• What have the Countryside Rangers been up to recently?

    September/October

    Bat boxes were checked this month by one of our Countryside Rangers (CR) who has a bat licence, there was no evidence of bats using them although bats can be seen around the pond at dusk and just after the sun has set.  Some of the bat boxes have been nailed down which makes checking them difficult so we aim to replace these this winter with bat boxes which can be easily checked without disturbing any potential inhabitants.

    Education

    Susan Dickson, Senior Countryside Ranger had a meeting with some of the friends to discuss educational provision on the hill.  There are already good links with some local schools like George Watson’s College who use the site as part of their 2nd year biology curriculum.  The Big World holiday club also use the site for a week in August learning outdoor skills and helping the woodland management with a bit of sycamore thinning.  Susan and the new Deputy Head of Craiglockhart Primary School have discussed how to use the woodland as a Forest School site for the Primary School children.  The children will visit every week to improve their knowledge and skills on environment and woodland subjects while improving self esteem and confidence building.

    Maintenance/Conservation

    The Countryside Rangers have been out strimming paths in September and the curling rink has been sprayed and scraped to tidy the area up, the wall around the wickets was also sprayed to remove ivy in preparation for repointing work.  The CR’s have been working with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers removing Japanese knotweed, an invasive plant; cutting back vegetation on the causeway; raking fragmites reeds at the outlet pipe and cutting back the hedge.