Busy few months – What we have been up to

We acknowledge the blogs have not been as frequent as previous months/years! The team have recently battled with sickness, annual leave and the end of year financial MADNESS! It seems the working week flies by with very little time to write and share with you all what we have actually managed to achieve. So before you read any further…. grab a cuppa!

One thing we squeezed in before the end of the financial year was the pleasure of working with Beechbrae Woodland officer Sammy, offering a Nature after school club for 4 fun Fridays. Sammy organised and lead the 4 events with the help and support from Ellie & myself. We learnt to carve willow, make a fire safely, build a bug den, pond dipping and setting up the camera trap.

The 170 meter boardwalk extension at Blawhorn Moss is now officially open!

We welcomed Heather Reid (NatureScot board member) to announce our opening, along with our neighbors and co-funders Drumduff wind farm (GreenPower & Thrive renewables). Pupils from Blackridge Primary School came along to cut our sustainable no wastage star moss ribbon. Crafted by myself sourcing material from the moss!

Before the grand opening the team and SRUC Oatridge Students worked very hard to make this happen. Our contractor who fitted the boardwalk kindly gifted us thousands of second hand anti-slip strips that were lying in his yard going to waste. The students helped apply hundreds if not over a thousand anti-slip strips onto the new extension, which was a bit sore on the knee’s however one student came prepared!

The boardwalk was completed however it ran through the stock fence with no gate in sight. So a tasks for Stephen was to craft and fit the gate for the grand opening. Which may sound a simple job but in fact was the teams headache. Mainly down to delays in material, back to back storms, sickness & annual leave. However despite all the set backs and stress we endured, we managed to get the gate in and proved to be hardy reserve officers!

Before our grand opening we came across two fit pits, It seems this new area of boardwalk is the ideal location for some! This is any reserves managers worse nightmare who look after habitats highly flammable. We would be devastated if a fire broke out, so our team will make this a priority in “patrolling”.

Not all is gloomy though, at our grand opening Drumduff wind farm (GreenPower & Thrive renewables) confirmed they would be willing to contribute further funds for our second phase of extending the boardwalk a further 280m. This is great news to NatureScot, this demonstrates by working in partnership (neighboring landowners) we are giving as much back to the local community as possible in creating better path networks and offering a greater/safer/educational experience for our visitors looking to visits Lothians largest and least disturbed lowland raised bog.

Other things the team have managed to do in the last month was to take a trip up Ben Lui Nature Reserve. Even though Ben Lui is no longer a NNR, the team still carry out our annual deer counts. It just so happened to be a glorious day, where we managed to see the peak. This was our first jolly ….. sorry work day of the year 🙂

Now the end of year madness is over, we will now plan for 2022/23.

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4 Responses to Busy few months – What we have been up to

  1. David McCulloch says:

    What a hectic start to the new job Amee! If you can cope with that, you can cope with anything.


  2. Tom Cunningham says:

    Great work Amee and team. Its all brilliant news. Top class.


  3. This is a beautiful article


  4. Pingback: Winding down to Christmas | 2 bogs, a swamp and some islands

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