Last Saturday saw four volunteers completing a training course on the Supervision of Volunteers. Challenging theory and practical exercises at the village hall in Carmel and out on the reserve were the order of the day. All four passed the course and gained their certificates. Congratulations or “Llongyfarchiadau” to you all.
It’s fantastic that we have volunteers who come out to the Carmel Reserve in order to tackle the management tasks that need to be done, assist in species surveys and generally help out with the upkeep and running of the reserve. Now Aaron, Martin, Malcolm and Richard are trained up it means that they can supervise other volunteers and so there are more opportunities for people to get involved.
In the past year volunteer groups have done a phenomenal amount of work on the reserve. The Grasslands Trust runs a session every Saturday morning from 9am until 12pm and for much of the year BTCVCymru (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers Wales) brought volunteers to the reserve twice a week as part of the local Communities and Nature programme.
Work undertaken included opening up over four hundred meters of new trails. Removing dangerous overhead tree limbs and clearing obstructions from a further two hundred meters of existing trails. A coupe a quarter of a hectare in size was coppiced and half a hectare area of scrub was cleared from the limestone grasslands. Volunteers took part in butterfly, bumblebee and Greater Butterfly orchid surveys and put up dormouse, bat and bird nesting boxes. And they still had enough energy to clear a quarter of a kilometre stretch of old barbed wire and sheep netting and collect a tonne and a half of assorted agricultural debris.
As part of its Beeline Project The Grasslands Trust and its partner The Bumblebee Conservation Trust put on training courses on Bumblebee identification and monitoring. In partnership with the West Wales Biodiversity Records Centre we hosted courses on plant and mammal identification. In addition The Grasslands Trust held sessions on butterfly identification and monitoring at the reserve.
Hopefully this blog and my previous one has provided you with an idea of what sort of place The Grasslands Trust’s Carmel reserves are and what sort of things The Grasslands Trust is getting up to. On the menu for 2012 is more of the above, further training courses and new opportunities for volunteering.