It was probably the best weather we’ve ever had for the Campfield volunteers’ summer barbecue. There was a clear blue sky and hot sunshine as members of the Thursday work party and Visitor Centre volunteers gathered at the end of June to celebrate another six months of work on the reserve. 

We began the morning with a walk led by Dave and Mhairi out onto the shore. It was low tide so we were able to walk right out onto the sand and get a completely different view of this part of the reserve. The cattle which graze the marsh in the summer kept an eye on us. The sheep, which shouldn’t be there, were shown the way home beyond the fence they get round when the tide is low. The flowers of Thrift made a pink haze on the turf.

Dave and Mhairi reminded us of the work that will begin soon, creating more pools along the shore and improving the habitat for breeding and roosting waders. Taking advantage of a natural dip in the marsh, these pools will also bring the birds closer to where people can see them. There will be more pools too for the rare natterjack toads.

Returning to the Visitor Centre the barbecue was soon underway in the Discovery field with the staff doing the cooking and volunteers setting out food they had brought.

It was a chance to relax, enjoy good food and most importantly have time for a good natter with staff and fellow volunteers. We even had a serenade from Malc demonstrating the box guitar he made recently. There’s no end to the talents of some of the volunteers! 

It was a most enjoyable morning, setting us up for the next six months of work on the reserve. There are interesting times ahead, with work soon to start on the fields either side of the main lonning, between the centre and the hide, to improve and manage their wetting up and install  predator fencing. Watch this space!