Going out with a bang

Stirling NNRs

After almost 2 years I am saying bye to the bogs. Emma recently asked what my highlights were, and it was very difficult to answer because it’s all been sooo good.

Until I started working on the NNRs and writing blogs on our work, I didn’t really think I was much good at putting words together. For an essay…maybe, but not for a blog! I still struggle a bit, particularly now actually. So I’m going to let the pictures do most of the talking. Starting from my very first day watching/listening to the Frog Chorus to my last project making the magnifying posts, here are many, many highlights:

This placement has honestly been the best job ever, doing some incredible practical conservation work, wildlife monitoring, community engagement, road/path/fence maintenance… the list goes on.

Looking back through photos has reminded me of lots of highlights, including all the wildlife I saw for the first time. A major air-punching moment was finding the tiny Bog Sun-Jumper spider, and…

…the first time spotting a stand-out species which deserves a gallery all of its own! Taking many of my work and personal hours finding and studying this beastie which lurks on the big bog. It even got me on the radio at one point!

A valuable peatland species and charmingly hairy creature. No, not Amee’s bog dog, Oatie…

The Rannoch Brindled Beauty.

AKA… the ‘belly button fluff’.

This little moth had me hooked as soon as I stumbled upon my first fluffy specimen upon a fence post on Flanders Moss. I knew I wanted to look more into its distribution and ecology. It was good timing that I was in my 2nd year of distance-studying MSc Countryside Management at SRUC and was thinking about my 3rd-year research project. You can read a bit more in this blog post.

Of course, it’s inevitable that there will be some low points. Take my last day in the field – Emma and I took a trip to Loch Lomond NNR yesterday to check up on the site and see what wildlife we could spot. After a lovely, if a little soggy, scoping session at Crom Mhin, we trundled along another access track. We were almost at our stopping point when we started hearing a dreaded rhythmic thud and, well, the next picture will speak for itself.

So, yeah, literally going out with a bang.

I can’t leave without mentioning my fantastic team – I will miss Emma, Steve and Amee (and Oatie!) and I have to hand it to Amee for being so patient, organised and generally great at her job when coming into managing our little team and several reserves at a really, really busy time!

On Monday, I’ll be starting a new position with Forestry and Land Scotland as a Forest Craftsperson, so if you’re ever wandering around the woods of Aberfoyle I may bump into you sometime! I’ll also be visiting the bogs for my regular fixes.

Bye, for now!

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 Going out with a bang

  1. Tom Cunningham says:

    Well done Ellie, I’ve enjoyed you blogs and images, good luck in the future and at F&LS.
    Cheers Tom


  2. David McCulloch says:

    It sounds as if you’ve had a wonderful experience with the Stirling NNR team, one you will never forget. It’s been great volunteering with you. Best wishes for your new job at FLS (the custodian of my favourite dragonfly ponds, even better than Flanders!). I’m sure I’ll bump into you again though, either in the forest or maybe at Flanders. RBB season is just two months away!


  3. Anne says:

    I have enjoyed your blogs too and wish you well in your new posting.


  4. Ladylanders says:

    Sorry to see you go, Ellie, might see you out and about sometime! Enjoy the next job (which sounds amazing) and thank you for all your hard work over the last couple of years!


  5. Ian Lewis says:

    ‘…maybe’ – funny girl đŸ™„. You will be a most excellent Forest Craftsperson I am sure.


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