In over five decades of inspiring people and improving places, The Conservation Volunteers has consistently supported people working locally to improve their environment and their life chances, and created resilience in the most vulnerable communities.

Welcome to The Conservation Volunteers blogs. Where we share what we do.

TCV Stirling at 7 Lochs

The Stirling mid-week volunteer group have been busy on a new woodland management project to make a series of natural locations more accessible to the public, and to promote the presence and development of a greater variety of wildlife in the future.

Based at Hogganfield Park (Glasgow), Craigend Woods (near Airdrie) and Auchinlea Park (Glasgow), the group have had an exciting range of environments for their green fingers to work with at these 7 Lochs sites.

Their initiative has included tree thinning, crown liftingContinue reading

So long and thanks for all the molluscs!

So long and thanks for all the molluscs!

And so my last day as a TCV Natural Talent trainee has arrived!

What and amazing and quick year it’s been. On my final blog post I’d like to share some great moments over the past year. Here are just a few of the basic stats…

And a some photos of just a few of many great moments…

A massive thank you to Amgueddfa Cymru – National Musuem Wales for hosting my placement, especially to all the staff in Natural Sciences who have been super supportive and made me feel so welcome. Make sure you pop into National Museum … Continue reading

Citizen Science – Community River Monitoring Volunteer Project

Citizen Science - Community River Monitoring Volunteer Project

As part of our Scotland Counts programme we’ve produced a report – on the data collected from our Citizen Science ‘Community River Monitoring Volunteer project’ – Monitoring Sediment Movement and Blockages on Hillfoots Burns in partnership with Clackmannanshire Council.  

This report provides a brief summary and feedback of the project and presents the data collected by the Community River Monitoring volunteers and this data source will feed into Clackmannanshire Councils forthcoming Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) options appraisal report for Tillicoultry.

This illustrates how citizen scientists can collect and generate useful data for the Council and feed … Continue reading

Joyful January: DNA extractions and finishing up identifications

Joyful January: DNA extractions and finishing up identifications

Hello again!

At the time of writing I have only one week left of my Natural Talent placement here at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales! The past year has gone so quickly and been amazing! I still have plenty of things to finish off which is what I’ve been concentrating on this month.

Fabulous freshwater snails

One of my most challenging mollusc projects in Gwent Wildlife Trust’s “Living Landscape” areas has been on the Gwent Levels, looking at the freshwater fauna of Magor Marsh and Great Traston Meadows. With 67 samples collected across the two wetland sites, containing many different freshwater snail species, several bivalve … Continue reading

Update: The Dead Good Deadwood Survey

Update: The Dead Good Deadwood Survey

A new Citizen Science survey is in its last stages of development before being release to the world (hopefully!) It is of course, The Dead Good Deadwood Survey. The aim of the survey is to increase knowledge and understanding of the importance of deadwood to enable community woodland groups to make sustainable decisions for their woodland management. The survey not only focuses on deadwood but also allows participants to record its associated wildlife. Whether you are part of a community woodland group looking to improve your woodland, or simply a nature enthusiast wanting to get outside, this survey is a … Continue reading

A Fond Farewell

A Fond Farewell

How time flies! I am now at the end of my traineeship with Natural England and Buglife. It has been a whirlwind of a year and I have really enjoyed it. My taxonomic skills and knowledge has increased a huge amount. But more importantly for me, my outreach skills and confidence skills have increased. Huge thank yous must go to John McFarland, Amy Styles and Rebecca Strofton for running things from the TCV end. Thanks also go to Buglife and Natural England for hosting me this year last, with a special thanks to Jon Webb and Sarah Henshall for mentoring me. All … Continue reading

Natural Networks Farewell

Natural Networks Farewell

The year started with a bang…

And never disappointed from then on…

Lettuce tell you where we’ve bean and what we’re grown…

Since these trainees really are fun-guys…

Showcasing the birds,the bees, and the…Trying every trick in the book…and some highly skilled improv too…

Sometimes tying up in knots..

Not afraid to take a dip…

When you’re feeling slug-ish, take a snooze … Continue reading

The Dead Good Deadwood Blog: What’s so good about deadwood?

The Dead Good Deadwood Blog: What’s so good about deadwood?

TCV is currently working with the Forestry Commission Scotland as part of the Scotland Counts Project to produce a new Citizen Science project all about Deadwood! How exciting! This first blog will give you a bit of background information about deadwood and why it needs our help 🙂

So what exactly is Deadwood? And why is it dead good?

Deadwood is a tree or part of a tree that has died and is in a stage of decomposition.

Here are five different types of deadwood (figure 1):

Deadwood is extremely important to the health of woodlands … Continue reading

Delightful December: Woodland snails, travels and looking ahead

Delightful December: Woodland snails, travels and looking ahead

Happy New Year! Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

Tricksy woodland snails

This month I’ve been trying to finish off another one of my projects with Gwent Wildlife Trust. Back in September 10 litres of leaf litter were collected from different areas of woodland at Silent Valley nature reserve. Each of these bags had to be dried out and then passed through different graded sieves. The material from every sieve layer then is picked through and all the snails removed. These often tiny snails are then identified to species level – a challenge when some are only a few millimetres at adult size! These small species would have been … Continue reading