After a Summer (apparently) patiently waiting for all manner of wildlife to complete their breeding cycles, it felt a little like being let off the leash. As all good natural historians know, the 6 months of October to March are when we can carry out habitat maintenance on the reserve, with minimal disturbance to the residents. And we certainly have a long list of tasks ahead of us.
As advertised on the 'Events and Projects' tab above, today we were tackling numerous trees adjacent to the main path through the site. These were a mixture of standing dead wood or fallen boughs that required some attention.
Bench Test - Neil alias "Tommy Walsh" carries out field trials on his latest creation
A pleasing turnout of volunteers in double figures also meant we had sufficient numbers to tackle a secondary task, converting the old slopey bum rests into proper flat seats. This project is the brainchild of Neil, our very own "Tommy Walsh". As of this afternoon, there are now three seats converted: at the first track junction along the main path; opposite the gate for the middle paddock; and, new for 2012, along the causeway by St Peter's Lake. We hope that less able visitors will now have the opportunity to rest as they make their way between the hides. To continue the Ground Force theme, by association, Neil's wife, Pauline, must be our very own "Charlie Dimmock".
Seat of Learning - Steph Kimsey, Countryside Officer (Education)
gives official approval to one of the new FoHESC benches.
As well as removing obstructive trees, we were able to clear parts of the causeway, opening up new views and letting more light onto the path.
Bank Vole Logs On (Thought you needed a Mouse for that?)
The felled wood generated by this work was added to the log pile in front of the Woodland Hide, for the delight and delectation of numerous Bank Voles.
Many hands make paths and ponds lighter as Friends remove overgrowing Willows
And then the sun came out, though by that time, we were already warmed up!
Many thanks to those generous souls who freely gave of their time this morning, to help make the reserve a pleasanter and safer place.
They say that the pen is mightier than the sword, but perhaps not mightier than the bow saw.