Magical meadows

It’s been an odd-jobs, bits and pieces kind of week here at Loch Leven NNR. Thanks to our volunteers, more balsam has been bashed, the entrance to the trail from Burleigh car park has been given a fresh makeover, and the low-hanging branches along the trail have been cut back. Everything always needs a bit more upkeep in summer; the team have just finished up our first round of verge mowing around the Heritage Trail and that pesky willow by the bridge near the larder has been cut back too.

I also got to disappear for a day to complete quite a niche bit of training…

The softrak is a tracked machine which we use on more delicate sites without the risk of habitat damage that, for example, a tractor or digger may cause. It can also handle boggier areas that would be liable to sink something heavier, and so gets moved about to different NatureScot sites, including peatlbogs. Not something you get the oppertunity to learn to operate every day, and I’m looking forward to putting my new skills into practice come mowing season.

Practicing our mowing skills!

Every quarter we also conduct ‘visitor facility infrastructure’ checks. One of us cycles round the loch and makes sure that everything is safe and sound – from benches to fences, to the general trail condition, to signs and gates. The weather has been pretty mixed this week, but I managed to get the checks bashed out on Thursday to a backdrop of sunshine and songbirds. As highlighted in Julie’s blog last week, summer has truly hit Loch Leven now, and the place is looking absolutely stunning. Riveting though health and safety is, it provided the perfect oppertunity to slow down and spend some time appreciating the place at it’s finest.

How’s that for an office view?
Plenty to hear from the Levenmouth Hide

The grassy meadows and flowers in particular are totally popping, and with them comes the buzz of life all around. I couldn’t help stopping here, there and everywhere to capture just a snapshot of how beautiful everything is!

You’ve got to watch where you’re stepping while distracted by nature though, or you could end up inadvertently squashing it! This miniscule froglet was completely camoflagued against the mud, only appearing once they hopped onto the grassier section.

This time to enjoy and appreciate what nature has to offer is of particular relevance right now, as tomorrow is National Meadow’s Day, an annual celebration of the important of meadows to people and wildlife. Check out our blog from last year to learn more about why meadows are so magical – they make up a pretty significant portion of the habitat surrounding Loch Leven, and thus influence a lot of the reserve management we carry out. Ian and Julie will also be based at the Pollinator Park in Kirkgate between 11am-2pm on Saturday to answer any and all of your meadow musings, and there will be a meadow trail around Burleigh with lots of interesting information about the magnificence of meadows!

A splash of colour just off the trail
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1 Response to Magical meadows

  1. Anne says:

    Busy – and very beautiful!

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