Dunblane in Bloom Projects
1. Ochlochy Park
This was the first project undertaken by a group of residents living around the park. The pond originally provided the water supply to the Railway Station for steam locomotives but is now a natural habitat for the wildlife supporting a colony of ducks.
The pond was starting to leak and it was decided to carry out a programme of refurbishment, which required the pond to be drained. It was excavated to remove silt, four islands were built and the banks were reinstated. A settlement pool was created and planted with bulrushes, using reed technology, to remove harmful nitrates and chemicals. The sluice gates were repaired and the surrounding areas reseeded with grasses and wild flowers.
2. Floral Displays
Initially, eight half barrel tubs were placed on the bridge by the Stirling Arms and within days they attracted unwanted attention resulting in the removal of some conifers. They were replaced and securely wired in. Now there are some 100 barrel tubs, 9 tiered planters and 24 wall baskets. The Group has also taken over from Stirling Council the responsibility of some flower beds in the town.
Each year up to 6,000 plug plants are ordered from a commercial grower. The plants are delivered in the last week in April, ready for planting in early June. The compost that we use is a low based peat compost augmented with sustainable pulverized bark.
3. Poly Tunnel, Trailer, Watering System, Composting facility
To support this work we needed a poly tunnel . We bought a second hand one but when it was flattened by a heavy snowfall in 2005 we purchased a much larger one ( 60 foot long, by 19 foot wide). We also bought a trailer with funds from the Big Lottery’s Awards For All Scheme. A three bay composting facility was recently been constructed next to the Poly Tunnel. The watering system is a recycled 1,000 litre, steel caged, plastic tank with a petrol driven pump together with assorted watering lances.
4. Community Garden
The community garden was a small garden, down towards the Laighhills, which had originally been planted with roses by the local guides but over the years had been neglected. The volunteers took charge of the garden and planted it with perennial herbaceous plants. The wooden fence was replaced with metal railings from money provided by Stirling Council Community Pride Fund.
5. Barbush Round About
The Barbush roundabout was created as part of the Cala Homes housing development. Cala provided a grant of £15,000 towards the landscaping in order to improve this approach to Dunblane. The roundabout is maintained by the volunteers.
6. Riverside Seats
With the help of some grant aid from Stirling Council, new seats were bought and installed along the Allan Water. The work was carried out by our mid week group of volunteers, affectionately known as DADS army, led by Captain Bill Maclean. Working with Andy Maclaren the same team refurbished the windows at the Braeport Centre,
7. The Coronation Garden
This garden is located on what was the base of a WW11 air raid shelter at the foot of the incline leading down to the Mill Row. Originally, it comprised a number of Laurel bushes and other shrubs and had an air of dereliction. With funding from the Dunblane Windfarm Community Trust and Stirling Council Community Pride fund and Community Grant Fund, an area of block paving surrounded on three sides by a raised bed has transformed this site complete with a bench seat into a sun trap
8. Dunblane Railway Station
A chance meeting with Mary Grant (formerly Dixon ) the then managing director of First Scotrail, revealed her desire to encourage communities to ‘adopt a Station’. At that time, we were one of the first to take up this challenge and now there are some three hundred participants. First Scotrail provides funding for the plants in the twenty four tubs on the platform and for the climbing roses (albertine) on the fence.
9. The Haining Embankment
This is the bank under the Cathedral down by the Allan Water which in the Spring is covered in daffodils. Here we have an ambitious project in mind. The Council no longer maintains the bank and it has become overgrown with brambles and other invasive weeds and trees. Our plan is to clear the bank and create a series of small maintenance terrace. We would then plant attractive shrubs and perennial plants. The wall at the foot of the bank would also have to be rebuilt.
We have had the bank surveyed to establish the angle of the slope. The next step is to have a feasibility study carried out by a civil engineer. Assuming the project is feasible we will draw up plans and costs and seek grant funding.
10. Rock Garden Project
Early in 2009 we drew the Council’s attention to the poor street lighting down by the river caused by the overgrown Laurel bushes. Their response was to fell all the bushes to within two feet of the ground. This revealed a large area of ground previously unseen and unexposed to the sun. It was decided to define this bank by constructing a dry stone wall along the bottom of the bank. The work on this wall has been much admired
We spoke to Sandy Leven of the Rock Garden Club to ask his advice. This has resulted in an unexpected offer not only of the Cub’s expertise but also financial support towards the costs the project. The next phase is to construct a 20 metre long by 1.5 metre high retaining wall constructed using a combination of a concrete block inner wall faced off with natural stone (estimated cost £1,000). We can then make a start on the creation of the rock garden.
This is a large project and will not happen overnight but when it is finished will greatly enhance this area and combined with the community garden should become a tourist attraction.
11. Faerie Bridge
The midweek group has started the refurbishment of the Faerie Bridge .
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