My six months placement draws to an end however, I’ve been given an extension to stay for an extra couple of months to focus on the visitor operations side here at Burton Mere Wetlands. Which is great!

At August bank holiday I accompanied Katy, the Dee’s very own Membership Development Officer, on an offsite event at Hoylake for the RNLI open day. We pitched up our spot on the front on a very blustery morning, but the weather didn’t dampen our spirits. It was a great atmosphere with lots going on: from chucking sponges at life guard’s (very amusing), to watching a superb sign language choir. Considering the weather turnout was great, and it was a good opportunity for me to be a part of a big event and to watch the waders feeding along the tideline.

In September, I worked with warden team brush-cutting down along the path edges from Marsh Covert hide and then down to Inner Marsh Farm hide. This needs to be done regularly to keep paths clear and tidy. It was a big job, but there was a good team of volunteers to help rake and clear up all the cut vegetation and the reserve looked much better for it.

During the work party, we had an exciting report of a pallid harrier out on the marsh at Neston. So we took a well-earned break to see if we could spot it. Armed with binoculars and telescopes we all waited patiently for harrier activity. We ended up seeing a distant harrier but couldn’t be sure it was the bird.

The badger watch events continued for the first couple of weeks in September, and I continued to help out. It was great to be a part of these guided walks and to be able show off our badgers, and enthuse people about how wonderful they are.

We also went to Woolston Eyes nature reserve in Warrington to help with the big task of cutting reed to open up large areas of open water. There was a good team of us to assist the Warden, with lots to rake up and gather into piles after they had finished cutting. Getting over the deep muddy ditch onto the reedbed was an experience, especially after it became apparent that the wooden bridge was too unstable to use. As an alternative we had to use a boat to paddle across the mud instead! It was great to get back to Woolston, and see how work had progressed since my last visit.

Back at Burton Mere Wetland, Liz, the new Assistant Warden, needed help to cut some of the willows bordering Bridge Pool to open up the view for visitors. We had a big work party with people joining us from M&S and HSBC bank, as part of their day’s volunteering to help out a local charity. They all got stuck in cutting up the trees into manageable bits for us to burn. It was a great day working hard and getting very muddy!!

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