Saturday, 15 February 2014

Volunteering at the Kingshill Local Nature Reserve, Allanton near Shotts

Today I was helping the volunteers from the Central Scotland Forest Trust with some conservation work at Kingshill Local Nature Reserve near Shotts in North Lanarkshire.

The day very wet when I left the house to catch a bus to Allanton, a journey which seemed to take forever, as the driver kept sitting at nearly all the bus stops on the way there!

When I eventually arrived at Allanton, Emilie from the Central Scotland Forest Trust met me at the bus stop and walked me up a path to the reserve, which took about 20 minutes. By the time we arrived to join the other volunteers, the rain had stopped and the sun was shining.

Kingshill Local Nature Reserve
The other volunteers were all busy sawing down small trees which were growing in the wetland area of the reserve. The reserve covers quite a large area and has 12 ponds, some meadows and woodland, so there is a diverse range of wildlife in the area.

In the distance could be seen Black Law Wind Farm, near the village of Forth, owned by ScottishPower.

There are almost 20 species of butterfly and other insects to be found living amongst the wildflowers in the reserve. There were not many birds when we were there today, but in summer, the meadows will attract many of our summer visitors.

Hard at work
Cutting down the trees was hard work and everyone was putting in a good effort. There was a brief stop for lunch and Emilie had brought a case with refreshments including hot water for making tea, coffee or hot chocolate and some biscuits. A gentleman offered some cakes which his wife had baked. These were very nice.

Lunch stop

After lunch we resumed the work and as it had got a bit warmer many of us were able to take off our fleeces and jackets. The progress we made was good and we covered a large area. 

Below are some photographs of the work which was done today.

Black Law Wind Farm in the distance

At 15.15 we started packing up and carried out a tool count to ensure that no tools were left in the area in case they injured wildlife. I walked back with the other volunteers and got a lift  in the Central Scotland Forest Trust van to the bus stop where, after a few minutes wait, I caught a bus back home. It had been an enjoyable day out and in March we can resume our work on the site.

Further Information

Central Scotland Forest Trust 

Kingshill Local Nature Reserve

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