Farewell to a loyal colleague

Stirling NNRs

Well, this working week marks the last on the reserves for an outstanding member of our team – reliable, hard-working (mostly), always got time for people, full of energy and loves the bogs. He’s made heaps of friends over the years working on the NNRs who will all miss his wild enthusiasm, caring nature, furry face, soft ears and cuddles…

Before you start thinking “crikey, he must need one heck of a shave”, I’m talking about Finn!

We’re saying goodbye to the bog dog…. That majestic face will be heading down to Dumfries & Galloway to help conserve some different wetlands.

We’re not joking when we say he was hard-working. He’s known to have removed a birch tree or few from the bog and Bethia has been grateful for this, giving her arms a break during scrub clearance.

Both Bethia and hard-working bog dog taking a break…

A character indeed, and one who often livens up the Monday morning meetings at the Ashfield store and warms our toes in winter since he seems to love parking his behind on our feet.

Speaking of behinds, he does have a habit of sitting next to me when he needs to fart. I’ll not really miss constantly getting the blame for his tooting, or the smell…

Sheepish look, mostly likely after being shooed away after a guff.

Ah well, it’s all made up for by his other traits (honest) and we’ll miss his morning welcomes, his entertaining heathery playtime, bog-water sneezes, lovely cuddles and company.

Oh, and there was that other guy, what’s his name? Tagged along with Finn quite a bit? Oh yeah, Dave!

I wouldn’t really know about the soft ears or cuddles, but he definitely shares some of the aforementioned traits. David Pickett has contributed 21 years of working for NatureScot (as he’s relived and highlighted here), during which has helped conserve 6 NNRs, including working on and watching Flanders Moss turn from a forested, heathery, heavily-degraded, ditched peat bog into the soggy, wobbly, spongey, mossy blob that it is today. (All of those things are good, in case you didn’t know). What an amazing thing to witness of a career and, thanks to all of his efforts, Flanders Moss and the other reserves are much better places for wildlife and visitors, old and new. Here’s to the next 7000 years a bog.

Dave has mentored and taught several of us student and practical placements over the last few years and I’m sure I speak for all who’ve had a stint under his wing as Stirling NNR placements – Amee, Ellen, Ceris and Bethia – when I say he’s been adequate at training us up for nature reserve management. I really mean that, too.

In all seriousness, though, his expertise and general bog-wizardry could not easily be replicated. I mean, he even knows how to find the exact way out of the depths of Flanders Moss in the dark! His boggy puns and sense of humour won’t be easily-forgotten, and his exasperated acceptance of Bethia and Ceris’ streams of Lord of the Rings-relevant-to-bog quotes has been much appreciated.

The whole team are wishing him the best of luck in his next adventure at WWT Caerlaverock were he’ll be up to his knees in geese. He’s often remarked that whenever anyone leaves working on our peatbogs, they’re being seduced by the birds – look who’s talking!

Hang loose, DP, and don’t forget to visit.

Patiently helping with caterpillar-searches on Flanders
You’ll miss those Loch Lomond boat trips!
Pleased to realise he wasn’t digging a boggy grave at Blawhorn Moss, I’m sure.
Getting mobbed by a gull. Reserve management on Isle of May NNR wasn’t always glamourous.

About Ellie Lawson, NNR Placement

Practical Placement on Stirling's NNRs. Enthusiastic about birds, butterflies, bogs, brochs... and the rest!
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5 Responses to Farewell to a loyal colleague

  1. Anne says:

    What a wonderful send-off for both of them!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tom Cunningham says:

    Dave, you should have been on Have I Got News For You, Just a Minute, etc., your funnier than these comics. All the best, Cheers Tom

    Liked by 1 person

  3. David McCulloch says:

    A superb legacy from both of them! While I liked tickling Finn behind the ears, to be fair he wasn’t quite so good at helping me with my dragonfly adventures. All the best Dave for your new life in the Deep South. I’ll miss you (and the mutt).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Thornhill Community Website and commented:
    We wish David well in his new posting. He will be missed at Flanders Moss.


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