When 'lockdown' was imposed in late March, LCG (along with most or all of the organisations we work for) ceased all practical conservation work. As government restrictions eased, we began to contact site wardens about restarting. Close inspection of GOV.UK gave us confidence that voluntary work was exempt from the social gathering limit of six people, as long as we had 'Covid secure' procedures in place. So after devising an additional risk assessment and trialling it with a couple of 'mini-tasks', we re-started properly in August.
Our first workday was at Stapleford village green, where we helped with management of the wildflower meadow by raking off grass previously cut by a local farmer. Seven volunteers took part.
Our second day's work was at Fiskerton Fen nature reserve on 6 September, where a range of maintenance tasks and some habitat management awaited us. The committee had worked out that 12 people would be a good limit to ensure we could all work safely distanced - and exactly that number came forward - perfect! This included two new volunteers, Danielle and Jack, who we hope will join us again. Everyone seemed glad to be out and pitched in enthusiastically.
It was a very successful and satisfying day, with a lot of work completed and some lively conversation. We:
- dismantled a redundant fence
- cut back the seriously overgrown hawthorn and blackthorn hedge around the car park, thus exposing the fence for inspection
- began repairs to the fence, using wood from the one we'd dismantled
- trimmed back the hedges along the paths
- cut and scraped off grass around the entrance gate
- filled a bin bag with assorted litter
- removed a lot of hawthorn from the meadow to help keep it open for wildflowers
- made time for a look round the reserve