Volunteers save the day – again!

We’ve been extremely lucky over the last few years to have had such excellent, unwavering, high quality support from a wide and varied group of volunteers.  Every year, in order to say thank you for their help, we like to arrange a volunteer day that includes some volunteering, followed by a delicious barbecue, courtesy of reserve manager Neil.

The gang departing from the island

The gang departing from the island

In previous years we’ve taken the group away to nearby locations including Flander’s Moss, Tentsmuir and Methven Moss.  This year we fancied somewhere a little closer to home, and with willow needing cleared and grass needing cut on St Serf’s Island, we saw this as the perfect opportunity to get a group of people over to the island for a quick bash at clearing some of the re-growth.

St Serf's Priory

St Serf’s Priory

Willows were cleared from the island initially in 2009 to create more potential duck breeding habitat, and it is important to ensure that it is monitored to ensure any encroachment is controlled as early as possible.

Both mowers were taken out to the island the week before, with Alan and Sandy getting on with cutting while all the others chopped away at the willow re-growth.

Sandy on one mower...

Sandy on one mower…

..Alan on the other

..Alan on the other

The barbecue was expertly managed by Neil, with Lesley putting together a phenomenal bulger wheat salad to accompany it.

The work continued the following Wednesday, with Alan, David and Emily joining me on a belter of a sunny September day, to finish off the cutting and prepare some of the cut willow for re-planting at alternative locations. Particular thanks goes to Emily, who has been a massive help over the summer, and now returns to her studies in St Andrews.

The area around the ponds was cut to promote good feeding habitat for wintering ducks

The area around the ponds was cut to promote good feeding habitat for wintering ducks

David gets stuck in with the mower

David gets stuck in with the mower

David and Alan contemplating their morning's work!

David and Alan contemplating their morning’s work!

Emily preparing the willow for re-planting

Emily preparing the willow for re-planting

The Wednesday team departs with the mowers

The Wednesday team departs with the mowers

We were lucky enough to have a couple of cracking odanata sightings, with the Emerald Damselflies mating on the island.

Emerald Damselflies

Emerald Damselflies

Other recent wildlife shots to share:

Ten-spot Ladybird

Ten-spot Ladybird

Swallows

Swallows

A young Toad found outside the office!

A young Toad found outside the office!

A big thank you to all those in attendance, and an equally big thank you to all the volunteers and insect surveyors that were unable to join us on the day.  Your hard work and commitment does not go un-noticed, and your contribution to the management of Loch Leven NNR continues to add value to our conservation efforts.

 

About Craig.Nisbet

Reserve Officer Loch Leven National Nature Reserve Scottish Natural Heritage
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One Response to Volunteers save the day – again!

  1. Jeremy says:

    Great to see some cutting being done out on St Serfs.

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