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.
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.
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.
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.