Riverside Naturally adopted 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.
Over the three years we have been looking after these gardens we have watched them evolve and grow.
Read on for more information about Alice's Woodland Garden and here for the Story Garden.
Progress of our
One of the challenges of improving this woodland garden was that due to years of minimal maintenance the trees had increased in number meaning that the shrub layer and field layer got very little light, result in very little growth within the whole space. This also led to soil that was in poor condition, badly compacted and in need of some care and nurturing.
In 2019 Stirling Council's workforce in partnership with Riverside Naturally cleared 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.
The chippings were used as ground covering which added nutrients, improved the soil structure and drainage which will continue help the beneficial mini-beast to thrive in the soil.
In 2020, facing the challenges of COVID, independently or in very small groups, we added more bark then planted a range of flowering plants which were 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.
You can find our planting plan here.
In 2021, still working within the COVID restrictions and 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.
All the planned trees have been planted and over 600 bulbs and plants were sown.
We also welcomed Alice the Otter to the garden.
In 2022 we are planning on adding a path to the Woodland Wonderland from the river path to Alice whilst continuing to maintain and nurture this space. Weed species, such as brambles and thistles will be removed and as we watch the plants grow further plants may be added.
Alice the Otter
With thanks to the Stirling Community Pride Fund and the very talented Jonny we have welcomed our new friend to the Woodland Garden.
An otter was chosen to symbolise the relationship between the land and water and to emphasis the importance of what we do in our green spaces and the effect is has on other habitats.
Riverside Primary school held a week long event to celebrate and learn about COP 26. Riverside Naturally had the great pleasure of welcoming the four Primary 1 classes to the Community Orchard, where we discussed the creatures, big, small and tiny that live in Riverside and what they needed to have a happy home. we then spent some time hunting for these creatures and had a great time.
We also asked the children to give us some help in choosing a name for our new otter!
The suggestions were absolutely fabulous and it was very hard to choose but eventually we voted and chose Alice as our otters name.
This year Visit Scotland is celebrating a Year of Stories and we thought that Alice in her Woodland Wonderland would be a perfect fit