Despite a miserable outlook early on Sunday morning, some of the Wild Horizons group met at the Volunteer Training Centre to help build part of the boardwalk. After some quick introductions, we set about building sections of boardwalk using a rig and Andy’s direction with the aim of building 10 pallets by the time the morning was over.
We had originally planned to walk to the reed beds before construction began to see what our hard work would be contributing to, however the gloomy sky and already falling rain forced us to wait until after lunch. We worked from about 10am to 12:30pm in two teams; there was some competitiveness in who could complete their 5 pallets first, and we were turning them out quicker each time as we got the hang of efficiently lining up the shorter lengths on top of the longer planks then hammering them together. By the time we had finished, lunch was strongly deserved and appreciated!
After some food and conversation, we headed out onto the reserve towards the reed beds where the current boardwalk is in need of replacement. We walked along the boards which take you through the reed beds, and soon discovered why they needed replacing; holes where wood had rotted were dotted here and there along the way. These boardwalks are used by the bird ringers on the reserve to set up their nets within the reed bed, meaning that people use them in the dark; I’m sure they will be very grateful for a sturdier footing! After this, we visited a few of the hides to sit down and enjoy the wildlife on the lagoons. Whilst in one hide which looks over some of the reed bed, Andy and Amelia gave us some information on reed bed management and the species it benefits. This gave us all an interesting insight into the importance of this habitat as an attraction to the reserve for both wildlife and people wishing to see this wildlife. After some more chatting and bird watching, we headed back to the VTC just in time before the heavens opened once again.
On behalf of the Wild Horizons members I would like to thank Andy for his time and for sharing some really interesting information with us about wildlife management, and also to Amelia who
I for one had a great morning, and look forward to seeing the Wild Horizons members at the next workshop in whatever form that may take!