Last week the midweek groups again worked at Muiravonside Country Park near falkirk, where we did some clearing of footpaths and the old favourite, cutting and burning Rhododendron, which we did on the both the Wednesday and Thursday. Although we have worked their many times before, it is still a favourite site for the majority of our volunteers. Also, it is a very good time for us to be working in the park as summer moves into autumn and we sre able to see signs of this change, such as the leaves on the tree beginning to turn a different colour.
On Tuesday, we were set to work clearing some sections of footpath around the park which had become overgrown with vegetation and covered in a thin layer of mud, which made a few areas of the path very slippery in places. We also removed the mud from the path in order to prevent large puddles from forming, which was hindering the progress of walkers within the park. To clear the paths we used a varierty of tools such as hoes, spades and shovels. I think that all of our Tuesday group will agree that digging through the mud and clay was very tiring work. Furthermore, the overgrown vegetation that we cut away from the edges, was neatly arranged into habitat piles on either side of the paths where we were working.
The cutting and burning of Rhododendron was the order of the day on Wednesday and Thursday, much to the delight of our volunteers! A huge fire was made and we managed to burn a lot of old Rhododendron that had been cut and piled the previous year, as well as removing and burning a small section of Rhododendron from another part of the park. The warm, sunny weather made this a very enjoyable task for this day.
Thursday was a very special occasion, as we held a small celebration to honour one of our volunteers named Mark, who has been out volunteering with us for exactly seven years on this day (6th September). We did this by cooking potatoes and toasting marshmallows on our Rhododendron fire at lunch time. When back at our office, we calculated that if you added up all of Mark’s days out volunteering, it would almost equate to one whole year of work.
The work on Thursday was very much the same as did on Wednesday, except for our small lunch time celebration. We will be back at Muiravonside Country Park next week as well, in order to carry out further tasks around the park and of course, more Rhododendron!