In a new departure for the volunteers, last Friday 15th February, we joined the DNPA ranger, Ian Brooker, at Moortown Bottom (SX 663 892) to work on habitat for damselflies. The National Park is working alongside the Commoners and landowners to manage the habitat for Southern Damselflies, the lovely bright blue damselflies that we see across ponds and streams in the summer months. We couldn’t have chosen a better day, warm with unbroken sunshine. The moor looked at its best.

The task was to remove part of a large stand of gorse, widening the access for stock, helping to lessen the churning up of muddy areas.

 

Cutting gorse. Photo: Sylvia Hamilton

Cutting gorse. Photo: Sylvia Hamilton

 

 

Beware, pyromaniacs at work. Photo: Sylvia Hamilton

Beware, pyromaniacs at work. Photo: Sylvia Hamilton

 

The volunteers enjoy a challenge and there was soon an empty space where gorse used to be and a large pile to be burnt.

 

Where did the gorse go? Photo: Sylvia Hamilton

Where did the gorse go? Photo: Sylvia Hamilt

 

We all enjoyed a lunch of pasties and cake courtesy of the National Park. A big thank you to Ian for providing them.

 

Excellent pasties. Photo: Sylvia Hamilton

Excellent pasties. Photo: Sylvia Hamilton

 

With a final clear up we returned the gear to the APY wagon after a very satisfying day’s work. Ian then took us on a very informative tour of the whole site giving an overview of the special plants and insects to be found in the area and the plans for future work. It would be good to return to make another contribution to such a worthwhile project.

 

The end of a good day. Photo: Sylvia Hamilton

The end of a good day. Photo: Sylvia Hamilton

 

Many thanks to Ian Brooker for arranging the day and for the good humour and encouragement he brought to working with us.