The first ever.

This is the post excerpt.

I’m very knew to the blogging thing. But I’ve recently been turned on to the idea of noting down my experiences of both travelling and conservation works which I am becoming more and more involved in. And who knows maybe also adding in any interesting trips and photos from climbing trips.

So for the first post I thought I should mention a conservation work day I took part in Monday 13th. This wasn’t the first time I’ve volunteered for a outdoor work. Previous work days, however, have been much more comfortable. Back down south and in the summer, where the work days consisted of being outdoors in the sun with a nice, bright green, polo teacher and thin leggings. Up in Snowdonia there was no chance of a nice sunny day, this is the middle of March.

But the cold and rain wasn’t enough to put me off a nice morning walk to the Yellow Pub in the centre of town and get a lift into Snowdonia to Capel Curig. A nice small town with a great cafe I consider a God send when just finishing a long walk in the rain. The purpose: to plant trees. More specifically locally grown trees on a rather barren section in between two branches of ancient woodland.

The trouble is that this area of land is still used for grazing, so any newly sprouting tree would be eaten in five seconds flat. To overcome this the trees we planted were slightly older than usual, this is to make them tall enough to not become easy prey. The landscape was also used as a way of protecting the trees without the use of fences to block off important grazing areas.

Using the land means that if there is any very steep hill where, from experience, you could easily slip almost all the way down you should plant a tree. I don’t think I’ll ever get the mud out of my trousers, coat or gloves. But that’s a sidetrack. The tree should be planted at a right angle to ensure it isn’t munched.

Using the land also included getting up close a personal to Gorse (the plant not the bird). A nasty little shrub which has bright yellow flowers and spiky little leaves which can get you despite the thick walking trousers, the leggings, the thick coat, the thermals and the fleece. But still its the best place to plant the trees, with the very tops angled to be right over the top of the patch of Gorse.

Overall it was a really rewarding day where 100 trees were planted, though a small number for a days work by conventional planting standards, it is a decent amount for the method we were using. In preliminary evaluations of this method i was told that the success rate is around 60-70%. But not only the rewarding feeling of adding another tree I also learned a lot about what soils the plants prefer and how to identify the different samplings.

Snowdonia Mountain Range
An example of the beautiful surroundings I found my self in on a dreary Monday. Though I usually hate Mondays, this one was brilliant.

Author: ClareOfford

I'm a second year Zoology and Conservation student, studying at Bangor University in North Wales. I love Wales for the its opportunities to explore the outdoor, and so frequently go one walks with friends, as well as the odd bit of rock climbing and horse riding. Though on of the great things about where I live are the opportunities to get involved in conservation work out in Snowdonia...

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