The Tay Landscape Partnership was the brainchild of David Strachan and Paul McLennan, managers for Perth and Kinross Heritage and Countryside Trusts respectively. An application to the Heritage Lottery Fund to support 28 projects was successful in 2013 and by 2014 the group were able to begin work on a raft of plans. Shirley Paterson, who works with the group, gives us an insight into some of the projects they are currently working on.
The group basically aims to celebrate and enhance for future generations the landscapes where the rivers Tay and Earn meet. A key principle is to reconnect residents and visitors with the natural, built and cultural heritage of the area.
One recent project has really caught the eye. There have long been tantalising reports of remnant water vole populations hidden away in quiet corners of Perthshire’s waterways, but confirmed sightings have been hard to verify. The group are currently seeking the help of locals and visitors alike to test the rumours and hopefully confirm that lowland Perthshire has these beautiful but elusive creatures.
Results from the survey will help target future management for these mammals. So, if you think you’ve seen water voles within the Carse of Gowrie, Sidlaw Hills, Perth or lower Strathearn, between Forteviot and Abernethy, then let the Tay Landscape Partnership know. Call Catriona Davies on 01738 475379 or email her at email@example.com.
Of course, water voles are only one aspect of the natural heritage that the Tay Landscape Group is interested in. They seek to improve access to a range of natural features and in so doing encourage many more people to learn about their landscape. There is also a desire to provide training opportunities for people in local, traditional skills and in so doing link with public and private investment in Dundee, Perth and Fife, to support sustainable economic development.
The future plans of Tay Landscape Group are many and varied. They will seek to involve local school children, provide new roost sites for a range of birds, plant over 1,000 trees and focus on creating and improving wildlife corridors. Add to this mix biodiversity surveys, delivering workshops and maintaining an informative website and it is clear that the group have bold ambitions and are set to make a real impact.
You can help the group by joining them as they create wildlife corridors by planting hedges and trees, assist with restoring declining historic orchards or learn about bee keeping, hedge laying and coppicing.
The Tay Landscape Partnership is made up of 28 projects so there’s something for everyone!
Images – (c) Lorne Gill / SNH except built environment image which is courtesy and (c) George Logan and water vole (c) Laurie Campbell.