August work parties
August is one of the busiest months in the work party calendar with five work parties across Scotland.
August is one of the busiest months in the work party calendar. There were five work parties spread across the country from Sandwood to the Borders. It started with a weekend at Li and Coire Dhorrcail where volunteers braved heavy rain and midges to weed the bracken around almost two and a half thousand of the six thousand trees planted there this spring. Working wasn’t much fun above Poll a Mhuineil on the wet Saturday but improved radically for Sunday when the sun came out breifly.
Further north a large group of volunteers spent the following week at Sandwood. The usual rubbish, mostly originating from the fishing industry or fish farms, was collected from the beaches at Oldshore More, Polin, Droman and Sheigra. As often found on the north facing coast there was less rubbish on the beach at Sandwood Bay but there was the disappointing discovery of a lot of debris left over from irresponsible campers including a tent, blow up mattress, golf driver (with bag of balls) two fishing rods and a large amount of food still in its original wrapping. The path work for the week was concentrated on the peat hags section just beyond loch a Mhuilinn where some of the pitching was rebuilt and a long section of path completely relaid. Back at the Blairmore car park one of the drystone benches built by volunteers around ten years ago had the rotten timber seat replaced and the painting of the exterior of the toilet block started in May was finished off.
A very varied week at Glenlude down in the Scottish Borders saw over two dozen volunteers drop in throughout the time. Increasingly this is the style of volunteering that has developed at Glenlude as it is the most accessible of the Trusts properties. People often turn up only for a day depending upon their own commitments (and the weather!) A variety of work was carried out including; fencing repairs, dismantling of old fencing, brashing, moving of cut timber (to season for future sale locally as wood fuel), construction of a work bench and watering system for hardening off seedlings, re-roofing the tool store, checking of tree tubes to restake or take off netting if they have outgrown them, pruning in the orchard and the building of three compost bins. At the end of the week Karen Purvis the manager at Glenlude held a BBQ for some of the volunteers and groups that regularly visit Glenlude. The burgers made from roe deer venison shot at Glenlude were a great success!
On a Saturday towards the end of August Trust volunteers joined the large number of people ascending Ben Nevis by the tourist path. Blair Fyffe our seasonal ranger for Nevis led a group to collect rubbish around the summit area. Refreshingly a very small amount of rubbish in comparison to previous years was found with much being unearthed within the summit shelter. Some path maintenance was also carried out on the cross drains etc. from the half way lochan up to beyond the Red burn.
The final work party of the month was up north again in Assynt. The four days was the second visit of the year to help out with several of our partners in the Coigach Assynt Living Landscape (CALL) project which the Trust is a member of. A day was spent in the shadow of our own property of Quinag on the Little Assynt estate helping with the CALL tree nursery. In previous years we have been seed collecting at this time but with the late seasons this year we mostly were helping out with weeding. The next day was on the Assynt Foundation Glencanisp estate cutting down gorse in preparation for a new native tree plantation using some of the trees from the CALL nursery. Another day was spent on the Culag Woodland just outside Lochinver clearing bracken and Sitka seedlings as well as doing a check on the deer fence around their Little Assynt estate. The final day was spent trying to prevent some coastal erosion by replanting marram grass.
You can see photographs taken on all of these work parties and others through the year on our Flicker site by following links from the new work parties page where you can also find out details about the remaining half dozen work parties of the year along with the ad hoc work parties that carry on at Glenlude every month of the year.