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Moseley Bog Friends' Blog 10/11/2015

Posted: Friday 13th November 2015 by James.A

These blog posts are sent in by Mary Girvan of the Friends of Moseley Bog & Joy's Wood to give a personal perspective of a day in the life of a volunteer. She also does the twitter feed for @mosbogfriends.

A day in the life of a volunteer

"Why sweep the leaves when they're still falling ?" asked one dog walker. "You'll be here all week !" said another passerby. "We have been" replied a volunteer. Yes it's boardwalk cleaning time again. Not our favourite job, but someone has to do it otherwise the boardwalk will rot. We chunter about poor design. Why didn't they leave a bigger gap between the boards for stuff to fall through? We're told by another dog walker that 6mm is the legal max in case of walkers in stilettos. Not as daft as it sounds - we have seen at least one lady visitor in heels. Why didn't they leave a gap in the side board to make it easier to sweep debris away? This is a health and safety toe-board to stop people slipping off apparently. However according to Aunty Google there isn't a legal standard for boardwalks, but best practice is a max 12mm gap between the boards and a 30mm gap should be left between the deck and the toe boards to allow debris to fall through. Vindicated.

There are bonuses to working outdoors. We watched herons fly over, squinted through the trees to see goldcrest, heard and saw magpies, jays and crows. Of course, we're always accompanied by at least one robin, and there is that favourite game of who can spot the biggest rat - they're only small mammals! Today we also saw a vole, or was it a shrew? Research is ongoing. We saw what looked like small fried eggs on the grass near the performance area, which turned out to be fungi, and another beside them the size of a hoe.
Working out of doors is proven to be good for your health and well being, which was proven at lunchtime.

One of our real bonuses today was the superbly gooey chocolate cake brought by one of our volunteers for sharesy. We told her she should go on Bake-Off and offered to be the guinea pigs for anything she wanted to try out in the future. The wise boys from the Wildlife Trust know that you can't do boardwalks all day, so in the afternoon we went back to more blackthorn clearing and hazel coppicing. Probably just as well given that cake.


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