A week of tree planting

It’s been a busy 5 days since Wednesday at Loch Leven.  Every morning we’ve had volunteers meet us at the reserve office, before making our way out on site to work at getting large sections of the loch shore planted with a mixed selection of tree species, in order to eventually act as natural screening for wildfowl on the loch from the soon-to-be-opened new section of Heritage Trail.

Neil introduces Wednesday's group of volunteers to the task in hand

Neil introduces Wednesday’s group of volunteers to the task in hand

We're all ears as Neil explains what's needed

We’re all ears as Neil explains what’s needed

The first willow hedgerow goes in in double quick time

The first willow hedgerow goes in in double quick time

The gang of regular volunteers takes a well-earned break

The gang of regular volunteers takes a well-earned break

The week hasn’t been without its dramas.  There was the aforementioned excitement of the Glossy Ibis discovery on Thursday and Friday (couldn’t resist another photo!), the unbelievably changeable weather of Friday, not to mention the challenging and somewhat surprising condition of some of the ground we were digging in, which at times was more rock than soil.

Glossy Ibis - taken on Saturday afternoon

Glossy Ibis – taken on Saturday afternoon

The Elmwood College students got stuck in straight away..

The Elmwood College students got stuck in straight away..

Thumbs up from the Elmwood gang!  The guys are studying NC and HNC Countryside Management, and voluntary work experience like this is essential for them.

Thumbs up from the Elmwood gang! The guys are studying NC and HNC Countryside Management, and voluntary work experience like this is essential for them.

The second patch that we worked on on Thursday

The second patch that we worked on on Thursday

Group shot!  Thanks to Victoria Pendry for organising their work party for the day.

Group shot! Thanks to Victoria Pendry for organising their work party for the day.

Pausing to take in the magnificent view

Pausing to take in the magnificent view

Despite the difficulties, all our volunteers did superbly well, and I’d like to extend our deep thanks to you all for coming along on all 5 days to support what is an excellent project that will benefit the whole community.  I’d also like to thank the groups from Elmwood College, the Finnish tutor that accompanied them, and of course the school group of 24 pupils and staff from Dollar Academy, who were unlucky enough to have the most challenging area in the most inhospitable conditions imaginable!  I’ve never seen a blizzard be replaced by wall-to-wall blue sky, only to be replaced by blizzards again 30 minutes later!  I was particularly pleased to have managed to show Ruth Holden, one of their accompanying teachers, the Glossy Ibis.  So often it’s the case that you talk about a bird, only for it to not make an appearance.

The Dollar Academy group had a really challenging day to contend with.  I would have photographed the blizzard, but I was too busy shielding my face and trying to remain motivated!

The Dollar Academy group had a really challenging day to contend with. I would have photographed the blizzard, but I was too busy shielding my face and trying to remain motivated!

When the sun came out it was all systems go.  Two pupils here demonstrating excellent team work.

When the sun came out it was all systems go. Two pupils here demonstrating excellent team work.

Group shot!  Thanks also to Shoina Scott for arranging the field visit.  Despite the conditions, they definitely seemed to enjoy it.  'It's better than Maths' was one comment I heard on the way back!

Group shot! Thanks also to Shoina Scott for arranging the field visit. Despite the conditions, they definitely seemed to enjoy it. ‘It’s better than Maths’ was one comment I heard on the way back!

Approximately 300 trees were planted during the day.

Approximately 300 trees were planted during the day.

All in all, I would estimate that nearly 2000 trees have been planted so far, predominantly Goat and Grey Willow, with smaller numbers of Oak, Guilder Rose, Alder and Hawthorn.  We’ll be spending another 2-3 days working on this over the next couple of Wednesdays with our team of regular volunteers, so if you are keen to help out with the last of the planting work then please feel free to get in touch with us at the reserve office on 01577 864439.

The Sunday group worked in an area of surprisingly rocky ground

The Sunday group worked in an area of surprisingly rocky ground

David works away.  Vole guards seen at this section, as deer fencing at this section already provides a primary level of protection.

David works away. Vole guards seen at this section, as deer fencing at this section already provides a primary level of protection.

About Craig.Nisbet

Reserve Officer Loch Leven National Nature Reserve Scottish Natural Heritage
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s