Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Scotland By Rail - Perth - riverside walk, sculpture trail, printmaking exhibition, mist and beavers

My first Perth blog post was in 2012 when I walked the river path north to a little almost-island and saw an osprey dive and catch a large fish - here.

My second was in 2016. Mostly about the train journey from Fife (it’s a lovely route) plus a couple of pics of the station (station mentioned below) - here.

This new post is Feb 2020:

I like Perth very much though I confess I mainly know the station (big, grand, now quiet but with strong echoes of the Golden days of rail), the walk to the river, the walk up the river, a few shopping streets – in particular looking for bakeries and cafes – and Frames Gallery where I’ve sometimes exhibited.

This latest trip was for the opening of a Frames exhibition of work by the members of Fife Dunfermline Printmakers Workshop

We went early to have a couple of hours to explore. The plan was a short bit by the river en route to Perth Museum & Art Gallery

By Rhonda Bayley (2004).

Reaching the river and this Rhonda Bayley sculpture which I so love (what on earth is it all about? See *secret* answer at end of blog) we spotted a group of people walking what looked like a traffic free path through the trees on the opposite bank. I looked at the map and discovered Bellwood Riverside Park. How had I not noticed it before? Perhaps I’ve only ever been when the trees are in leaf and obscure the far bank. We decided no to the art gallery and yes to exploring a new patch. Discovering a new nature space is always a great day.

Bellwood Riverside Park combines with Norie Miller Park and Rodney Gardens to form a really nicely managed stretch of green running between three bridges on the east bank of the Tay. There’s a footbridge (step access only) over the railway bridge and accessible pavement over the two road bridges Queen’s Bridge and Perth Bridge.

It was a beautifully misty late afternoon.

The parks are very nicely laid out and managed with shrubs, trees, bulbs, winding paths, a pond, a Heather Collection and areas of natural unmanaged land. There’s also a sculpture trail with as many sculptures as there are letters of the alphabet. Keep your eyes open for the fox.

And on waterside trees for signs of beavers. They are there. Few things are as exciting as beavers being back in our landscape for the first time since we hunted them to extinction in the 16thCentury. If you’re interested in learning more, much more, about the life and habits and environment-enhancing ways of the beaver I can recommend few books as highly as Jim Crumley’s Nature’s Architect (other than perhaps his The Last Wolf). If friends or colleagues think beavers chopping down trees is bad for nature or increases flooding, buy Nature's Architect for them too.

corkscrew hazel

looking to Moncrieffe Island from Bellwood Riverside Park

Explore the full River Tay Public Art Trail (both sides of river) on this excellent website - here.

At the far south of the parks, where railway bridge crosses and you look across to Moncrieffe Island, there’s a smaller, earth (/mud) path continuing by the river bank. From the west bank - Shore Road, a ten minute walk from the station - it’s possible to get onto the island with its allotments and golf course. Access is on foot only. Up steps onto the railway bridge, down steps onto the island.

Courier article & pics - www.thecourier.co.uk
Allotment video. What a haven - www.youtube.com

More exploring needed.


How to get there

Plan your journey at www.scotrail.co.uk

Many thanks to ScotRail for supporting my Scotland by Rail work.

*Secret *Answer: Soutar's Menagerie by Rhonda Bayley (2004).
"William Soutar is Perth’s best-known poet... His more
light-hearted side is shown in this amusing piece, representing
 quirky animal forms featured in his poem ‘Bairn Rhymes’."

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