Summer placement summary

Loch Lomond NNR

Reading our previous blog post, Beaver Time , you would have read about our summer placement student, Blyth Walker who noticed the beaver-nibbled willow. We have asked Blyth to write a couple of paragraphs about his summer working alongside Steve. This is what he had to say:

This summer I was a voluntary placement with SNH with the Stirling Office and I helped Stephen carry out essential maintenance tasks on the reserves at Blawhorn Moss, Loch Lomond and Flanders Moss. Over the season we did lots of different tasks starting off with removing Giant hogweed at the Loch Lomond reserve at Balmaha. This was great fun as it was the first outing I had with Stephen on the wee boat and going up the Endrick River, it felt like a proper adventure!

As the Summer progressed the jobs changed to fixing fences at Flanders Moss and cutting grass around the carpark at Blawhorn Moss with the strimmer. Doing these tasks was great fun and I learned a lot of practical knowledge from Stephen.

Towards the end of the summer it turned into Himalayan balsam removal time, so both Stephen and I spent most of my volunteering days in August up the Endrick. This was fun but it lead to the highlight of the whole summer for me: discovering the presence of beaver! We were heading back to Balmaha after a day of pulling Himalayan balsam when I noticed a branch of white willow in the water that had been clearly gnawed recently by a beaver. This was great as I have been following the beaver reintroduction closely since it started and had been bombarding Stephen with questions about them prior to this discovery. We returned to the spot and after two attempts using a camera trap, we managed to get footage of the beaver.

To be part of this discovery was great and concluded a very educational and fun summer with SNH.

Sadly we have no pictures to share of Blyth out on site but we should conclude summing up his time with Steve re-sharing the beaver video.

If you would like any information volunteering on two bogs, a swamp and some islands then please email stirlingnnrs@nature.scot . 

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