The first week has absolutely flown by!
The week started with Lydia who immersed us in the wonderful world of Marketing, the session was very useful as it highlighted the importance of having a clear plan, goal and how you want to achieve it. The main thing that I took from the session was to consider what the benefits of what you plan to do were and how to involve communities in plans and events.
In the afternoon we were able to get outside and visit the newly created mini moss at Risley Moss, if you haven’t had a chance to visit now would be an excellent time. Dragonflies and damselflies are busying themselves which has caught the eye of a Hobby! One the UK’s busiest and boldest falcons (in my opinion). The mini moss is a great way for people to explore the moss as the new boardwalk takes you out into It and is easily accessible.
Tuesday was a marvellous day spent with the one and only Mark Champion who took us on a tour of the Wigan sites: Kirkless (not technically part of the carbon landscape) Wigan Flashes, Amberswood (my favourite) and Bickershaw. Kirkless is a lovely site which allows great panoramic views of the local area which includes many sites that make up the carbon landscape and well beyond to Runcorn and Wales. The site holds particular interest due to the maritime plant species that occur on site which is unusual since the sight is quite clearly inland. We ventured onto the Wigan Flashes afterwards which holds a large amount of reed beds which is ideal habitat for bitterns, I myself am yet to see one anywhere at all (very elusive and well camouflaged). The site is made up of much more than just reed beds though and offers a really diverse habitat which will be fun to explore in the coming months. Next up came Amberswood which I must admit is my preferred site, a really good example of moss restoration and grassland management, species such as Yellow rattle, crested dogs tail and timothy were all present. I think it was around this point that I got sunburnt, unbeknownst to me at the time, it only became apparent later on (oops, note to self and others put sun cream on)
The last stop on a very sunny day was Bickershaw, which is the largest site in Wigan on the carbon landscape. We wandered past the gentile looking redpoll cows who were busying themselves eating up the grass and made our way to the project area, pictured below. The area been flattened out so that over time it will become a flash providing a lovely wetland habitat. Overall a really enjoyable walk with the very knowledgeable and funny Mark Champion.Wednesday morning was spent with Tony Da Silva and Steve Ormerod who took us out to explore unchartered territory in Rough Wood. Here we touched on phase 1 habitat survey techniques and mapped out key parts of the wood. We were fortunate enough to see a single Roe deer and Great Spotted Woodpecker which was an unexpected surprise. The afternoon was spent visiting Manchester City of trees where we met Miranda who took us on a mini tour highlighting the positive work they have been doing in the local community in planting urban trees and rejuvenation local areas.
All in all, a busy week which has ended with an office day today which has given me time to respond to emails, partake in my first team meeting, create some posters for upcoming events (check the website for details) and write this quick blog. So it’s not always out and about visiting sites, there is some office time, at least there’s biscuits here though!