We have been running very small volunteer groups out on the nature reserve, restricted to 4 households in order to keep within Government guidelines. We have been catching up with work, including habitat management, estate maintenance, fencing and litter picking.
This gallery contains 19 photos.
Many thanks to everyone who picked litter from the saltmarsh ready for the start of the bird breeding season out there. In our 100-metre survey along the end of the beach we recorded nearly 100 items of rubbish.
We had a big group of over 20 out on the saltmarsh on Sunday, clearing away all the rubbish that had been brought in by recent big tides. Find of the day was a hand (well, I kept saying I needed one), thankfully not a real one! Thanks to Abbie for the photos.
The volunteer teams carry out regular clearance of all litter along the coastline at the nature reserve. The most recent clean was on 17 November. Our continuing effort is paying off with us collecting less litter than five and more year ago. However, there is a demoralising amount which arrives with each new tide. During the day we did our regular survey of a 100-metre section of the tideline and, in that short section, found 650 separate items of litter! Too much single-use plastic!
Many thanks to all for their hard work and to Abbie for the photos.
It was time to hit the beach last Saturday as we carried out plant monitoring. Unfortunately, we found only one specimen of our monitored species, which has declined dramatically as a result of a significantly changing habitat. Thanks to Abbie for the photos.
We had a big group of over 20 on Sunday who all did great work in removing 22 bags of the introduced and invasive plant, Two-spined Acaena, from the sand dunes at Gullane Bents. This plant threatens to crowd out the diverse, native flora and so we’re on a mission to try to get rid of it. We also celebrated volunteer Howard’s 80th birthday! Many thanks to Abbie for the photos.
Did You Know?
Two-spined Acaena, and its close relative Pirri-pirri-Bur, both arrived here on fleeces imported from South America and New Zealand and is grown as a garden plant. It is a great threat to the biodiversity of our dune grasslands and the Council Ranger Service is expending a lot of energy removing it from the County. Their numerous spiny seeds cling to clothing and fur, breaking up when pulled, and dogs have had to be shaved to remove them! Please let us know if you spot any and we’d be most grateful if you could remove it from your garden if you have any.
Thanks to Liz for these photos from our group on Tuesday.
Thanks to everyone who came along yesterday to put the finishing touches to Margaret’s bench (which looks really great!), started making a storage unit for the electric fencing kit and cleared away planks and sea buckthorn. Thanks to Abbie for the photos.
Here are some photos of our day of single-species plant monitoring in early July, when the plants and sun shone. Thanks to Abbie for the photos.