The volunteer house got finished, (despite the gorgeous weather slowing progress) just in time for the new SWT Ranger to move into by the end of March. Dean our new ranger had one night to himself before we had our first group of volunteers arrive. With Easter being in March this year it seems as though the summer season has also started early before we were quite ready! Volunteers have arrived earlier than ever before too! We had a group of five friends that made a last minute booking. They timed it nicely to coincide with the Easter ceilidh and then very efficiently helped out with the hedge cutting by the community hall. We worked on trimming the sides off the hedge with volunteers in 2015 in preparation for cutting it back closer to the base this year. For those islanders that never realised this had been a work in progress over the last year, there was a little shock to say the least at the severity of the ‘pruning’! Fingers crossed it will now grow back bushier, healthier and more like a hedge….
The next volunteers arrived on the 4th, just for a short week but we managed to get a fair bit done and was very lucky with the weather. We worked in the forestry replacing canes and spirals to trees planted in 2014, as quite a few of them had damage from cattle entering the area after a gate being left open by accident but also a fair bit was winter wind damage. Now the trees are snug and secure with their new supports!
We had a couple of days working around the community hall with a mixture of pruning, general tidying, a start on the war against brambles and gravelling off an area that continually becomes a mud slide at events. The last day was spent on a croft finding out a different way of island life. The next volunteers are due to arrive on the 23rd of April when the season is booked solid right through to the end of August!
No more mud sliding!