With a beautiful rainbow over Lanark greeting me on Tuesday morning, I knew it was going to be a great week… and it certainly didn’t disappoint. We had a bittersweet moment when out keen eyes spotted a mink across the river. Although they are an interesting mammal to see, they are detrimental to our native wildlife by being invasive and active predators to our native water voles. We were lucky enough to see a young female deer (a doe) leaping through the trees and frogs relaxing on the pond’s surface, as well as grey wagtails and hearing a black cap sing. Bluebells are growing in multitude now, so the carpets of purple are a sight to behold.
The week started on a high note with fun at the New Lanark Food and Gift fair. From the variety of activities we had prepared, the minibeast hunts were by far the favourite of the children. Equipped with their pots and brushes, and armed with huge grins, no minibeast could hide from them. Together we found a huge variety of creepy crawlies, from centipedes to roundworms to beetles. The children’s enthusiasm about nature was a pleasure to see and I hope they never lose it.
Tree winching was an important task on the week’s agenda as part of habitat management. I won’t be forgetting the grand operation in the long term, and I have blisters to make sure I don’t forget it in the short term! With equipment, the team’s knowledge and our mere strength, we moved logs into position for them to be put to good use. They will be cut in a variety of structures, such as fence posts and benches; nothing goes to waste in this reserve! This physically demanding task required team work, forward thinking and extensive skill, and I had an exhausted sense of achievement at the end of the day.
Other tasks this week took me a little further field and I got the chance to walk the entire reserve. On the other side of the river, with the historic structures and different viewing points, there was something that really struck me about the area. It was absolutely breathtaking, with areas of the woodland that seemed so flourishing and healthy. I could’ve happily spent hours there and I’ll be making every effort to ensure that I go back.
Did you know that a beaver’s teeth never stop growing? Or that it takes 300 bees, travelling 55,000 miles and the nectar from 2 million flowers to make 1 pound of honey? Well I didn’t! We’ve been revamping some activities in the Clyde room recently and there was interesting wildlife facts left, right and centre as we made the feely boxes. The week has ended on a high note too, with great success at Blossom Day at Overton Farm. Children loved making their own wildlfower seed planters, adding little fences and insect stickers for a personal touch, whilst the adults took wildflower seed packs to have a go at home. This batch of dandelion tea seemed to be the best so far, with plenty of people stopping to try some. The hint of lemon juice must have done the trick!
Lori Moore – Scottish Wildlife Trust, Falls of Clyde Assistant Ranger
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