Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Work party fun

As a rookie volunteer, Claire suggested I blog about the recent taster days I’ve attended, so here goes...

For my first practical experience of conservation work I learnt all about coppicing on a near perfect, sunny day at Trench Wood. Loppers and band-saws in hand, we made the most of the glorious autumnal sunshine; cutting down scrub so that it will grow back denser and create a better habitat for the wildlife. Having greatly enjoyed the day, I then went for a second helping at Devils Spittleful where we cleared more scrub from an area of heathland, this time with the focus on uprooting many of the unwanted saplings. Not only did I discover the difference between Aspen (long, thin, pointed buds) and Silver Birch (short, fat, rounded buds), but I had a very satisfying time learning how to swing a mattock!

It’s hard work – I’ve discovered muscles I didn’t realise existed – but knowing you are making a practical contribution to the preservation of these important habitats more than makes up for a bit of pain!

I’m happy to say I’m hooked and looking forward to getting involved in more work parties for the Trust.

Alison, rookie volunteer

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