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3 Seasons in the Park - with visitors!
Picnic Drive At Plean Country Park
The Forth Driving Group RDA spent a most enjoyable picnic drive at Plean. While being relaxed the route driven gave plenty of variety. After a short, but steep climb from the area for horse transport we drove around the perimeter of the walled garden before a downhill section which levelled off just before rounding the ruined house. A left turn afforded a good straight run allowing a lively trot before negotiating a trick section through the trees before returning to base. Although overcast, the weather remained dry and gradually improved during the afternoon.
Then of course the best was yet to come……the picnic including a Birthday celebration! As usual the spread of food did nothing for our waistlines but the variety of savoury and sweet delights had all to be sampled. Lynn’s Birthday Cake was adorned by too many candles to be counted but thankfully we didn’t need to call on the services of the fire brigade.
Our thanks must go to Stirling Council who allows access to the park; also to The Friends of Plean Country Park for the use of their gazebo, table and chairs which enabled us to relax following the activities of the morning drives. Thank you to all the volunteers who made this outing possible and of course to the drivers for their presence and camaraderie.
Orchids on the meadow
We are fortunate in Plean Country Park to have one of the best displays of Greater Butterfly Orchids (Platanthera chlorantha ) in Scotland. 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 meadow in large numbers.
The plants are most densley populated in the main meadow situated in front of Plean House which is why this area was the obvious choice for the recently installed carving of the butterfly orchid and the moths which pollinate the plant.
Each year volunteers count each and every flower spike and this year has been no exception. Following the count last weekend it has been found that the number has increased overall this year to about 2800 however the annual report is not yet available. If you would like to know a bit more about these wonderful plants or are interested in their management, you may be interested in the report produced by Jennifer Davidson following last years count.
BBQ and AGM
On the 21st June the Friends Group held their annual event in the park. The AGM provides an opportunity to review what we have achieved over the last year and the BBQ is a way of thanking our volunteers, members and funders for their support throughout the year.
We were joined by Cllr Danny Gibson and members of Stirling Council Communities Team for the evening and thankfully the weather stayed dry while we enjoyed our BBQ outside after which we moved into the new outdoor classroom to hold our AGM.
As well as working closely on projects with Stirling Council during the year, our volunteers and members have taken part in practical conservation days when they have carried out pruning of the park's fruit trees, hedge weaving and trimming, rhododendron clearance and path repairs.
We have been able to provide community pathswork training through our partnership with Paths For All, provide lunches and refreshments to volunteers thanks to funding from Volunteering Matters and fudraising has provided the funding to pay for insurance for our volunteers and our tools and equipment.
If you would like to get involved with the Friends group please contact us.
This group picture is courtesy of Stirling Council and taken from an article featured on their website. To read more about what they have to say about the Friends of Plean Country Park see the Council News item.