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Moseley Bog Friends' Blog 20/5/15

Posted: Friday 22nd May 2015 by Joe.P

Pignut photo by Alison Wilkesvolunteer blog 20/05

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

We finished the log path today - hurrah !! It has felt like a herculean mission, taking 3 volunteer days to complete. But the work has had a nice rhythm to it - fetch that log, cut to size, dig it in, pack with mud. Next time we must bring a drummer.

When I look back on today's volunteer day I realise it had a bit of a Tolkien theme. It started when our new volunteer Jimmy arrived with his two carers. They said they came from Stirling Road within sight of the Twin Towers, Perrott's Folly and Edgbaston Waterworks Tower. These towers are said to have influenced "Minas Morgul" and "Minas Tirith" the "Two Towers of Gondor" in Lord of the Rings. So, once we had gathered and collected our tools, we set off on our mission through the muddy bog, streams and thick woodland of Middle Earth, to finish the log path, so that our armies might be raised out of the mud as they march to battle. As we walk along the boardwalk and then onto the narrower sleeper path, his carers tell Jimmy to look around him in this magical place - "Watch out for the elves" "Can you see the dwarves and goblins ?" We see robins, jays and crows, and a grey squirrel.

After the rainfall we've had, the bog is looking wonderfully boggy, gloopy and lush. I swear plant life has doubled in size and coverage since last week. It's easy to see how you could get lost if you don't know your way around and we're often asked the way back to the car park by walkers. There is no "Lord of the Eagles" to lead the way, but we do see and hear several song thrushes. 

We arrive at our place of work and after a tool talk by Gabe, some of us go off to the new meadow to collect logs, while others start to dig. We're glad to see some remedial work being carried out near the old dam, by the council. Hope they can get it back to resembling the wilderness it was before they sent in the digger ! There is a lovely patch of pignut in flower on the new meadow - now if that isn't a hobbit sounding flower I don't know what is. 

Work progressed nicely, with Jimmy helping to dig and collect mud. Three guys came past with a Tolkien guide book. A cat rushed by with a vole in it's mouth - nice present for someone, and several dog visitors of all sizes tested out the logs, and sniffed our bags for food.

The day was a bit overcast and windy with swirling grey clouds, and the darkness creeps up on you when you're deep in the bog. Despite furtive looks upwards you can't see much sky, but we did escape the rain to stay dry.
The completed path is a thing of beauty with curves and camber. It looks like it will last and we are very very satisfied with ourselves.

We go back via the woodpecker nest and listen for the chicks, they sound loud and hungry. Something to watch out for in coming weeks.

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