On New Years Eve, volunteers took on the threatening weather to hike through the Mournes. We were led by very knowledgeable and experienced Charles McRobert, who showed us features of the Binnian landscape and told us some of the history of how the Mournes were shaped and used. The trail we took was built by Mourne Heritage Trust staff and volunteers, some of whom were in our party! Thanks to everyone for a great day! And thanks to the weather-gods for being kind to us. Check out some of the photos from the walk.
Active Lifestyles held their Volunteer day on Saturday, with volunteers braving the cold and rain to come and take part in tree preparation and collecting foliage from around Silent Valley. After hot soup to warm everybody up, we got crafty making Christmas wreaths from the greenery collected that morning, and getting the chance to share stories with one another.
Thanks to everyone who came, bringing smiles and high spirits to the Silent Valley!
Check out the Volunteer Now website and Facebook page for more info on our Christmas Work day on 12th December!
Will be great to see you all there!
EVENT DETAILS: Saturday 14th November, 10am – 3 pm
We are continuing to create a walking trail along the bank of the Ben Crom reservoir. This trail is one of two that we have recently begun maintaining to reduce the amount of ‘desire lines’ created by hill walkers. By using just one trail, we can reduce the degradation of other, more sensitive areas on the hillside that may have important mountain flora or fauna. If you would like to come along to this event, or learn more, please contact Rachel Bolt on [email protected], or call us at the Silent Valley office: 028 4176 9825 / 028 4176 5489. Alternatively, just turn up at the Silent Valley Ranger Service House at 9.45 on the day, and join the team!
NB. REMEMBER TO BRING STURDY FOOTWEAR, WARM CLOTHES AND A PACKED LUNCH!
On Saturday 17th October we held our annual Active Lifestyles Project Volunteer Awards and Celebration event at Silent Valley Gate Lodge. We had lots of activities in the morning, including harvesting the spuds from the garden, building bird boxes and pressing juice from apples collected from our apple trees. Our volunteers from the AMAL group prepared the lunch of Sudanese style food which everyone agreed was absolutely delicious. We then made the awards to our volunteers for Best Group and Best Individual. The final big event was the drumming circle activity which got everyone involved in making music together with African drums and percussion which was great fun. A great day – thanks to everyone who helped make it such a success.
The first day of Mourne Heritage Youth Rangers scheme saw seven young people head out into Silent Valley to help nurture a young oak wood.
Armed with hazel sticks the order of the day was to clear a one metre radius around the saplings. Bracken has become a significant problem around the Nature trail and by ‘bashing’ the bracken you damage the fern like plant and therefore starve the root system of energy. When this process is repeated during the year the plant’s growth is hampered. In amongst the bracken we found an exotic looking moth-a Garden Tiger! Following a picnic lunch the young people worked hard on clearing an area of invasive lodge pole pine trees which were encroaching into an area of heathland. By removing the trees, more light can encourage the heather and other heathland plants to flourish. The youth rangers learned a tree felling technique and were able to remove trees using a bow saw.
Many young lodge pole pine seedlings were pulled out by the roots. In this habitat the youth rangers spotted; Bog Asphodel, a large wood wasp, common blue damselfly and a common darter dragonfly.
This activity is the first if six and will count towards a John Muir Discovery level award