Volunteering in the North East of Scotland

My name is Nereida and I am a European Voluntary Service volunteer from Spain. I have been working with the Scottish Wildlife Trust for two months and alongside the other volunteers in Dundee we help manage the varied nature reserves in North East Scotland. To do this we undertake many different and necessary maintenance tasks. Here are some of the tasks that I have helped with since I started with the Trust.

We have put up fences to controls sheep grazing at Keltneyburn, near Aberfeldy. This is part of conservation grazing, where livestock are used by the Trust to maintain the diversity of wildflowers. The fencing has to be precise across irregular land so that the lambs cannot escape under the fences.

 

Fencing at Keltneyburn
©Nereida Pérez Claros

At The Miley, near Dundee city centre, we cut down invasive tree species and also cleared the line of the path. This reserve used to be a railway line, nowadays it is a home for wildlife and is a pleasant walk for anyone from the city wishing to experience nature.

©Nereida Pérez Claros

At Brerachan near Pitlochry, we cut and raked the wildflowers so that the nutrients would not return to the soil. The native wildflowers grow better in nutrient poor soils.

Seaton Cliffs is a very different and beautiful reserve where you can explore caves or the coastal path. Here we cleared the paths since the vegetation was encroaching and making it less accessible for visitors.

©Nereida Pérez Claros

At Loch of the Lowes we cut down dead branches, repaired some fences and benches, and had lunch watching a wide variety of birds in the visitor centre.

As well as fixing fences, repairing gates and creating a footpath, one of the main tasks during the winter season was to cut down the dead branches and trees beside roads, this was to stop them causing damage to cars and drivers.

Practical conservation is an industry I have never worked in until now. Despite the hard work, it feels really comforting working with your hands and tools. At the same time I am experiencing Scotland’s nature first hand, I am amazed how a landscape can change from one week to another, from autumn to winter, with or without snow.

I really recommend volunteering for Scottish Wildlife Trust, it is not only a great experience but you will also be making a difference.

By Nereida Pérez Claros, European Voluntary Service Volunteer with Duncan Budge, Reserves Project Officer in Dundee

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Preface

My name is Nereida and I am a European Voluntary Service volunteer from Spain. I have been working with the Scottish Wildlife Trust for two months and alongside the other …

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