Saturday, 8 October 2011

Volunteer Weekend

We have just enjoyed a 3 day visit from the Shropshire and Staffordshire National Trust Volunteers (ssntv).  They have spent their time clearing invasive scrub from an area of species rich limestone grassland, Hawthorn and Blackthorn have been shading out the wildflowers and needed to be cleared to allow the flowers and grasses to re-colonise. By lunchtime on Friday a fire was blazing and a large area was already cleared, fueled by a huge variety of cakes at lunchtime progress continued well in the afternoon, the results of day 1 can be seen below.
Before SSNTV

On Saturday a couple of extra volunteers joined those who were present on Friday so even more scrub succumbed to the fire that was ressurected from the day before. I think it was homemade flapjack and chocolate cake that provided vital energy for the afternoon session which saw a second fire lit and another section of scrub attacked.

Today i thought we would have a little change first thing, so a few laps of the field trying to round our Hebridean sheep up were had. We needed to reduce the number of sheep in the field to ensure that there is enough grass to sustain some sheep over the Winter. We managed to round up 10 of the 17 sheep in the field and so it was decided that the number to be left in the field for the Winter would be 7.
Then it was back to the fires and one particularly dense corner of the field which provided entertainment for the final afternoon session. With the job finished the group of weary looking volunteers departed having spent 3 days improving the habitat, making a real difference to the local flora. I'm so grateful for all the hard work that they have put in and its great that they get so much enjoyment from it. I'm really looking forward to their next visit in December.

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