Climate and Biodiversity Update

In between the odd April snow shower flower buds are bursting and the bees are buzzing; nature is waking up. Staying local means you have hopefully found new affections for exploring the many wonderful greenspaces in and around Bridge of Allan.  Maybe you have wondered what these creatures are, how they have fared during the pandemic and what the future holds for them. 

Last week we had two new bus shelters installed with Green roofs.  Although this is only small in area, it shows a willingness to add biodiversity features to urban infrastructure.  I look forward to seeing how the roofs evolve and what insect visitors arrive.  We have some lovely flowers out now, essential for early flying insects looking for nectar and pollen. Butterburr flower spikes are poking out along the path by the river in Haws Park.  Lesser celandine carpets of juicy green leaves and bright yellow flowers are all over Mid Wood and the Darn walk.  The white flowers of hedge garlic are out in many places now and those of wild garlic are about to open up, you can’t miss the garlicy smell walking along the Darn Walk. 

Green Bus Shelter

New Green Roof Bus Shelters on Henderson Street. Photo: Anna Doeser

A few members of our community have been in touch to voice their concerns about the insect population, highlighting the threats insects face such as insecticide use and loss of habitat.  There are many things as individuals and communities we can do to help insects.  You can collect information about your sightings, adding them to national records using irecord.  Last week I found a large bumblebee on my windowsill.  After a bit of searching on the Buglife and Bumblebee Conservation websites I determined it must be a Buff-tailed bumblebee, and a queen due to its large size.  And now I can’t stop spotting these huge fuzzballs hovering over the woodland floor and garden shrubs of Bridge of Allan.  Later in the year I usually have Common carder bees nesting under a mossy patch in my lawn, they are a joy to watch, tirelessly gathering food and cause me no bother. Buglife’s B-lines project aims to create and restore at least 150,000 hectares of flower-rich habitat across the UK.  Bridge of Allan is identified as a B-Line corridor.  I’m not aware of any B-line specific projects happing in this area, perhaps contacts at our local Wildlife Trust group might be able to let me know. 

In September 2020 I watched a representative of Stirling community project On the Verge present their petition: Keep the Wildflowers of Stirling Blooming to the Environment and Housing Committee.  During the first lockdown due to the pause in council teams out cutting grass verges and other areas, wildflowers had thrived as had their insect visitors.  The argument to reduce mowing was a win-win for the budget and the environment.  Following this in October Stirling Council announced that a new Pollinator strategy will be developed to help wildflowers flourish and support the lives of bees and other pollinators.  We will see some of this implemented in Bridge of Allan with mowing of the grassy area between John Murray Drive and Ferniebank Brae reduced to a single cut in late Summer/Autumn and a cut and collect method adopted if possible.  This will allow the wildflowers to bloom and set seed, removal of the cuttings overtime will reduce the fertility of the soil, tipping the balance in favor of the wildflowers over the grasses.

At a more strategic level Stirling Council has recently released its draft Climate Emergency plan for consultation on the new Engage platform.  This is a draft plan, so do let the Council know your views on it.  The consultation is open for comments until the 4th of May.  There are also two dates where the Sustainable Development team are presenting the plan, with an opportunity to ask your questions; these are 5-6pm on Wednesday 14th April and Tuesday 20th April.  The plan is structured in 5 key areas: Energy, Transport, Resource Efficiency, Nature and Biodiversity and Climate Adaptation.  It sets high level targets and objectives for each of these themes, many in line with the Scottish Government’s target of reaching net zero by 2045.  The details of exactly how all the aims and objectives of the plans will be met are still to be drawn up using individual Action Plans for each key area.  These plans will be developed over the next 5 years with the “Alive with Nature” plan the first to be released in early summer of this year.  

Schedule for the development of Action Plans to deliver the Climate and Nature Emergency Plan. Source Stirling Council.

If you have ideas for nature and biodiversity projects or want to share your local nature sightings, please do so in the comments below or via our social media channels.

Police Report – March 2021

Police Report – March 2021

Police Scotland have shared their report covering 16th Feb 2021 – 15th March 2021.  Read the report here.

A number of people have been victims of online fraud and scams.  Make sure you have all available security software installed on your devices.  If you received calls or texts from an unknown number or unexpectedly, do not give out any personal information.

Given the return of all primary school pupils as of 15th March, CPT officers will where possible carry out patrols in and around the school to monitor vehicular speed and parking behaviour.

February Meeting Minutes

February Meeting Minutes

The February meeting minutes were approved at this weeks meeting and have been uploaded to the website. They can be found via the link below.

At the meeting we discussed: The Police report, Gritting, Speeding, Tennis Courts, National Wallace Monument, Common Good Fund, Dog Fouling, Community Council Vacancies, Planning Issues and received reports from our Chair, Secretary and Treasurer

February Meeting Minutes

March Meeting Agenda

March Meeting Agenda

Our next meeting is to be held on Tuesday 16th March at 7.30pm via Zoom. Find the agenda with meeting joining details here . All are welcome to attend.  

We will be discussing: Cornton Level Crossing – with a representative from Network Rail, Police Report, The Wallace Monument, Tennis Courts, Common Good Fund,  Play Parks, The Ivy/Eagleton Building, Community Council Vacancies, Visions and Values for the village, Planning Issues, reports from our Chair, Secretary and Treasurer and Residents Voice where you can make your comments or questions.

We are looking for new Community Council members

We are looking for new Community Council members

Bridge of Allan Community Council are Recruiting.  We are looking for two new members to join the Community Council as co-opted members until full elections are held in 2023.

We have been actively working on many different community projects and initiatives, so it is more important than ever that all sections and voices of Bridge of Allan are represented on the Community Council.  The role involves keeping up to date with community issues raised, working together to find solutions and helping communicate residents’ views to local organisation such as Stirling Council, Network Rail, developers and businesses.   We have 10 meetings a year usually held at the Allan Centre, however at the moment these are held online using Zoom. 

To see what we have been working on recently you can look at past meeting minutes and our Facebook page.  To find out more about community councils and how they are run see here.

You can put yourself forward if you live in the Bridge of Allan area, are over 16, and are on the electoral register.  To nominate yourself you should complete this Co-option Nomination form and return it to  by Monday 22nd March. 

Successful Nominations will then be approved at our April meeting.  Although there are only 2 spaces for Co-opted members on the Council, we can also appoint associate members who help us with specific issues such as planning applications, youth events or business for example.  See more here about different types of membership.