With Spring springing all around us and another year under everyone's belts it is time for another update on our progress towards putting the money Colin McLean left us to good use. At our consultation event a couple of years ago we defined four categories of activity that our members wanted us to contribute to.
The first of these was the development of Murder Acre at Bawsinch. LCV has had some most enjoyable days helping out with the clearance work on this site. The fencing LCV offered to legacy fund has now been erected and SWT's flying herd have been on site munching away and doing their bit to improve the biodiversity of the newly enclosed grassland. We have now handed over the £5,000 we promised SWT for this work and so our direct financial involvement is not at an end but there's no doubt we will be back on our regular visits to this site to see how things develop.
The second category of activity is a small grants scheme. Earlier this year we got in touch with our four biggest clients to ask them if there had any schemes they would be interested in putting forward. We got responses from East Lothian, Midlothian and SWT putting forward a total of five projects. We ruled out one of these, a proposal to repair drystane dykes at Traprain Law partly because we weren't convinced that volunteers are actually the best way to get results with drystane dykes, but mostly because the amount of money involved was quite a lot more than we had available. This left four projects all of which we could afford to fund and which we were happy met the criteria laid down following our consultation meeting.
The remaining categories are Reserve Development and Tree Related Projects. We've made less progress on these so far as persuading new or long inactive clients to take interest has been harder than expected. However, we did have an excellent weekend at SWT's Carstramon Wood reserve last spring where we were clearing beech saplings from an area of native woodland which was a job which was both tree related and important for the development of the reserve. This year we followed up at another site run by the same team, Carsegowan Moss. Carsegowan Moss is a very important lowland peat bog which, until recent years was struggling with invading saplings and excessive drainage. SWT has undertaken extensive work in recent years to block drainage ditches and build bunds and keep the water where it is meant to be, in the bog. LCV was helping to develop this reserve by pulling up invading saplings which had escaped all attempts to clear them so far. Two days of unseasonably fine weather saw us shedding layers in every direction and testing out our new tree popper, to the delight of those involved. More details on this task can be found in Mark's write up of this residential trip.