Eleven of the group turned out for our Volunteer activity on Saturday. We met at Cliffe Pools car park and were soon issued with litter pickers, loppers, forks and spades by Steph of the rspb.
Our initial task was to litter pick, trim overhanging branches, and remove dog faeces from along the track! Guess who drew the short straw on the latter task?
At least we could listen to the lovely birdsong around us as we worked – robin, dunnock, blackbird, wren and Cetti’s warbler were heard, and with beautiful sunshine there was a air of enthusiasm for the tasks ahead.
We walked along the main trails and ended up on the sanctuary area where there is a south-facing horseshoe shaped bank of sand and shingle, ideal for invertebrates. Here we could really get stuck in.
The small plants and seedlings needed to be removed to provide a clear area to allow the ground to warm up and enable insects to make their homes. It was easy to pull these plants out as they were rooted into the sand and we soon had a large pile of removed plants.
The largest specimens to be removed were two large buddelia plants – the forks and a bit of people-power was required to get the large roots out of the shingle.
As we worked there were small spiders and beetles moving away from us. Hopefully they will appreciate their new renovated landscape.
We had a great morning, with good company, plenty of fresh air and some gentle exercise. We walked back to the car park ready for lunch.
Thank you to all who took part. We will arrange another event hopefully before the end of the year. There is plenty of work to do on the reserve before the winter sets in. Please let us know if you would be interested in taking part.
p.s The short straws were initially drawn by Cliff and Sue (H)
For more photographs of this event see our Flickr page here