Conservation Volunteering around the Forth

#Conservation Volunteering#Ifli Wide#Recording Celebrating
 This project created a group of volunteers trained in a range of practical, natural heritage and survey skills who used these skills across sites in the Inner Forth area to help manage them for wildlife and people.

 Led and recruited by the RSPB Forth Reserves Warden and Assistant Wardens, the group ran twice per month over the four years of the IFLI programme. The group predominantly undertook work at RSPB led IFLI project sites around the Inner Forth, including RSPB Skinflats, RSPB Black Devon Wetlands and Kinneil Lagoons. To enable a diversity of experiences, and to allow for work parties to take place in months where there was naturally less habitat work that could be undertaken at IFLI project sites, the group occasionally travelled for work parties at RSPB Inversnaid and RSPB Loch Lomond reserves within the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park or on other RSPB Forth Reserves (Fidra, Fannyside).

 Volunteer work party pulling bracken at RSPB Inversnaid & volunteer work party improving the woodland habitat at Kinneil Lagoons / RSPB.

 The volunteer group was regularly over-subscribed and attracted volunteers of a range of ages and experiences. Volunteers were provided with appropriate PPE and offered opportunities to attend formal training in first aid and brushcutter use resulting in a qualification – then they could use this machinery during sessions. Volunteers also undertook training in a range of species identification and survey skills: badger, lichen, mammals, saltmarsh plants and micro moths.

 Tasks undertaken by the volunteers included: invasive species control, path maintenance, installation and planting of floating islands, installation of pond dipping platforms and construction of boardwalks, planting willow screening, bracken control, scrub control, vegetation management, removal of old fencing, installing solitary bee nest boxes, litter picking and small tree removal, installing brushwood revetments, species surveys, supporting RSPB events at the Black Devon Wetlands Reserve.

 Volunteer path work at Kinneil Lagoons, January 2015 / RSPB.

 Volunteers edging the boardwalk and planting the floating islands at RPSB Black Devon Wetlands / David Palmar

 Whilst this IFLI funded project came to a close in March 2018 it is likely that there are other RSPB volunteering opportunities in the Inner Forth area. You can search all RSPB volunteer opportunities via the RSPB website.