There are two neglected beds along the river path parallel to Riverside Drive.
Riverside Naturally identified these are areas where we could improve and enhance for people and for nature.
This is a long term project and we hope in a few years to see the true effect and benefits of our plans for these spaces.
Planning a Woodland Garden
One of the challenges of improving these spaces is that the soil is in very poor condition, badly compacted and needs some care and nurturing.
Stirling Council brought in some much needed chipped wood and compost which will add nutrients, improve it's structure and drainage which will help the beneficial mini beasts to thrive in the soil. We also added some bark and spread it around the two gardens in early January 2021.
When these first tasks are done and the growing conditions have improved, we will begin to introduce more flowering plants. These have been chosen for a number of reasons:
Biodiversity: Native plants in large variety have been chosen. This will ensure a wide range of wildlife and mini-beasts will make their home in our woodland garden. This in turn will help the plants to thrive.
Durability: The plants have been chosen that do well in woodlands in our Scottish climate.
Aesthetics: The plants have been chosen as a source of nectar, scent and colour that can be enjoyed by both people and wildlife, all year round.
Our hope is that the soil will have improved enough to allow us to start planting late Autumn with new flowers appearing in the spring and summer of 2021.
Discover our planting plant below and see what will be flowering and when.
To expand the number of species, colour and interest in the canopy and shrub layers we have planted aspen (Populus tremula), wild cherry (Prunus avium), Rowan (sorbus aucuparia), Spindle (Euonymus europaeus) as well as Butcher's broom (Ruscus aculeatus) and Guelder rose (Viburnum opulus) in the Northern woodland garden
The field or herb layer has even more fab plants to go in,
These seeds have been given to volunteers to bring on for planting in spring 2021.
Stirling Council's workforce in partnership with Riverside Naturally will clear the area of some of the dead, diseased and unproductive trees as well as the self seeded trees which have been causing overcrowding, cutting back some of the shrubs and removing diseased growth, but retaining the healthy and beneficial plants. Any tree that is removed at least one replacement tree is planted.
We realise that it is a drastic step to remove trees and that the area will look worse before it gets better but we hope you agree in a few years time it will be worth it.
We love trees and as well as planting and maintaining the Community Orchard for eight years, we have worked over the past months to get more trees in Riverside. In February 2020 we had either planted, or successfully lobbied the Council to plant, eighteen trees in various locations in Riverside, including replacing the beautiful ancient Red Oak that was felled in 2018, the oak sapling can be found to the left of the Cambus Kenneth bridge.
Find out more about the tress we are planting below.
We are working with the council to improve the planting in this small woodland area to the southern end of the path along from the footbridge. The council has pruned the dogwood (cornus) with the beautiful red stems. It has been pruned hard to stimulate lots of new vigorous growth. The red stems will be back!
Trees that are not thriving are being removed to create space for the other plants to flourish. New woodland plants for the ground and herb layer will be introduced to increase the diversity of species here.
All the new plants will be good for wildlife, especially pollinating insects.
Our focus on these sorts of plants is because so many species are in decline and need our help. It also means that there will be more life to see and enjoy once these plants become established.
A list of what plants will be added to this space can be found here.
Work is almost complete to improve this space along the Riverpath. Along with Stirling Council, we have designed a beautiful woodland garden with new native trees and over 20 native species of plants and flowers which will give this neglected space colour and vibrancy all year round.
As of February 2021 all the trees have been planted and over 600 bulbs and plants were sown. A few more seedlings are due to be planted later on this year and we look forward to watching this space blossom and mature.
Keep an eye out for all the new and exciting greenery!