Spring has sprung and after a long period of restrictions it is now reckoned that we can restart volunteering sessions here at Gillies Hill Community Woodland. I am excited to say that the first of these new sessions will be on Saturday 29th May. Starting from 10am but pop along when you can!
Sessions thereafter will be on the last Saturday of the month, all things being well! The few events we held last summer revealed great potential for the local community to really make a difference.
For our first volunteering event, I’m proposing a trifecta of tasks, to suit all ages, abilities and numbers:
- Shovelling and spreading stone on our access road and newly created yard space. This essential job will help repair the sorry state of the track as well as provide a nice working floor for stacking and processing firewood. I can’t wait to have some useable space! Bring a shovel.
- Planting oaks. We were lucky enough to receive a private donation of nursery-grown Sessile Oak saplings. We can plant these out amid the birch and sycamore in Castle Coppice, adjacent to the old Bearside Quarry. One of our several dedicated Rhody-bashing volunteers Tom McBain has been privately and steadily clearing back the infestation of Rhododendron in this particular area and we now have open ground where these wee oaks can hopefully make a go of it. Bring a spade and, if you have one, a lump hammer.
- Path maintenance and drainage. An ongoing task, there are a few spots that could do with some attention. Bring any digging tools you have!
We will continue to monitor the Covid-19 guidance in relation to keeping safe while restarting outdoor volunteer activities. There will small working groups allocated for the day, working socially distanced where possible, sanitiser available for use and avoiding sharing of tools.
As a matter of course, you should bring sturdy boots, gloves and, if you want to do a full day of it, a packed lunch. We will meet at base (at the moment still a humble shipping container) by the walled garden at 10am. Any questions, feel free to get in touch.
I look forward to seeing you there for the start of our new sessions of community-led woodland work.
On another note, if you have not taken the time to participate in our research efforts please do fill in the survey Spring Survey. The survey asks a host of questions that will steer us towards providing real community benefit with this fantastic resource we have.
All the best,