow just outside Pitlochry, please get in touch? The idea would be to plant seeds in plugs which could be sold to others who would like wildflowers in their grassy areas. Maybe the Den of Heartland Kids club would be interested in this?
Another great source of information on different issues with gardening is Roots and All have some podcasts on lots of subjects. - https://rootsandall.co.uk/ Yvie recommends their podcasts.
You can pick up some native Scottish wildflower seeds from here, https://www.scotiaseeds.co.uk/
Pesticides and verges – I have been in contact with Sally Spaven from Pitlochry in Bloom and she has forwarded my email to Kate Howie who is now the Chairman of PIB. I am waiting to hear back from her. I have asked her about any other landscape contractors who cut or weed kill the verges etc (Alistair McLaughlin. Yvie Stewart mentioned there is an interesting podcast about wildflowers verges and councils from Roots and All. https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/more-than-weeds-and-more-with-sophie-leguil/id1399040612?i=1000490309717
Anne Urry and Yvie Stewart mentioned that Dundee has been doing a lot of work with wildflowers and rewilding spaces and the Botanical gardens may be involved too. So, they may be a good example to look to regarding their existing practices for verges.
Here is a video on how Foamstream works which can be used as an alternative to weedkillers.. https://youtu.be/4o1RooBfGxY
Waste and Resources. I mentioned before that Sheila Best from PKC had said that PKC was trialling a communal recycling waste system in Perth City Centre and some folks were not recycling as well as they could, so they are approaching these people to discuss what support they can give them to improve this situation. Peter Marshall also mentioned of creating a one stop shop which would be a roving team to go round communities to discuss waste and how to be more successful with reusing, recycling etc. For reuse, there is places like Remake, freecycle, Transform, Facebook pages, Tayside Upcycling & Craft Centre, British Red Cross shops as well as Heart Foundation.
I emailed John Fergusson of Pi Polymer Recycling about an update on his progress with getting his project funded to develop the first large rigid plastics recycling facility at the Binn Eco Park in Tayside as part of Project Beacon. He is talking to funders at the moment and when he has some more news he will come back with an update on his progress.
I recently met Ruth Pepper (Jess’s sister) from North Berwick Climate Café and have asked her about having a chat about their Climate Café, recycling waste issues etc as a tourist town. I am organising another meeting with her for a longer chat, especially as their group has been going for 7 years now.
Plastic Lite Pitlochry. (accommodation providers). Anna Stokes is helping Alison with calls to accommodation providers regarding reducing their plastic waste, providing alternative solutions but also promoting active travel around Pitlochry area, using bikes, walking and public transport. There are lots of ideas on our website. Alison has discovered that Knockendarroch have installed 2 electric charging points. Some accommodation providers are using local produce, reducing plastic packaging through using compostable containers. Using refillable eco products too. Anne Urry from Rosemount Hotel is working towards becoming a greener, energy efficient business/building and quite a few would like more information on how they can move towards this too. Graeme Stewart from Highland Perthshire Gourmet although almost plastic free except for a plastic film on some containers mentioned he would really like to know more about what products are out there that he can use. He also said he was going to start promoting how to recycle all the containers etc he uses.
A few of us are getting together in the next week or so to chat about this - such as creating a list of suppliers and alternative products to make it easier for accommodation providers to choose replacements to the ones they use at present. Organise small groups of accommodation providers to discuss how we can help them with information etc. And we have some examples of sustainable businesses in Pitlochry like Handam Refill Shop who have experience of the different issues involved in becoming a sustainable business. There are a few more established sustainable businesses farther away like Jessie Macs in Birnam and Scottish Deli in Dunkeld. It was our plan to hold a Zero waste event last year but these smaller zoom meetings could replace it.
But there is also a request for information on creating more energy efficient buildings under the new regs coming out. Martin Mathers may be able to help with this.
Tanya Ewing owns Glaze and Save, Perth. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GH_ZP8W8hJo which provides secondary glazing for sash and case windows. Draughtproof and energy efficient.
Community Eco Hub – Update on space for information hub. As the shop is finished, we are now focused on creating the information hub and Kaja and I will continue to contact people and groups regarding supplies of up to date information (posters and leaflets plus any presentations/videos etc). Our Community survey is almost complete to hand out to local residents through Handam for feedback regarding what help they would like to have on offer from a Community Eco Hub. It will be online as well as downloadable from our website and hopefully the IRIS magazine too. I have asked if it could be completed and return to us by Saturday 4th July 2021. Although I have included times for both the Garden share forms and Survey returns, these are not rigid but asap would be great.
Kate Kirby has put a notice on the Climate Cafe website about the Community Eco hub and will be posting updates on its progress there. She has also added the list of Climate Change, Social Justice, Solutions books to the website. If you have any books magazines, eco businesses etc you would like to add to this list, please forward them to me or Kate to share. They would be greatly appreciated.
Climate Café Blog – Karen Lean has written a blog for the website on what weeds we can eat and a few recipes and she has offered to write some more for the group on different subjects that we can add to our website.
2040 Feedback so far for the film is yes. It’s a great feelgood film and I have booked it for Monday 24th May, all day, and we can use it as a Climate Conversation. (Damon Gameau explores what the future in 2040 could look like by the time his daughter is 24 years old. He looks at the best solutions already available to us to improve our planet and shift them rapidly into the mainstream.) I am also going to ask the schools if they would like to view it too.
CAT Centre of Alternative Technologies – I watched a presentation about Building with Nature in Mind which I found very interesting. CAT have a series of podcasts on different subjects available for everyone to watch.
Next meeting is Friday 9th April, 7pm
Community Eco Hub: You may have noticed Handam Refill Shop is open in Pitlochry and Kaja and I are now focussing on the Community Eco Hub and in particular creating the information Hub in the shop where we will provide the leaflets, books and hope to have regular drop in sessions with consultants on Waste, Energy Efficiency in homes, Food and transport etc.
Our intention is to extend this through time to include educational workshops such as maintenance, repair and reuse. Presentations, talks and more zero waste events.
But there could be other help and support you would like the Community Eco Hub to offer so we have created a short community Engagement Survey for everyone to fill in or return to us by Saturday July 4th 2021 please. Or you can pop into Handam Refill Shop (behind Davidson's Pharmacy and Coffee Break) to pick up a paper copy to be returned to the shop. Any suggestions you have will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.