One of the first things we did when we found our Wee White Hoose was to research the local area, and I was interested to find out that Barrmill, the village just along the road from us, had a conservation group. After a brief stalk of their Facebook page we decided to jump in feet first and join the group of volunteers who work in Barrmill Park at the start of each month. We met some really lovely, interesting people and were made to feel incredibly welcome by all. If that wasn’t enough to encourage us to return, we’d definitely be back for the fantastic spread that was provided at lunchtime by the kitchen volunteers. It was quite difficult to get back to work in the afternoon after eating our own body weight in soup and sandwiches!
There were seventeen of us there today, clearing leaves from paths and flower beds, cutting back brambles, planting spring bulbs and deep-cleaning the boardwalk that had become dangerously slippy with leaf mulch thanks to the recent spell of bad weather. Dougie and I got to work clearing Vale Grove of the thick carpet of wet leaves that had settled over everything while Esme donned her gardening gloves and cleaned up the compass rose before helping out with the raking.
The park is a fantastic space. In 2012, it was the subject of a Beechgrove Garden episode and the conservation group have worked incredibly hard over the last couple of years to maintain and build on the work done by the Beechgrove team. I’m looking forward to seeing it in full bloom in the summer.
The boardwalk that runs alongside the Vale Burn reminds me of Dad’s path around Sheilhill Glen and the Kelly Cut, including how ridiculously slippy it gets in Autumn!
Ginger Hill gives a great view of Greenhills, though our house is hidden by the trees, and on this rather damp afternoon, by the mist. It’ll be a great picnic spot in the warmer weather.
There are so many little touches in the park that elevate the place from the mundane to the extraordinary. Esme’s particular favourites were the fairy doors in the tree stumps. I was surprised at how much she enjoyed getting stuck in with the work, especially since the last forty minutes of it was done in the pouring rain. Hopefully that’s a good omen and she’ll be just as enthusiastic when it comes to cleaning up our own garden.