September Sunshine

Tuesday, September 15th 2020

It was an early start for Ian who began the day by cutting the wildflower meadow. Due to the heat wave at the start of the summer, the growth on the meadow has been significantly less than in previous years. There isn't even enough cut grass to make it worth baling so it will be hand raked in the old fashioned way!

It was a tidy job and the cuttings will be left to dry before the big raking task begins next week. This whole process will help to scatter the wildflower seeds and reduce the fertility of the soil to hopefully make this habitat even more spectacular next summer.

Our thanks to Ian who has done this job for several consecutive years now and managed to complete today's mowing by coffee time! 

At the same time, volunteers continued to work on the adjacent wetland to remove unwanted gorse and rushes, another 'raking' task!

Late in the morning this young frog was spotted, most likely leaving the water to find a suitable place to hibernate during the winter.

The cut gorse was carried to a fire site in 'dumpy sacks', quite a challenge over narrow bridges and bunds.

Brian was ready and waiting and it didn't take long for the mountain of brash to disappear! The Hebridean sheep were not at all bothered by all of the activity. If only they would eat more of the invasive plants!

After lunch, an effort was made to control the spread of Bullrushes by removing some of the seed heads before the thousands of tiny seeds have a chance to be dispersed by the wind.

Dragonflies and damselflies were making the most of the autumn sunshine too and a small 'bubble' of staff and young people from the CPL (Centre For Personalised Learning) enjoyed some tranquil time watching Common Darters lay their eggs on the surface of the water.

With 100 acres, it is easy for staff and volunteers to spread out and socially distance. Roger worked alone in the workshop to re-paint some of the finger post signs that were in need of some TLC. Once prepared and stained, a steady hand was required for the delicate writing!

Meanwhile, Bob found yet another 'can of worms' in the scrapes when he investigated a bit of 'spongy boardwalk'. At least it kept him out of mischief for longer!

Our sincere thanks to all of the staff and volunteers who worked so hard today in the hot sun to make it yet another extremely productive day on the reserve. What a fantastic team!



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