Community Affairs

Kippen Flower Show

The 117th Kippen Flower show took place on the afternoon of Sunday 19th of August. Despite the difficulties of growing fruit and vegetables presented by the  uncharacteristically hot dry summer this year, the good residents of Kippen and the surrounding villages did us proud with their entries.

Best in show
This, combined with the crafts and preserves/baking sections, provided a wonderful country living feel to the village hall for everyone who attended. The garden competition wasn’t as full this year as last – but the judges were delighted to meet many of the entrants, each of whom took a real pride in presenting their gardens. It would be a real treat to see more entries next year, particularly from the younger villagers – keep your eyes peeled for a new children’s gardening competition next year.

Special mention to Shona and the wonderful ladies from Rhubarb and Lime who, in the absence of enough volunteers to help, very kindly kept the show on the road by running the cafe this year. Many thanks also go to Winnie, for making the 117th Kippen Flower Show her final copy for the Stirling Observer. Please consider joining the organising group or helping in any way you can to ensure that we have a 118th Flower Show. Your village needs you!
Lilian Hare

First Prize for the Kippen Flower Show Garden went to Joanne and Stuart Baker for their colourful back garden; second prize went to Robert Armstrong and third prize to George and Betty Johnston.

The judges decided that a special award should go to Caitlin and Emily Girvan (4
years of age) for Emily’s first attempt at gardening complete with potted apple

Alison Bradley

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Community Affairs



1st Stirlingshire Carse Beavers

The Autumn term has got off to a good start with 1st Stirling Carse Beavers learning to tie shoelaces, picking blackberries and making 15 pots of jam for Contact the Elderly in Kippen, Gargunnock and Port of Menteith, learning navigational skills (reading a map and compass) in Kippen Woods and learning about mushrooms under the expert guidance of June Waley. Please contact: for more info on Beavers.

Annabel Gaywood

1st Carse Cubs

1st Carse Cubs (Kippen), have just started back. Yep that’s right, where does the time go? After a very successful year last year we are now fully back into the swing of things. Anyone who has been up to the old coupe area (by the duck pond) in the woods will see some of what we’ve been up to. Thanks, in no small way, to one of our adult leaders (Wallis Weir, Weir Forestry) we have continued to improve this area. We installed a brand-new totem pole next to the old totem pole. This was an exciting piece of landscaping and forestry engineering for the Cubs to witness that was erected by Bobby Wilson (Stephen Paul Associates) and Wallis combined. The 3 wooden benches for camp fire gatherings and cooking have been added to byclearing out the bases of the concrete recycling bins that are there, and creating an ideal, safe location for the Cubs to practice their camp fire building and marshmallow cooking. You will find us up in this area most clear Tuesday evenings having a whale of a time.

We have taken part in too many ‘cool’ activities for me to list, or I’d take up too much space in the ‘Wee Vine’. Activities we have undertaken include: bike ability, ‘field to fork’ theme, including farm visits, planting and harvesting our own crops and then cooking and eating (my personal favorite event).

As part of the forthcoming 100-year remembrance of the end of the first world war we will be supplying a detachment of cubs and leaders on the 11th November to help mark this event. As part of this we recently spent an evening at the war memorial at the cross, noting names and then researching what we could on the men who died and are remembered there. The Cubs were asked to choose a name that held a personal interest to them and in the next couple of weeks we will make a ‘poppy’ cross for that soldier to be placed on the memorial on “Remembrance Day”.

We are very much a community-based group and as such we are bringing back, by very popular demand, our Bonfire night. This year
it will be held on the Tuesday 6th November at the Football Pitch. This is our big fund-raising event and was extremely successful last year
as we raised more than we dreamed we would and were able to significantly help local charities and organisations. We would really like to do so again this year so please join us for a fun, laughter and a safe night of sausages, home baking, teas & coffees, music, fireworks, and a
large bonfire. It was a blast last year and with your support it should be a great night again.


These activities and adventures your children are having on their own back door do not happen without parental support. I am very lucky to be helped and supported by a likeminded group of leaders and parents. Our motto is, “If we’re having fun then so are the kids”.

Please come along and help, it really can be fun, and your local pack does need you!

You can contact either myself, Derek Shanks, or Cameron Skinner or via email us at –

Community Affairs

Flower Tubs

I have been very saddened at the sudden death of Fiona Campbell, my friend and fellow planter. We have worked very happily together, originally with Ann McCallum and since she left the village, just the two of us. It was always fun to plan what would go in the tubs, go and buy the bulbs/plants and set about to plant them up. We never disagreed although I think Fiona would have been happier with a blaze of colour, to my more muted tones!! It was a great occasion twice a year to refurbish and renew and we had so many passers-by who would stop for a chat and admire and congratulate us on the displays.

I shall miss her very much, not just for her friendship but for her dedication and reliability in the job we did together.

Next summer in memory of Fiona, there will be a blaze of colour!

Naomi Hirst

Community Affairs

Kippen Playgroup

Kippen Playgroup is back after a very enjoyable summer break and ready to educate and inspire Kippen’s youngest residents once again.  We are committed to being outdoors with the children as much as possible; not only because being in the fresh air, sunlight and natural environment results in happier, stronger children, but also because there is a multitude of learning experiences that are enhanced by being in the freedom of the great outdoors.

As you can imagine there are loads of physical benefits from learning outside, chiefly increased stamina and fitness, improvements in gross and fine motor skills and even stronger eyesight! Socially, the children develop by sharing tools and working together, which allows for a strengthening of bonds and ties within their peer group.  The sensory experience of being outdoors in the woods also helps promote language, which in turn develops a child’s selfesteem.  Through play the children experiment, solve problems and are encouraged to think creatively, which in turn nurtures their confidence, determination and self-awareness.


Obviously outdoor learning comes with some managed risks, but as Roald Dahl once said, “The more risks you allow children to take, the better they learn to take care of themselves”. Everything the children do in Kippen’s nature Playgroup is risk assessed by our wonderful Play Leaders Heidi and Pam, but as they are out in the natural environment, they are not entirely risk free.  The benefits are that the children learn to identify risks and hazards and how to deal with them, again boosting confidence and self-esteem.

The best thing about learning outdoors for the children is that it’s exciting!  Whether it’s bugs under a tree stump, baby ducks, puddles or sticks, pre-schoolers find joy in everything, rain wind or shine!  Hopefully a love of the environment and a respect for everything in it will prevail and these budding little scientists will save us all from our impending environmental apocalypse!! For now, though, because they have such a high level of interest in all the exciting things they’re doing outdoors, it leads to greater concentration and motivation, which for the most part cannot be replicated in an indoors setting.


This week alone our children were dragon slayers, rescuers of stray ladybirds and bramble monsters.  They found monkeys on a bridge, made doors for fairies, swung on the hammock and made a ‘jail train’. They then retired for hot chocolate round the fire pit after all their adventures.  Doesn’t that sound like fun?  If you think your little one is a prospective dragon slayer/bramble monster, then you’re in luck!  We currently have spaces for children on a Tuesday and a Friday (9:30-12pm) so if you would like to arrange a taster session for your little one (2-5 years old) then please get in touch with Heidi via

Kippen Toddlers is on every Thursday (10:15 – 12pm) in the village hall.  Come and join us with your new-born, baby or toddler and meet some other mums and carers from the area.  There are plenty of toys and games to entertain the little ones and we provide tea and cake for us bigger ones!

Suzanne Currie

Community Affairs

Kippen Community Woodland Group

As mentioned in the Spring issue, the Kippen Community Woodland Group has been awarded a Community Grant from Stirling Council to clear the pond. Alex Armstrong has been appointed and it is planned to carry out the clearance work on Saturday 27 October. As tempting as it was to carry out the work when the level in the pond was low over the summer, we are waiting until life in the pond is dormant. The water level in the pond will need to be lowered in advance to enable the work to be carried out safely and to avoid water damage to the excavator when it enters the pond.


To ensure the safety of all users of the wood, access to some of the paths next to the pond will be restricted whilst the clearance work is in progress. We would ask anyone passing by the pond on 27 October to respect any instructions given by members of the Woodland Group.  It is appreciated that the pond will look unsightly after the clearance work, but past experience has been that it recovers quickly.

In the Summer issue, the problem with littering in the middle of the wood where a “Fort” has been constructed was highlighted. Whilst litter is still being left next to the Fort, it is encouraging to note that that it is confined to a smaller area and glass bottles are being left intact rather than broken. Please could all those using the Fort remember to take their empties away with them as well as any littler that others have left behind.


Our Annual General Meeting will take place on Tuesday 13 November at 20.00 hours in the Cross Keys and anyone is welcome to attend. Donald Smith is looking to step down as Chair, presenting an opportunity for anyone else who is interested in an office-bearing position in the Woodland Group. If you are interested, please email  , come along to our AGM or join us on one of our woodland mornings (held on the first Sunday of each month).

Paula Watson

Secretary, Kippen Community Woodland Group