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DWT takes on international aid!!!

April 30, 2009


Laura, coming all the way from Venezuela, Renuka, from Nepal and Pete, from Gloucestershire, have all been getting down and dirty with the latest voluntary work at Upton heath, installing a set of steps and some general monitoring work across the reserve. 


team ready for action

team ready for action



 With the rain just starting, and sun non-existent, we set off across the heath to meet the rest of the team.  Unfortunately, 3 academics, used to high resolution satellite imagery, GPS and bundles of computer software, were not so able to deal with the Trail Guide provided.  However, we eventually met everyone by following these unusual way markers someone had kindly left about.

international aid (Pee, Laura-aka Kenny, Renuka)

international aid (Pee, Laura-aka Kenny, Renuka)

 Andy and Nigel (our leaders) gave the 7 strong team a description of the problem of eroding footpaths, from a mix of the weather and usage.  This could potentially lead to drying out of wet heathland, loosing vital habitat and some very important species.  The task was to create some steps to reduce erosion, and also start extending some boardwalk areas so that everyone using the heath can enjoy their little expedition in a dry (at least underfoot) and clean way.


little bit of erosion

little bit of erosion


Steps were created from an old boardwalk from another reserve, dug into the ground and lined with dead bracken.  The steps were then reinforced with brute strength, weight and some metal steaks.  As steps quickly popped up out of nowhere, the team split and started work on the boardwalks.



sawing one of the posts

sawing one of the posts

 Shortly after a short pit stop for tea, and with blog ideas teaming our minds, we set on to get back to centre, leaving the hard workers behind and taking in the rest of the dragonfly trail.  As we ambled along, we discussed new found abilities of sawing, hammering and digging, which we decided we could build our own house with, watch this space!  All was well until Laura let out a cry and became paralysed with fear (quote), as something slithered in-front of her.  After putting her glasses back on, all was well as the tiny slow worm disappeared into the vegetation.



Kenny oversees the groups progress

Kenny oversees the groups progress


Sightings so far (please bear in mind we are still learning it all!)

          Stonechat = 1 (2/3 of the group agreed, majority rules!)

          Dartford Warbler = 1 heard (possibly :S)

          Novelties = one dog with a very sore throat, made us chuckle though

Well done to the volunteers today despite the weather, hopefully see you again soon.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 30, 2009 10:05 pm

    Was this written by Renuka, Pete and Laura? Great post guys. Looking forward to getting back to Upton Heath and seeing the Nightjars soon. (have any been sighted yet?) & glowworms…

    Weather didn’t look too nice, so think I might stay on holiday for a bit longer!

    Look forward to hearing about your next “adventure”.


  2. Renuka permalink
    May 3, 2009 9:27 pm

    Thanks Jane. Well yes,its three of us as part of placement work. The weather was not that bad because I hate bright sunshine……..

    Sorry to say that we are still learning to identify species so no idea about Nightjar but we did saw slow worm……..specially Laura who nearly freezed thinking it was a snake…….

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