Update Sunday Lunchtime 3 December
Dozens of people including lots of children have been out on the Laigh Hills today planting fruit trees - a great success!
Help Plant an Orchard on the Laigh Hills
Improving Access to the Laigh Hills
Members of the Laigh Hills Park Masterplan Steering Group have managed to secure a significant sum of money from the European funded Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) to Improve Public Access to the Laigh Hills. Almost 2km of improved paths and steps with drainage, seats, signs and fingerposts will be constructed by Stirling Council’s in house team from early November
An Orchard in the Laigh Hills
Thanks to a grant obtained by the Laigh Hills Steering Group from Tesco’s Bags of Help fund, we hope to plant some 300 fruit trees in early December. This time we will need help from the wider community to help plant the trees Further details will be posted closer to the planting dates. The fruit trees will include a Scottish Apple Collection, a Plum Collection, Modern Apples – Dessert (eaters) and Cookers, a Scottish Pear Collection, Damsons and other fruits
Some Background : A Community Orchard was alluded to in the Laigh Hills Park Dunblane Strategic Landscape Master Plan 2014. This document and process had wide community support. The development of a "heritage" orchard or orchards on the Laigh Hills -- particularly on the sites that have bracken problems at the moment -- would be the first phase of the Community Orchard development.
The orchard will provide free fruit for walkers and encourage active recreational use of the Park whilst enhancing the biodiversity of the area. The community, through a friends group, would be involved in planting and maintaining the trees.
The orchard will focus on establishing heritage fruit trees, including apples, pears and plums and suitable varieties of bare rooted stock will be obtained from a local fruit tree nursery. Tree will be staked and guards will protect the young trees from deer, voles and rabbits. The trees will be planted by volunteers from the community and from local schools and expert site visit and advice and will also be used to ensure that the orchard is successfully established. As well as providing fruit, the orchard will be an attractive feature in the Park and will attract more wildlife to the area.
For the really interested the list of varieties planned, follow these links
Join the ‘Friends of the Laigh Hills’
The play facilities at the Laigh Hills are due for improvement by Stilring Council – this from funds provided by developers over the years. More news shortly.
Participants of the Dancesing classes held in Dunblane, Bridge of Allan, Killearn and Glasgow are the backing singers to a charity single fronted by Stirling's Greig Taylor. All proceeds of the single, which is a cover of Bruce Springsteen's rock classic "Dancing in the Dark", will be donated to the mental health charity SAMH.
Natalie Garry, owner and fitness coach at Dancesing, is keen to encourage good mental health through singing and dancing. Recent studies have shown that singing as part of a group can boost mental health.
More info on the Dancing in the Dark Project can be found here.
Dancesing classes are held at the Victoria Hall during term time on Fridays at 10am. More info on the Dancesing website.
Keir Home Farm contained a very fine set of buildings.
Now Registers for Scotland considers the farm to be 'At Risk'.
Also see photos from Deadline News /Forgotten Scotland
There are other buildings on the estate which are 'At Risk'.
From the Architect’s Journal ; 21 November, 2017 By Merlin Fulcher
Competition: Braeport Centre, Dunblane
The Dunblane Development Trust (DDT) is seeking an architect for a £500,000 extension to its Category C-listed Braeport Centre The winner of the estimated £16,000 contract will complete a feasibility study exploring options to upgrade and enlarge the community centre which occupies a former primary school in the Braeport area of the historic town. The phased £500,000 project will demolish an existing portacabin extension featuring a kitchen and toilets, reconfigure the interior of the 1880s structure and create a replacement new build expansion with additional storage spaces. According to the brief: ‘Over the coming years it is the DDT’s intention to refurbish and extend the existing facilities to provide a more modern and improved facility, better able to accommodate the needs of the community in the future, and of businesses needing flexible workspace for businesses and services for older people and people with dementia. ‘In order to achieve these ambitions for the Braeport the DDT is seeking to complete a feasibility study to identify what improvements could realistically be made to the existing facilities and also what additional facilities could be added by extending the existing building.’ is a small commuter town in the Stirling area of Scotland close to both Glasgow and Edinburgh. The Braeport Centre was set up in the 1960s in the former premises of a three-classroom primary school. The building has capacity for up to 210-people across its three hireable rooms along with a small meeting space, office and kitchen. The latest project aims to upgrade facilities and expand the space available to the centre’s users. The deadline for applications is 12noon on 22 December.
How to apply : View the contract notice for more information
Piling Works – KippenrossTunnel to Dunblane Station
As part of a Scottish Government investment in our infrastructure, Network Rail is delivering work to electrify the railway across central Scotland. The next phase is the electrification of the railway from Grangemouth and Falkirk, through Stirling to Alloa and Dunblane will enable, longer, faster, quieter, cleaner and greener modern electric trains. The benefits will be significant including a 15% reduction in journey time between Stirling and Edinburgh/Glasgow and up to 20% more capacity on morning and evening peak services to Glasgow and Edinburgh. Prior to installing the masts that will carry the overhead wires, we need to install piles and concrete foundations in the ground to provide bases for the masts that will carry the overhead line electrification wires. Shifts and times for these works between KippenrossTunnel and Dunblane Station are detailed below.
Community Drop-in Before the piling work starts, Network Rail is hosting a community drop in event where members of the public can come along and meet the project team to ask any questions and discuss the work. Tuesday 28th November, 4pm – 7pm, the Dunblane Centre, Stirling Road, Dunblane, FK15 9EY. Download the Flyer
Piling work Dates & Times:
8th to 29th January 2018
Saturday night from 11pm to 8am
Sunday to Thursday 9pm to 5am
Teenager Nanayakkara Gunasinghe decided to sign up for a Foundation Apprenticeship (FA) after a careers adviser recommended them – and reckons the programme gives pupils the edge when it comes to the world of work. The 17-year-old from Dunblane completes an FA in Financial Services next summer and would like to do a Modern Apprenticeship after that. The two-year training programme, developed by Skills Development Scotland, gives youngsters real practical work experience as well as a qualification. Nanayakkara is also studying Highers in Media and English is already feeling more secure about the future. The Dunblane High School pupil applied for the FA despite lacking a vital maths qualification – but was accepted after showing a strong work ethic.
Nanayakkara, who is interested in politics and the cinematic arts, explained: “One of our neighbours is a careers adviser and recommended an apprenticeship because she knew I’d like it. “I felt that the course would give me a better chance than other people because you get so much experience in the workplace and a qualification at the same time. “When I applied I didn’t have my National 5 in maths but was accepted because what is needed is to show that you want to work hard and that you want to go places in life.”
For the first year, Nanayakkara spent alternate Fridays at Forth Valley College and at financial firm Prudential – but now works at the company’s offices in Stirling one day a week. The ambitious youngster says the job has exceeded expectations and shown the world of work to be less daunting than expected. Nanayakkara said: “The tasks change every few weeks but it has mainly been admin for the managers – helping organise team meetings, taking minutes and updating the system with new client information.
“Anything you do in the first year of your college learning is applied in the workplace so it’s a great opportunity and being in this environment has really helped my communication skills and my confidence. “I’ve also found that when I apply for part-time jobs employers are always very impressed that I have experience in a professional environment.” The teen added: “An FA was definitely the right choice for me and it has absolutely lived up to my expectations. It is hard work but it’s definitely worth the time. “The best thing is being at work. Everyone at Prudential has been really friendly and supportive – it’s just the nicest place you could be.”
Nanayakkara says the apprenticeship also gives youngsters a taste of adulthood. The apprentice explained: “The way you’re taught about work in school can make it seem very daunting but it’s not as terrifying as you might think. “A lot of my friends are worried about what they are going to do next but when you have done an FA you know that you have a career path. “I really do feel a lot more independent and ready for my future.”
Text from Scottish Sun 141117
Jim picked up this prestigious award in Glasgow recently. It was presented by athletes, Eilidh Doyle and Zoey Clark ... read more
From 23 July Stirling Observer Article
Fireman Jim Snedden has volunteered to go back to the Mediterranean on another refugee rescue mission after helping to save the lives of more than 2000 immigrants and he has earned this year's first
When firefighter Jim Snedden closes his eyes, he still sees the faces of the helpless little refugee babies and children he rescued from the sea and carried to safety. It may be nearly a year since the dad of three helped save the lives of more than 2000 immigrants stranded in flimsy dinghies in the Mediterranean but to him it seems like only yesterday. Jim spent three weeks last summer on a mercy mission with the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) charity helping refugees fleeing conflict in Africa and the Middle East via Libya. He is still haunted by the memories. As well as pulling men, women and children from the overcrowded boats, the trained rescue swimmer also plucked dozens from the sea who had fallen overboard. Jim, whose selfless bravery has earned him this year’s first Sunday Mail Great Scot Award nomination, is preparing to return to the Mediterranean, where the humanitarian crisis continues.
He said: “I constantly think about the desperate souls on those boats. When I was out there, I was too busy to think about anything except getting people to safety but, since returning to Scotland, I haven’t been able to get the refugees – especially the babies and little children – out of my head. “The pictures on the news don’t do the horror of their plight justice. One day I boarded a small dinghy packed with at least 130 people. I noticed a hand reaching into the air from below the crush. I pulled out a 16-year-old girl, who threw her arms round my neck and refused to let go. I will never forget the look in her eyes.” Jim, of Dunblane, added: “I came home and hugged my children tighter than I have ever hugged them before. Seeing what I saw has made me appreciate my life even more. “I’ve signed up for another three-week mission with the MOAS in Malta and am expecting the call any day now. I just want to do as much as I can to help with what has become one of the biggest humanitarian crises of our time.”
Jim, who trains members of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in swift water, river and flood rescues, admits it breaks his heart that, for the refugees, risking their lives trying to get into Europe is safer than staying at home. He said: “Before I left, I asked myself how parents could put their children’s lives at risk on these vessels but, after talking to them, I realised what they were fleeing from was far worse. “Some had been travelling for eight months, ending up in Libya where the men were tortured, children were kidnapped and women raped. They would rather die at sea than live in Libya.”
The firefighter, who is dad to Lewis, 19, Stephanie, 18, and Vicki, 12, said: “My family knew I’d end up going back and they’ve been super-supportive, as have the Fire Service.”
Jim, who is married to teacher Helen added: “It’s a real honour to be nominated for an award. I can’t believe it.”