It’s that time of year again! Everyone is getting ready for Christmas; buying presents, trimming the tree and looking forward to feasting and festive fun on Christmas Day! The festivities have not stopped our Mourne Conservation Volunteers however. Each Tuesday, volunteers have come out in force to help out with vital conservation work across the Mourne AONB, enjoying the opportunity to get active, get outside and do some good!
In late November, representatives from local walking groups, the Mourne Conservation Volunteers and the Youth Rangers dedicated their Saturday afternoon to cleaning up one of the most popular walking routes towards Slieve Donard: the Glen River path.
Four campsites cleared, eight rubbish bags filled, 2 full recycling bags filled with dangerous glass bottles and broken glass lifted and enough dog poo bags to make your eyes water (quite literally…).
Thanks for helping tidy up one of our most popular walking routes and making the area a safer place to enjoy!
In early December, the MCV’s swapped Christmas Shopping for Juniper Propagation! By planting the cuttings from mature Juniper seedlings, we’ll be able to grow a large population of this priority species, which can then be planted back out into the Juniper’s natural habitats across the Mourne Mountains! Not a bad day’s work at all!
From Juniper to Hazel! Out MCV’s have been working tree-mendously (sorry) hard in our Silent Valley Gardens! Our hazel trees finally dropped their last leaves in mid-December, allowing us to begin digging up the young saplings, sorting them into groups and placing them in a temporary raised bed in the garden.
In January, these Hazel’s will be planted out on land across the Mourne landscape as part of the Mourne Heritage Trust’s ‘Trees for Mourne’ project, which is dedicated to increasing native woodland coverage across the AONB. To find out more, why not call into our offices at Silent Valley, or contact Volunteer Coordinators Alan and Katie to see how you can get involved in this great project?
In December, a beautiful 100 year old Cyprus tree fell at Dunnywater gardens right on top of the stone wall.
Luckily, our Conservation Rangers Tony, Sarah and Gareth were at hand to help, as they spent a long afternoon working alongside the Active Lifestyles team to clear branches and leaves from the site and sort out the cuttings.
The beautiful Cyprus will not go to waste however; the branches and leaves were used to make beautiful holiday wreaths with other volunteer groups, whilst the larger branches will help us repair raised beds, compost heaps and fences across both community gardens. Lastly, the old Cyprus tree trunk was such a beautiful and unusual shape that we hope to get it carved into something special for Dunnywater!
A fun filled day, and a great lesson in reuse and recycling! Cheers for all your help guys!
If you would like to help out on any of our volunteer days please contact our Volunteer Coordinators Alan and Katie using the contact details found on the ‘contact’ tab at the top of this page. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for the most up to date volunteer schedules, pictures and more! Simply search for ‘ActiveLifestylesMHT’.
Thanks guys, and Merry Christmas!