Monday, 23 December 2013

Car Park Matting and a Rescue Mission to Blakeney Point

The Fen has been getting in the festive mood for the past couple of weeks. While the Education guys have been busy with all the Father Christmas visits, the Ranger team has been getting the fen ready for the Christmas crowds. Our biggest job has been to put some new matting down in the overflow car park to try and stop people getting stuck in the mud. It involved laying 28 rolls of matting, at 20m long each and then hammering over 100 pins into each mat. Needless to say we all had sore hammering arms by the end of the week. The result is that half of the overflow is now easier to drive when the bad weather hits over Christmas, though we will still have the tractor on standby just in case anyone needs a tow.

Andy and Lesley finishing the first section on a sunny Monday afternoon
End result of the first day
Nearly there, even if we couldn't see each other through the mist!
Last Friday Jack and I went to help our colleagues over at Blakeney Point on the North Norfolk coast. Due to high winds coinciding a spring tide a few weeks ago, the boardwalk had been moved around all over the point, so a team of Rangers volunteered from properties all over the region to help set it all straight again. Under the instruction of the North Norfolk Coast Rangers we managed to push, pull, lift, drop, squeeze and stretch the boardwalk back into place. It was like doing a very long jigsaw puzzle as the bendy and straight pieces all had to go back in the right order so that it followed the path around the sand dunes. This was made all the more exciting by having to herd protective seal mothers off the boardwalk which they and their pups had clearly claimed to be theirs. The bad weather has pushed the seal colony further inland than they would normally, and they can move surprisingly quickly when you have your back turned. All in all it was a successful day, we returned all boardwalk pieces that hadn’t been swept out to see and we all got to spend the day with seal pups!
First job of the day, move the seal out the way of the tractor! (And yes I did very nearly get bitten!)
Two cute seal pups who had been weaned and were slowly making their way to the sea for the first time.

This is our last post for the year, so from all the Rangers and staff, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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