Tighnabruaich Rural visit Glenfinart Garden

Tlghnabruach Rural ladies around the wishing well.

Tighnabruach Rural ladies around the wishing well.

A beautiful sunny day greeted the ladies from Tighnabruaich Rural earlier in April when they visited Glenfinart Walled Garden. Accompanied by volunteers Anna and Lynn, the group were given a guided tour of the garden as well as an overview on its history.

Glenfinart Walled Garden is open to the public every Saturday and Sunday 12 – 4pm. Entrance is free. 

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A visit to the garden

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Lynn, Angus, Kira, Fiona, Scott & Meryl hard at work.

Last Thursday we visited Glenfinart Walled Garden for the first time this year. We were welcomed as usual by the folks already working in the garden. It was Lynns’ first time at the garden so she was shown round and saw from the photographs how much the garden has changed over the past few years since the volunteers have taken it over.

Angus was asked would he like to come and help in the garden and was soon planting out peas that had been grown in the poly tunnel with his new friend Kira… they also planted their own sunflowers in pots to take home. Hopefully these will grow as tall as the ones that we saw grown along the side of the poly tunnel last year.

Some of the volunteers were turning over the ground in the vegetable beds and Angus and Kira made themselves useful collecting the weeds for the compost.

By now Angus was beginning to feel quite an expert at gardening so he decided that he would quite like to have a shot at digging over the vegetable beds with a “big spade”…. quite how myself and Lynn found ourselves volunteering to help with this digging we are not quite sure…. perhaps it was the bribe of tea and home-baking or possibly the unexpected heat going to our heads within the shelter of the garden.. but one way or another we found ourselves spades in hand helping to turn over two of the beds ready for planting. Treasure was found in the shape of bits of old crockery, bits of quartz and also seed potatoes left in the ground from last year.

As an experiment it was decided that as the potatoes we were digging up were of a good size and were starting to grow, that they should be moved to this years potato growing bed and that Angus was to plant them. Merle showed him how to hoe the dirt and then cover them over, and explained how they would be watered and earthed up and we would see how well they did over the next season. She wrote out a label for them – Angus’ potatoes, and wondered how many people would think that this was a new strain of tatties being grown in the garden. Nikki the dog kept a watchful eye over the proceedings.

The ladies from the Tighnabruach rural arrived to view the garden having just had lunch at Blairmore. They toured the garden then made themselves at home trying out the various seats and benches around the garden and having a good look at all the plants which were also being visited by butterflies and bumblebees.

The ladies had their picture taken by the wishing well then went off to enjoy the rest of their day out. By this time we were more than ready for a cup of tea or juice and to try out the pancakes and fruit loaf on offer!

Suitably refreshed there was time to dig over one more bed before we went for our lunch. We couldn’t believe that we had spent almost 4 hours enjoying ourselves! Lynn admitted that she had enjoyed her first lesson in digging but that she wasn’t sure that she was going to make a habit of it but felt a sense of achievement after all her hard work, and that she looked forward to seeing how things would grow in the garden.

We had to come back on Friday morning to buy some plants to take home to our own gardens and look forward to seeing them grow, and remind us of our lovely afternoon!

You don’t have to take up a spade to enjoy the garden, it’s just as nice to have a wander round, so we would recommend that its a great place to visit, for quarter of an hour…. or longer… the time will just fly by 🙂

Fiona, Lynn and Angus.

Kira and Angus

Kira and Angus check out the kids garden.

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Nursery Field to be leased for grazing

At the recent Ardentinny Community Council meeting, Forestry Commission Scotland representative, David Robertson, reported that the land, commonly known as the ‘nursery field’, is to be leased for grazing and that stock fencing will soon be erected around it.

Google Earth view of Nursery Field.

Google Earth view of Nursery Field.

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Easter Eggstravaganza at Walled Garden

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Despite a chilly start to the day, people arrived early for the Forestry’s Easter Eggstravaganza at Ardentinny’s beach on Easter Monday. Glenfinart Walled Garden was open to all with the tea tent selling drinks and home baking from 11a.m. By 2.40p.m. they were sold out as there was a constant stream of appreciative customers.

The children, parents and grannies thoroughly enjoyed the craft activities in the shed – Mask making and Easter Finger Puppets. Before long the garden was awash with masked children and even some masked adults! 

There were also sunflower seeds to plant and take home, and the children could try their hand at throwing a pot on a Potter’s Wheel which will be fired and ready to collect in 3 weeks’ time. 

Finally, the sun came out and shone down on all the happy faces. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day and the Walled Garden is now richer by £520. A big thank you to all who made it such a success, THANK YOU!

Lynn Kerr

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Community Council Meeting Minutes 7 April 2015

Community Council Meeting Minutes 7 April 2015

 

 

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Hydro Steering Group – Appeal for Additional Members

24 residents attended a public meeting in the Village Hall on Tuesday,  31 March to discuss the formation of a Hydro Steering Group for the proposed Hydro schemes in Ardentinny.

Chairperson, Dougie Menzies explained that the purpose of the meeting was to set up a Steering Group which would be tasked with drawing up the Constitution of a future Hydro Trust and the appointment of its Trustees which would then manage the income from renewable energy projects on behalf of the community.

He said that a pre steering group had been formed after the developer Co Hydrover approached the Community Council. This group of 8 included Ian McInnes MBE; Councillor Bruce Marshall; and National Park representative, David Mackenzie. However, they were keen to recruit a wider group of people in order to tap into the wealth of ideas and skills across the community to establish a formal Steering Group.

It was stressed that it was not the intention to discuss the project in detail, as it was in the very early stages and it was suggested that the developer was already experiencing delays liaising with Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS).

Mr. Malcolm Crosby, FCS Project Manager for Onshore Renewables informed us that, while he had been unaware of Tuesday night’s meeting, the developer had met with representatives of Ardentinny Community Council in January and that normal procedures for progressing the project were underway. He explained that FCS’ solicitors must first check the Titles of the land in question and that that process had begun. In the meantime, the developer can conduct walk-over surveys, something the Chair affirmed had begun, but any investigative drilling work etc. must wait for their solicitors’ report and its acceptance by the developer.

There will be an opportunity to discuss the project with the developer at a future public meeting later in the year but the current focus is to open up membership of the Steering Group to everyone in the village.

Ian McInnes suggested that it would be useful to have the publication of the Community Action Plan coincide with the developer’s public meeting. An example of a project that they have already been involved in is that of Kilfinnan Community Forest.

It was pointed out that the future Hydro Trust would manage income from all Hydro Schemes. For example, Ross MacArthur’s private scheme, which is a  little further on, would be included. Indeed other renewables projects could be included which are not necessarily limited to hydro. David Mackenzie referred to other Trusts which handle not only income but outgoings where communities have decided to invest in certain schemes in order to obtain a greater return.This could be another item for consideration by the Steering Group.

A question was raised as to how open Trust membership would be and the response was that that would be a decision for the Steering Group. FCS have published regulations on “Defining an appropriate community organisation” for communities to receive community benefit from developer-led renewable energy projects on the National Forest Estate   Also Argyll and Bute Council’s Onshore Renewables Community Benefits Consultation results, which are currently being collated, could be another useful information source for the future Steering Group.

The Chair then asked for volunteers to join the Steering Group and a further 8 came forward. The group comprised:

Dougie Menzies

Ian McInnes

David Mackenzie

Bruce Marshall

Neil Robinson

Val Kennedy

Marian Norris

Eileen Connell

Rob Bray

Malcolm Bartley

Linda Naismith

Jeanette Riley

Catriona McPhail

Guy Elder

Lynn Kerr

Bill Williamson

Anyone else in the village who would like to join is welcome to do so. If you are interested in participating, contact Dougie Menzies on 01369 810307. 

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