On the Verge

On the Verge is a Stirling based, voluntary, community project.  It was established in 2010 and works with community groups in and around Stirling and Clackmananshire to establish areas of native wildflowers, both annual and perennial.  We reported on their excellent work in 2018, and a lot has happened since.  Leigh Biagi brings us up to speed.

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“2019 has been a busy year for the group.  When I drew up a list of our most notable projects I have to say it felt good – there’s a lot of super projects in the list, delivering benefits for pollinators, and people.

“Highlights are never easy to extract from a busy year, but a ‘Top of the Charts’ listing would include the following …

  • Stirling High School saw work on 125 sq m in their school grounds, linking the orchard area to the pond, and providing a wildlife corridor (this site was sown by an S4 maths class who used the opportunity to turn this into an informal maths lesson – probably the most accurately measured site we have ever sown!)
  • Cambuskenneth community council extended an existing site by 40 sq m
  • A 28 sq m bed at Sunnyside Primary, Clackmananshire was planted with wildflowers by a super- enthusiastic class of P5 pupils
  • A further 20 sq m in the grounds of Gargunnock Primary created an extension of the existing flower bed
  • 30 sq m planted for Gargunnock Community Trust in a new village wildlife area.
  • 100sq m of pond mix sown around Drumore curling pond
  • 30 sq ms of annuals in the planters at the Raploch school campus

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“By any standards that’s a pleasing list, and we are delighted to be working with so many people across the region.  Partnership working is crucial for us, we simply couldn’t do it all on our own and we need the ideas and energy of the local communities.

“We work in conjunction with Stirling’s Unpaid Volunteers (formally known as the Criminal Justice Service) who prepare a lot of our sites for us, including all the above community groups, and this year we were funded by the People’s Post code Lottery scheme.”

If you would like to get involved or call upon On The Verge’s expertise it couldn’t be easier.  Visit their website where following friendly message awaits –

If you or your community group would like to establish a wildflower patch we will help identify a suitable area, offer guidance in seeking permission from the landowner, help organise the preparation of the site, supply the seed free of charge and offer support and guidance for the sowing process. We expect you and your team to act as ‘guardians’ for the site (this simply involves keeping an eye on the site and letting us know how it progresses) and together we work to make sure the flowers develop year after year.

Community and Local Authority actions are vital to helping our pollinators, and groups like On the Verge turn ambitions into reality. So take a bow at On The Verge and here’s to 2020.

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With thanks to the team at On the Verge – Leigh Biagi (Chairperson), Fiona Kerr (Secretary), Mel Szwebs (Treasurer)Steve Harland, Emily Harvey, Sue Hunter, Sarah Fraser, Duncan Clark, Adam Thomson