Blawhorn Moss, NNR
Since returning back to Stirling Reserves (acting as Dave) it has been extremely difficult getting away from the desk: emails keep pouring in, everyone seems to have a demand for my time and pulling myself away from the desk or phone just becomes that bit harder. At first it’s nice to feel wanted and for the reserves to have such a demand for people but it does takes its toll, and when I went out to visit Blawhorn Moss on Monday it opened my eyes.
The NNR team can’t be stuck inside: we have reserves that need maintained, they are the face of how members of the public see SNH, (unless they see you standing in the Stirling Thistle Centre and automatically think you’re either the owner of Stirling Castle or the information desk). BTW Ellen and myself were there to promote volunteering on the reserves, as part of the Stirlingshire Volunteer Festival.
Our NNRs are the organisation’s crown jewels and first impressions stick! They are important. So today’s task was to give some loving care to Blawhorn Moss.
So we started at the entrance just off the main road – did a litter pick, a quick strim and cut back the over hanging bushes.
Then we moved further up the road to sort out some fly tipping. Unfortunately we didn’t have access to a trailer so this work had to be left for another day. This road is private so not technically our responsibility but, again, if you think back to what I first mentioned at the start, first impressions are important! So leaving this behind wasn’t so satisfying. But we can only do what we can do with what we have got.
The car park was the next job. Ellen suited herself back up with all the strimmer gear and off she went! She worked extremely hard and more than earned her Friday night tipple with her pals.
Whilst Ellen was hard at work strimming, I worked on the litter pick, cut some branches back and then had a look at the people and car loggers.
During our time working away we spoke to many visitors – many of whom thought we were the council! Not sure if that had something to do with the white van but again getting out on site allows us to speak to the visitors, inform them who SNH are and why this is a National Nature Reserve.
The next job was to head down to the reserve. Some people have made complaints that the path down there is becoming encroached with weeds and that it needs a wee spray back along with a rake. So off Ellen and I went. One visitor suggested I looked like a ghost buster with the pack and gear I had on for spraying but thankfully I was the one with the camera so you will have to settle for photos of Ellen raking some grass back and then checking the logger on the reserve.
We also did a wee walk around the boardwalk and Ellen noticed something out on the moss. When I zoomed after taking a picture we thought it looked like an experiment of some sort. Our curiosity got the better of us thinking it was something exciting but no, just an Asda crisp packet!
All in all today’s trip to Blawhorn was great! We gave it a good tidy up (apart from the fly tipping) and really felt that sense of achievement and great satisfaction. I love this kind of work, getting out on the reserve, speaking to people and really taking pride in how amazing our NNRs are.
Because the weather was lovely today the ponds on the reserve were busy with dragonflies laying their eggs.