Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Projects for April 2014 - March 2015

Hi Folks - As promised here is our activity listing for the financial year of 2014 - 2015. I've tried to give a little flavour of each project with a wee blurb of text, and even thrown in a couple of pictures to brighten the place up. I think that this was a great achievement on behalf of the communities of Falkirk and the Board of Directors of FET - Congrats to all of our participants.

I'll try to edit the post over the next few days with some more details and increase the number of links, but this is the base post.

The Bottom line is that We (and that means the readers, the Board, LCF and all the partners on every project) have just pulled off a slamming year...Broke the record...Knocked it out of the park!

So now we turn our attention to the next financial period  - 2015 to 2016 - Lets out do the numbers below and get the projects up to 20 in a single year...Contact me with your project Ideas and lets get moving!

Awards  registered with Entrust in 2014 - 2015    
                                                                    Award       Total Value     FET %
 Muiravonside Invasive Species 3             £10,890         £21,680         50%
A continuation of the Partnership between FET, The Conservation Volunteers and Falkirk  Community Trust. We (the partnership) have been working for several years on the eradication of Rhododendron Ponticum from the woods. Now at the third phase it can be said that the easy hits have been made, and what remains are stands on steep slopes that will require workers to be harnessed and roped down to the work site for safety.
A stand of R.Ponticum at Muiravonside CP - now long gone!

Ponticum is pernicious stuff, so it must be
 monitored and sprayed as it regrows

                                                                   Award       Total Value     FET %
Greenrigg  Cycle Track                            £23,237       £56,474            50%
A Skills training area for Mountain Bikers at the Greenrigg Strip. Bespoke, the applicant have been developing these cycle tracks for several years. The latest addition to the over all network of Cycle and multi-user pas in the area is the Tehcnical Skills Training track, featuring bumps, jumps and  various obstacles. With varying levels of difficulty the facility will be suitable for most users
The area around Greenrigg has been heavily developed with
 both mountain bike and multi-user trails

The Green Rigg strip - site of the forthcoming Skills Track

                                                                   Award       Total Value     FET %
Lionthorn Bridge                                       £6408          £12816           50%
A Further Enhancement to the Lionthorn Community Woodland – the replacement of a very narrow and elderly bridge with one  that allows much greater user accessability. The applicant was Lionthorn Community Woodland Group.
The old Lionthorn Bridge - suitable only for more able walkers

                                                                   Award       Total Value     FET %
Scottish Dragon Finder Muiravonside    £6,057        £12,114            50%
Work on ponds at the Muiravonside Country park to enhance habitat for the Great Crested Newt, Scotlands Rarest Newt. The project involves limited clearance of the existing ponds to create a larger body of clear water and creating small bodies of seasonal wetland by digging out shallow areas called scrapes. The Applicant is Froglife.

                                                                   Award       Total Value     FET %
Scottish Dragon Finder Avonglen            £5,650          £11,300          50%
As above, except at the Avonglen Quarry. Thanks to Frog life for the applicati0n and to Anna Perks , Falkirk Council Biodiversity officerfor her assistance

                                                                   Award       Total Value     FET %
Kinneil Lagoons Habitat Enhancement  £10,000       £25,000           40%
An RSPB initiative, The existing Laggoon will be enhanced  and its edges resculpted, with a new lagoon being dug and allowed to maintain  water at all times. The existing, much larger lagoon was formed when the old kinneil landfill cell was flooded, creating a large body of tidally influenced water. Additional works will involve some maintenance to a nearby woodland.

                                                                   Award       Total Value     FET %
B'oness to Blacknes access Links 2        £35,000         £30,5158         11%
This is the second phase of a project to upgrade the John Muir Trail path links between Bo’ness and Blackness, making them accessible to greater numbers of users. The overall project involves armouring sections of the coastline with Stone, improving the path itself to the highest of multi-user standards, and  the inclusion of directional / distance signage. This second phase runs to the eastern edge of Bo’ness.

                                                                   Award       Total Value     FET %
 Kinneil Foreshore Habitat                      £17,039        £34,978           50%
The project will encourage development of wildflower meadows which will provide much needed and improved habitat for invertebrates, birds and small mammals. 
Additionally, coppicing and thinning in the woodlands to encourage multi-stemmed trees to grow to reduce wind blow, extend the life of the woodland and encourage structural diversity. Wildflower seeding and tree and shrub planting will improve habitat diversity and to add variety to the woodland structure. Thanks to the Friends of Kinneil Foreshore group for bringing the application forward, Helped along the way by Ian Edwards and Anna Perks.

                                                                   Award       Total Value     FET %
Safeguarding Coastal Saltmarsh            £5,000          £45,000            11%
Another RSPB Project, this sets out to stop erosion of an area of the mud flats at the Haughs of Aitrth. The area is designated as a Site of Specific Scientific Interest and as such the most extreme care must be used not to disturb the wildlife. The area is famous as a place for wading birds, and particularly overwintering visitors to the British isles. The techniques to be used run to the application of a series of meshes over the affect. 
Mudflat erosion at the Haughs of Airth SSSI - 

                                                                   Award       Total Value     FET %
Larbert to Dorrator Link                         £15,000       £164,200          9%
This project is located in the River Carron corridor, between the settlements of Larbert, Stehousemuir, Camelon and Mungal. These improvements will address the last remaining links required in the development of a 6 mile path loop. Thanks to the Central Scotland Green Network for making this application.
Dorrator Path link before work commences - Messy!

                                                                   Award       Total Value     FET %
Slamannan Parish Church                       £20,000       £487,920           4%
Slamannan Parish Church is a B listed building, which is over 200 years old. Over the years the church has suffered deterioration, which has culminated in structural damage to the fabric of the building. Cracks have appeared in the stonework associated with “Oxide Jacking”, and dis-aggregation of the mortared joints has caused parts of the building to become open to the elements. Water damage, although secondary to the former has caused terrible damage to the inside of the building, with section of plaster having fallen off the walls and ceilings, wet rot and other difficulties. Finally, both the roof and windows need to be repaired, as they too both allow water into the building
The Application brought forward by the Slamannan Parish Church Council works that would seal the roof, Windows doors and even the stone work against the weather, Would deal with both wet and dry rot in the timbers of the building, and restore features of Historic Value. 
Slamannan Parish Church - A B listed Building

Example of water damage to Church interior

                                                                   Award       Total Value     FET %
Denny Memorial Garden                         £10,000        £95,185           10%
As part of the renovation process of the Denny Town Centre, as well as the 2014 Legacy programme relating to the First World War, Falkirk Council stepped in to move the War memorial from the now demolished town centre buildings.The Fund helped to provide labour and materials to erect a permanent memorial in the nearby Broompark Gardens.
Broompark, Denny before memorial works

Broom park after the Memorial Garden is finished

                                                                   Award       Total Value     FET %
River Carron Invasive Species 2              £6,500         £13,000           50%
The Second phase of an ambitious plan to eradicate invasive palnt species, specifically Japanese knotweed  and Giant Hogweed, from the Banks of the River Carron. The main technique used was stem injection, which is labour intensive but very efficient. A third phase, including ongoing monitoring and spraying of new stems is being planned now. Thanks to the River Forth Fisheries Trust for their application and ongoing work towards improving the biodiversity in the River Carron Catchment.

Stem injected Japanese Knotweed on the River Carron

River Carron at Denny, with treated JKW top right

                                                                   Award       Total Value     FET %
Callendar Park Rhododendron               £28100         £56,200           50%
Calendar Park is well known as the central green space in Falkirk, with its grand house, Lawns and Arboretum.  What the public may not know is that the great stands of rhododendron Ponticum – growing through out the park as structural landscape plants, Are an invasive alien Species. Not only that, they have successfully invaded the Callendar and other woods in Falkirk, where they supress the natural growth of indigenous Scottish species. FET has been combatting R. Ponticum for many years in Falkirk, and have now joined forces with Falkirk Community Trust and The Scottish Forestry Commision. The Plan is to eradicate the species from Callendar Park, and so stopping the massive seed production that occurs every year. The affected areas will be replanted with wildflowers and young indigenous tree species.
Planted as structural Landscape plants, But it’s dark side is its ability to invade woodland and smother all other ground cover plants, stopping  forest regeneration and destroying Biodiversity.
R. Ponticum, used as a structural landscape feature by many Gardeners in the UK

R.Ponticum invading a forest environment

                                                                   Award       Total Value     FET %
Bridgeness  Biodiversity Project             £11,453       £22,906            50%
Along the route of the John Muir way, as it passes through Eastern Bo’ness, there are large areas of Amenity grass land that are of low Biodiversity value along withy some post industrial brown field areas. This project will address those areas and create areas of wild flower meadows 
Example of a wild flower meadow

                                                                   Award       Total Value     FET %
Helix Inclusive Play                                 £18,000         £90,519            20%
After the Highly successful project  “Helix Adventure Zone” of which FET was a major Funder, Falkirk Community Trust have been allocated an amount for the next Phase, that of building a new area devoted to children that are less physically able. Photos of this will be made available as the project is built and comes on line.

                                                                   Award       Total Value     FET %
Kinneil Drystane Project                          £15,000       £61,715           24%
Drystane walls not only look attractive, but are incredible havens for a wide variety of wildlife. Cracks and crevices provide shelter for all manner of invertibrates, small birds and mammals and enhance the biodiversity of the area.

I'll put some more pictures up of the projects as they progress and get to the final delivery stage...Meanwhile thanks for taking the time and I look forward to working with you in this next financial year!!

All the Best               Art Berg

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