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A Day Out of the Office

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Hello B[L]OG Friends …

Wow, what a day SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) staff chose to come and spend time on the Bog. Hot sun, clear blue sky, the gentle hum of bees gathering pollen from the sweetly-smelling heather. Banana bread, tea cake and home-grown fruit crumbles on offer too. And all they had to do was pull up some birch trees! I think it’s great that SEPA gives all their employees the chance to volunteer for two working days a year and pays them to do that. For most, this was the first time they’d come to Portmoak Moss so they didn’t know what to expect. Sure, they were looking forward to seeing work colleagues in the flesh now that “going to the office” often means working from home alone. But only a couple of them had done anything like this before. All were surprised at just how physical the task of removing the birch was, even using tools like root saws, tree poppers and ragwort forks. But they absolutely got stuck in and warmed to the challenge of clearing the area marked out for them. They nearly managed it too, although the wonderful sunshine did make it more tiring than on a usual September day. “That was very satisfying” and “I feel like I’ve done something really worthwhile today”. “You can really see we’ve made a difference”. “It’s great being able to see the area we’ve cleared”. My favourite comment, I think, was “I’d definitely like to do this again”. I was really pleased that two Woodland Trust officers joined us for the morning so that they could experience for themselves what our Group has been doing to help restore the Bog. There’s nothing like trying it yourself to understand the nature of the task. For the record, in the 50 person hours we were working on the Bog last Monday, we cleared about 1,500 square metres. Oh, and a cream spot ladybird landed on my hand. Look it up!

Blogged by Lesley B

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Portmoak Moss - Woodland Trust

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