The kinds of work we do

On this page:

Improving access

Fact
Walkers are often obstructed by poorly maintained or neglected paths, and lack of direction can lead to damage of sensitive habitats by trampling feet.
Action
Improving access usually involves surfacing; step building; waymarking; drainage work or building bridges, stiles, gates or boardwalks.
Building a bridge at Beecraigs Country Park

Building a bridge at Beecraigs Country Park

Drystane dyking

Fact
Drystane Dykes (called 'drystone walls' south of the border) are the original environmentally sound field boundaries. Today over 80% of dykes are in need of repair, and we are in danger of losing an important landscaping feature that shapes our countryside.
Action
Repairing or building a drystane dyke is like a 3D jigsaw puzzle - sometimes frustrating, but always rewarding. The dykes that we build could last for 100 years.
Laying the foundations of a dyke at Vogrie

Laying the foundations of a dyke at Vogrie

Coastal Conservation

Fact
Sand dunes provide a unique but fragile habitat for rare species of animals and plants. Dunes change structure naturally through wind erosion, but the greatest threat comes from trampling by people.
Action
Planting marram grass and building sand trap fencing helps to stabilise the dunes, whilst building boardwalks and improving coastal paths helps people enjoy the coast while steering them away from sensitive sites.
Planting marram grass at Gullane

Planting marram grass at Gullane

Waterways and Wetlands

Fact
Wetlands once covered quarter of the British Isles. Today this figure is just over 1%. Over 75% of ponds have disappeared in the last hundred years. They are home to one third of our native plants and over 1,200 species of invertebrates.
Action
Unmanaged wetlands eventually silt up and become wet woodland. Clearance work, tree felling, and controlling surrounding vegetation is sometimes carried out to stabilise or reverse this natural process of 'succession'. Digging a new pond makes a real contribution to the conservation of an endangered species.
 Pond clearance at Vogrie Country Park

Pond clearance at Vogrie Country Park

Woodlands

Fact
Rhododendron, beech and sycamore are all introduced species and are not native to Scotland. All can have a devastating effect on indigenous species as they compete for light and nutrients and shade out the ground flora.
Action
Typical activities include coppicing, tree planting, felling, clearing and controlling growth of non-native species. Most woodland work is done in winter so as to cause as little disturbance as possible.
Rhododendron control at Barfad Farm

Rhododendron control at Barfad Farm

Habitat Work

Fact
Traditionally-managed hay meadows are a rare haven for our wildflowers. Created by human activities such as cattle grazing, these valuable wildlife habitats would be lost if they weren't managed.
Action
Clearing small trees and shrubs that otherwise would destroy a rare habitat through shading or changing soil conditions; grass cutting and weeding. (Serious consideration is always given before removing scrub from a site, as it can be an important habitat in itself).
Removing brambles from the Bawsinch reserve

Removing brambles from the Bawsinch reserve

Fencing

Fact
Most Scottish woodland could regenerate naturally, but is prevented from doing so because of grazing by rabbits, sheep or deer.
Action
Building stockproof fences to form 'exclosures' keeps animals out of an area and allows the natural regeneration of seedlings to take place. Fencing can also be used to discourage the public from entering a sensitive area.
Fencing at Woodhall Dean

Fencing at Woodhall Dean