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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.

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

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

Wow, where has time gone? We are now into January and close to what would be the end of my traineeship. Thankfully my traineeship has been extended into mid February now which is great and has given me the opportunity to do more exciting things.

My reports for Blenheim Palace and Woodwalton Fen are finished now with just final tweaks being made to the article for The Coleopterist which has been accepted. This is really rewarding and all the feedback I have has been positive. I am speaking about my work at Blenheim Palace at the Coleopterist Day next month … Continue reading

A TREEmendous few months!

A TREEmendous few months!

September and October

Citizen Science at Gartnavel Hospital

The last few months have flown by, so much so that I haven’t blogged since September, and I bloomin love a good blog! I’ve been super busy delivering Citizen Science workshops to the masses! I have started running some wildlife workshops at Gartnavel Hospital with TCV’s Project Officer Mel who is based there. Mels role is all about getting more hospital patients and staff out exploring the amazing grounds around the campus and I am helping to get some biodiversity activities off the ground. This has included running themed lunchtime wildlife walks … Continue reading

There’s Snow Business Like Show(case) Business

There's Snow Business Like Show(case) Business

The last few months have been pretty hectic fitting in lots of community engagement activity and training around writing up my traineeship and exhibiting my highlights at the Natural Networks and Natural Talent Showcase in December.

Timely Training

My final training session this year has been courtesy of Living Streets who delivered an informative workshop on conducting community street audits.

Perfecting Presentations

TCV have also held a number of FEVA Forums in the last few months one of which I gave a presentation at talking about a Natural Network trainees’ perspective on delivering outdoor sessions for ethnic minority communities.

The … Continue reading

Five things our volunteers have done so far….

Bracken bashing

Why control bracken? This rapidly growing fern provides a great habitat for many birds and insects but it will invade heather and other grassland areas that are of conservation interest. TCV Stirling volunteers have spent ++ number of days ++ helping stop dense clumps of bracken spreading to adjoining grass and heather at ++ locations? ++ . The trick is to bash it really hard near the base stem with a big stick. ++ photos of bracken here ++

Himalayan Balsam clearing.

This is a plant that produces lovely pink flowers that hum with bees seeking the high … Continue reading

Winter fun in Edinburgh

Winter fun in Edinburgh

Throughout November and December the Edinburgh Mid Week volunteer group has been full of activity, visiting some old favourites along with some great new sites. We’ve been extremely lucky with the weather, with mostly beautiful sunny (but sometimes chilly days) and only a couple of days with rain (not that that would stop us!).

At the start of November the group were back at the wonderful Friary Community Garden in Inverkeithing. There’s always a great variety of tasks to keep the gang busy here and it’s always a pleasure working here as we are treated to a spectacular view across … Continue reading

New experience November: sharing and learning

New experience November: sharing and learning

Hello again!

Wow, November went fast! For me this month has all been about continuing to learn and starting to share information about my project.

Now that the frosts have arrived, it’s been a much quieter time mollusc wise. The larger more noticeable species such as the Garden Snail (Cornu aspersum) have started aestivating – going dormant for the cold winter months. This is done by retracting into their shells and forming a temporary cover over the shell opening. The cover is made of mucus which dries, forming a hard epiphragm and leaving a small hole for air. Winter is … Continue reading

A Spooky Slug Filled October

A Spooky Slug Filled October

Hello again!

Incredibly rare slug behaviour

At the end of last month the knowledgeable Mark Telfer popped into Wales for a visit. He was keen to see a site for the species Testacella maugei (Atlantic Shelled Slug or Dead Man’s Finger) – which happens to be St Fagans National History Museum, part of the National Museum Wales group. Ben casually offered me the option to come along, and I jumped at the chance. A day in the field with three fellow slug enthusiasts? No chance I was turning that down! And it was definitely worth it.

Upon arriving on … Continue reading