This week we have had some volunteers from The Practical Wildlife Conservation Society (PWCS) helping us with our sensory walled garden at Kindrogan. Throughout their stay one volunteer has been writing a diary of their progress. Here’s what they have gotten up to for the past few days:
Day 1 – went very well! After a very (very) early start we set off, travelling up through the lake district, having breaks in Gretna Green and Edinburgh and then arriving at FSC Kindrogan this evening! We’ve seen roe and fallow deer, lapwing, pheasant, brown hare, red kites, buzzards, oystercatcher, curlew, red-legged partridge, and plenty of other “garden” bird species! This evening we were also treated to the resident pine marten showing up at the hide! 🐾🌾 Tomorrow we are reconstructing a wildlife garden and camera trapping!
Day 2 – this morning some of us got up a bit earlier to spot the resident red squirrels! For most of the day, we all worked very hard volunteering for the FSC, we are restoring an overgrown and under-loved walled garden! We plan to make it a sensory wildlife garden and vegetable patch, up-recycling materials from the centre to do this ♻️ We also put three camera traps out focusing on otters at Straloch, a lovely estate consisting of 3 SSSI’s, and placed another 4 cameras at the centre to try and capture photos of pine marten, deer and hedgehogs! This evening we visited Black Spout, a nearby waterfall where we saw lots of otter spraint! We finished the day with a bat walk, talking all about bats, how to detect them, their ecology, protection and feeding habits! Afterwards we also had at bat call sound analysis! Off for another busy day tomorrow…
Day 3 – Today our volunteering work really paid off as we’ve made some really good progress! We’ve completed more of the path around the garden that we marked out yesterday, and have also constructed a leaf litter bin and compost bin! Our main pride and joy today however was the reptile and mammal refugia area we built, we created mammal runs using scrub, rocks and old drainpipes and used wood and metal to create shelter and basking areas for both species groups. Throughout the day we have seen lots of voles so hopefully they’ll enjoy our work! We bordered this area with rocks we moved out yesterday to make it look even nicer too! We also had a venture into Pitlochry town and then off to a local woodland and loch (where we heard a tawny owl!) for some sunset photography before catching up on the pine marten hide footage tonight. On site today we have seen plenty of fallow deer, pine marten, woodpecker, siskin, treecreeper, chaffinch, coal tit, long-tailed tit, blue tit, great tit, pheasant and red squirrel! Tomorrow we plan to finish the garden pathway and put in some “bath-tub planters” so vegetables can be grown in the garden!
Day 4 of Scotland – Today we finished the walled garden! We created reptile/amphibian and small mammal refugia, small mammal runs, sink and shelf herb planters, a wildflower corner, bathtub vegetable planters, a dead-hedgerow, a bird feeding station and an insect hotel! We also created a path around the garden with a campfire area in the middle as well as creating an archway at the entrance! We also planted pear, apple and hazel trees! This evening we have done stargazing, moth trapping, attempted a campfire and are now looking for the pine martens on the cameras!
Again, a big thank you to our lovely volunteers! We hope all who visit the centre will appreciate all your hard work!
For more information on the volunteer group, visit: https://pwcsociety.wordpress.com/