Welcome to my first blog and yes, it really is my first blog, so please bear with me. I’m Martin Reeves, a Community Grasslands Officer presently working on a number of sites within the borough of Eastleigh, Hampshire. My role is to engage the local community, organisations, and individuals by providing practical conservation tasks for volunteers and countryside events that interest all abilities and ages.
Discovering our Glorious Grasslands (DoGG) is our latest community project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, it involves many partners including the local council and several parish councils. My time is spent meeting, greeting and becoming as well known to the locals as they will let me and always thinking of the next task or event that needs planning.
I try to use local experts to help deliver our programme, some of which are project partners and give their time in kind whilst others perhaps don’t – have you noticed how much prices have gone up recently!
Anyway, just to prove that I can get my hands dirty with the best of them, here is a summary of our latest practical task – laying a hedge at Lapstone Farm, Fair Oak. The parish ranger asked if I could help stock proof one side of field where the grassland met urban reality, I asked a local hedge layer if he could help lead a group of volunteers for two days, teaching them not only the practical skills to do this but also about hedgerow management both modern and historically.
I’ll leave you with a photograph of our work and hopefully update you more about the project in what will be my second blog of all time!
If you are interested in following the project try http://www.dogg-project.org (presently only a couple pages but the full site is due to be uploaded soon).