With the latest announcements from the Scottish government we are having to call a halt on our volunteer activity on the Stirling NNRs. We are hoping that it is only for a few weeks and they will be out again as soon as the restrictions are eased. Our small volunteer group were champing at the bit all through lockdown to get back out and once allowed they have been racking up numerous hours doing good deeds across the reserves. But these are not just any volunteers…these are “2 bogs, a swamp and some islands” volunteers and we get much more than muscle and hard graft. We get fun, stories, (luckily no songs,) ………………….and poetry.
Phil Graves was so inspired by the day out shifting tree trunks to build bridges across wet bits of the track that he wrote a poem. It was our iron horses that especially inspired him. Rather disappointedly, contrary to what the name suggests, these are low-ground pressure tracked vehicles used for load carrying on very wet ground. I think it was the fact that we got one of the iron horse stuck (only temporarily) that particularly encouraged Phil to resort to verse.
You can take a horse to water,
But you canna make it drink!
But an Iron Horse in water
Is liable to sink!
For this the rangers should be praised,
As over the years the waters raised.
One flounders now on Flanders Moss,
So when you drown, please don’t be cross.
At least the peat no longer dries,
Long may this bog just slowly rise,
We are particularly impressed that he managed to cover not only the iron horses but the success of the peatland restoration work carried out across the reserve.
Thanks Phil and the rest of the gang and hope to meet you on the bog soon.
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