In July I had the luck to volunteer in nature conservation activities in Kilchoan estate.

Throughout my stay Laura Dawson was my main companion and mentor. I truly enjoyed opportunity to have a hands-on experience in a variety of tasks.

For woodland restoration purposes we inspected deer fences, to ensure that the woodland can have a chance to establish itself, before being nibbled on by hungry herbivores, we cut down bracken, so that they don’t smother the young tree saplings, removed gorse, Rhododendron and Sitka spruce, so that the native species can thrive.

The landscape in the property is already slowly changing and to evaluate just how impactful is the change, Laura and me, equipped with binoculars, notepads and books, carried out both bird and moth surveys. While it’s easier to get a closer look at moths, it takes a very careful eye to pick up the intricate details that vary ever so slightly from one moth to another, making you appreciate the beauty of nature once again.

Together with Laura and Marnik Van Cauter we monitored the progress in native oyster restoration in the surrounding area. Having no such experience before, it was exciting to see and learn how the oysters grow in a month, and how salinity and water current effects it. After finding out about the number of native oysters that have been and are planned to be reintroduced, it left me with a hopeful feeling.

Overall, my stay was better and more diverse than I could have expected. I didn’t just get to be a pair of helpful hands, but also managed to learn and form a clearer idea about rewilding and conservation. Thank you for having me!

Fence Survey

Hghland Cow

Daina Damberga