Braes of the Carse Conservation Group

 

We have been busy over the winter doing preparatory work for our three projects that have been funded by PKC’s Quality of Life Trust.

 

We now have 6 farmers and land owners in our area who have agreed to be “founding members” of the tree planting project.  They are agreeing that, whenever practicable, they will replace, replant and maintain the tree lines on their land.  We are initially providing 10 native trees, stakes and guards to each landowner with help, if required, in the planting.  Other farmers and landowners are already showing their support and, by the time this goes to print, we hope to have our first 150 trees planted.  The landscape of the Braes of the Carse depends heavily on the tree lines on field boundaries, lanes and roads as well as larger plantations for its character.  Many of our notable tree lines were planted by our Victorian ancestors and are now ageing, have major gaps or are in danger of being lost.  Our hope is that their decline will be halted and, over time, their full impact restored.

 

We have now purchased 120 good quality bird boxes and are finalising where these should be sited.   Whilst obviously not evicting any non-priority species “squatters” we hope to site the boxes to increase the likelihood of them being occupied by red list bird species such as tree sparrow and spotted flycatcher.  We intend to provide guidance to those who wish to have a bird box both in respect of the best site for it and also how to properly record data from it.  Providing a home for the birds is important but the collecting of nest box data that will be passed on to the British Trust for Ornithology will allow us to contribute to the understanding of the increase/ decrease of species numbers.

 

We would welcome suggestions from anyone about suitable publicly accessible places to plant small groups of orchard trees.  We already have a number of sites in mind but could do with more.  We are now finalising the mix (apples, pears, plum) and varieties (local heritage) and hope to start some initial planting soon.

 

Following the shining example set by the school children and residents in Abernyte when they recently cleared the litter from the verges throughout the Parish we intend to try to tidy the verges throughout the BCCG area before the grass really starts growing.  This is a large task as the Braes are criss-crossed by numerous small roads.  We are still looking for volunteers to clear sections of some of the less popular routes.  

 

On 30th January PKC’s Proposed Local Development Plan was published.  This represents the Council’s settled view on the appropriate use of land up to 2024 and beyond and contains its detailed policies and proposals.  At more than 300 pages it cannot be summarised….but some of the important points to note are:

Only very limited development in the Carse of Gowrie and no areas allocated for housing in the Braes.

Settlement boundaries only for Rait, Kinnaird and Baledgrno.  All other villages, small settlements or groups of houses to be protected by the Housing in the Countryside Policy.

Only the very northwestmost tip of the BCCG area is in the proposed Green Belt (although there will be opportunity to try to persuade PKC to designate the Braes a “Local Landscape Area” later)

There is a 10 week period (to 4pm 10th April) in which comments can be made on the Proposed Plan.  It is important that you tell PKC whether you agree with the Plan so that they know if they have support from the local community.  PKC prefer comments using their online facility but written comments will also be accepted.  Please let us know your thoughts as soon as possible as BCCG intends to submit comments on behalf of our members.  We cannot afford to be complacent at this important stage in the development planning process.

 

For further information about volunteering for any of our projects or joining BCCG please contact our Secretary, Marilyn Webb 01821 670374

or apply direct on our website www.BraesoftheCarse.org

New members, whether living in the Braes area or not, are always welcome.