Investigating the historic landscape of RSPB Baron’s Haugh
An exciting programme of work planned for this winter 2014-15
At the RSPB Baron’s Haugh nature reserve in Motherwell, we have an exciting programme of Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP) funded work planned for this winter 2014-15. Over the next few months we are going to be concentrating on making some improvements to the historic designed landscape in part of the reserve. Over the centuries, much of the landscape was planned and developed to provide attractive surroundings to the stately Dalzell House. Some of this has started to disappear; many of the ancient trees in parkland and avenues have died or are on their last legs, the old estate orchard has only a few gnarled veteran fruit trees left and the curling pond has silted up.
There is plenty to do then this winter for RSPB staff and volunteers to begin to recuperate these features, that are not only of historic interest, but add attract plenty of wildlife as well. As part of the project, volunteers spent a day working with RSPB archaeologist Jill Harden, to collect information to help us understand this part of the reserve. Tasks included surveying the ancient trees in the parkland to allow us to best plan how to re-plant the area, and recording old metal parkland fence features (probably Victorian) prior to improving the fencing. A highlight was delving underground with some excavations around the remains of the old curling pond, to understand better how it worked. The discovery of an old sluice and stone lined channel leading from a nearby burn provided vital clues.
Just in time for the cold weather setting in, the staff and volunteers can now put their feet up and enjoy a cup of tea in the secure containerised office which was funded through CAVLP. A living roof will be planted on the unit over the coming months, blending it in with its surroundings. Watch this space for updates!