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Work Party near Boat of Garten Saturday 18th February 2023

The previous work party, at Cullachie one week before, had enjoyed sunny, spring-like conditions. This morning we woke to low temperatures and a layer of snow on the ground.

Tree-popping in the snow

Tree-popping in the snow, by Tom Prescott

 

Nevertheless, thirteen hardy souls turned up to remove young birch and broom from this nationally important orchid meadow. Whilst its floral richness is apparent in the summer, the meadow is perhaps less well known for its rich community of moths, inextricably linked to the flora.

 

More tree-popping

More tree-popping, by Tom Prescott

 

Although the site is grazed by livestock, the grazing is insufficient to prevent the growth of young birches and broom which seed in from adjacent woodland. Without intervention, the birches and broom would develop and shade out the flowers. Hence the need for conservation action – uprooting the young trees with tree poppers. The uprooted plants were gathered up and dumped outside the meadow.

Hilary dragging popped broom away

Hilary dragging popped broom away, by Tom Prescott

 

Some mature broom bushes adjacent to the meadow were also cut down with a chainsaw. By the end of the afternoon, most of the meadow had been cleared. We were pleased with our progress and decided to plan one further visit with the tree poppers this winter to complete the job.  You can read a report of that here.

The team taking a break

The team taking a break, by Tom Prescott

 

                               Pete Moore

 

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