It seems a long time ago now that devil's bit scabious plants, all neatly and individually potted, appeared beside the visitor centre at Campfield. At first there were said to be 1500 plants, then somehow the number grew to 2000, all needing to be planted on the reserve. The food plant of the rare marsh fritillary butterfly, they were to be planted to encourage the butterfly to spread from the the remote part of the reserve where it was first discovered just a few years ago into other areas.
It was a daunting prospect at a time when one staff member was still furloughed and the volunteer work parties were were suspended due to covid restrictions. Mhairi watered them assiduously during hot weather (remember that time?). She and Dave planted some in hard to access parts of the bog and two of us planted a large patch in the discovery field. It's a long shot to expect marsh fritillaries to turn up there, but it is a more accessible place to keep an eye on, so watch that space!
There were still an awful lot of plants to go in, but the turning point came when the Thursday work parties resumed in mid September. Several volunteers came each week and social distancing was no problem in the wide open space of the bog. It was good to meet up again after such a long time and after several sessions of hard work with trowel and spade we all heaved a sigh of relief as the last of the devil's bit scabious were planted.
The last batch loaded in the truck ready to take up to the boggy ground below the Rogersceugh drumlin.
We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy
The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. Find out more about the partnership
© The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654