Last week we enjoyed the first of this year’s reserve workdays at Keltneyburn Meadow. Our volunteer workdays are a fantastic opportunity to enjoy some of the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Perthshire reserves alongside our extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic ranger, whilst getting active and helping with the practical management of the reserves.
We started the day with some biologically monitoring. We counted individual flower-heads of some of the wildflowers, such as the Twayblade Orchid (Neottia ovata), Bird’s-nest Orchid (Neottia nidus-avis) and spignel (Meum athamanticum), which make Keltneyburn such an important focus for conservation efforts. When the sun broke through we took full advantage of its effect on the reserve’s invertebrates, surveying moths and butterflies and counting the Large Red Damselflies (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) over the pond.
After a leisurely lunch break (including some delicious strawberries!) we moved on to the most important job of all – bracken clearance. In order to maintain the high wildflower diversity of the reserve it is important to prevent its succession to woodland, so regular clearance of bracken is crucial. We used hand sickles in order to target the bracken whilst limiting damage to the surrounding orchids and other wildflowers.
If this sounds like good fun to you, then click below for upcoming workdays! The ranger runs workdays across the summer and it is a great way to meet like-minded people whilst really contributing to practical conservation. All you need to bring is yourself, a packed lunch and water – all tools and training will be provided.
Victoria – Volunteer Species Protection Officer