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On Saturday 14th August 9 members, 2 volunteers, 3 dogs and a baby met up to do some of the essential work that needed to be carried out before the start of the season. After meeting at the Plough in Peldon, we split into 3 groups to cover the tasks, with Anna and baby being general gophers. In the sunshine David and Alex headed out to Barrow Hill to replace half a bridge and to give it a new handrail. After committee members struggled to get hold of scaffold boards to do the repairs, new member Scott kindly donated two for the purpose. Before they were able to reach the marsh, the car park had to have a brutal haircut - it was barely possible to open the gate! David then went and re-meshed bridges on Peldon Hall as well.
Stuart directed Brandon, Dan and Henrietta in the taking down and refilling of the duck nesting tubes both at Peldon Hall and Sampson's. It looked a touch warm to be wearing waders, and the dogs enjoyed swimming and "helping". There are signs that ducks have been using the tubes, with broken egg shells in at least one. The two that were right next to the dog field have been removed and we are in consultation regarding them being situated in a more appropriate place.
James, Tom, Gary and Monty worked on the bridges on Peldon Hall - fixing broken supports, reinforcing underneath, and mending the steps leading to the first one; and then headed over to Feldy to start work on litter picking. The expected detritus was found, with several plastic bottles, a paddle etc. If anyone is missing a left shoe, I'm afraid that's now gone for good. There were also a lot of spent cartridges and several plastic wads, so please do try and collect your cartridges, or pick up others you may come across. Now may be the time to start looking at alternatives to plastic wads? By 2pm everyone was rather warm and with several full bags decided to call it a day.
Thank you to everyone that helped out; all of the major jobs got done. There is definitely more that can be done on the litter picking front, so feel free to take an empty carrier bag with you to fill up after (or before) a flight to improve the condition of our marshes.
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