Conservation Weekend - April 2014

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In April 2014 our Explorers took part in a residential conservation weekend in the Peak District National Park – our third time volunteering with the Park Ranger service. This time we stayed at the Marsh Farm Volunteers' Centre near Leek, and completed various conservation projects around Tittesworth Water, including clearing out and painting a bird hide, removing protectors from young trees, and building a fence around a pond.

Our band of intrepid volunteers, Ewan, Tom, Wes, Sam, Lauren, Laurie and Charlie; leaders Ian, John, Richard and Declan; not forgetting Ollie the dog (unofficial mascot) set off on Friday evening for the Marsh Farm Volunteers Centre.

On the Saturday morning we were tasked with our first project, to clear out and repaint the East Bird Hide, which overlooks the Tittesworth Water nature reserve. The team donned attractive paper onsies and set about the task enthusiatically.

In the afternoon we went over to the north side of Tittesworth Water and made a start on our second task, removing tree protectors. Protectors are place around young saplings to prevent rabbits and deer from damaging them, but the protectors have to be removed when the young trees get to about five years old otherwise they can restrict the tree’s growth.

Later we headed back to the Volunteers’ Centre to clean up before going to the nearby Lazy Trout Pub for posh burger and chips.

On the Sunday morning we finished removing the tree protectors and then headed over to the Troutsdale Inlet on the south side of Tittesworth Water where some breeding frogs and newts were in need of protection from passing dogs. We were tasked with our third project, to build a fence around their pond.

Jobs done, we walked back to Marsh Farm ready for the journey home.