Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Monkeying Around.

At Scotney we have a unique problem – how to weed the quarry face without plunging to our doom.  The answer to this – use a rope and harness and abseil down.  The more observant visitor may have noticed the heavy duty anchor points at the top of the quarry designed for just this purpose.  We currently have four staff members amongst our teams qualified to participate in this sort of work.  In addition to the quarry work this also allows us to carry out some aerial tree work.  Over the last week or so we have been introducing some of our other team members to the joys of ‘hanging around’.  First up was Duncan from the Garden team and Ranger Catrin.
 
Duncan (Polecat)
 
Catrin (Red Squirrel)

The tree being above climbed is a Red Oak (Quercus rubra) and is one of those on our new tree trail.  The main reason for climbing was to remove some dead wood and inspect the tree for safety but this also gave Duncan and Cat the ideal opportunity for an introductory climb - as you can see its smiles all round.  Our next customer was the boss himself, Paul our Head Gardener.  We chose the secluded Copper Beech (Fagus sylvatica Purpurea) and enjoyed a quick climb.  All was going well until two of our long term volunteers decided to come along and heckle from the ground.  Paul, used to this sort of verbal abuse from these particular volunteers was unfazed and continued to enjoy his climb.  Our next lesson will be aerial target practice.

 
Hecklers Chris & Darren
  
Paul (Pine Marten)





















I can confirm that everyone showed real dexterity and managed a good height for their inaugural climbs earning them suitable 'Gladiator' style nicknames.  Hopefully these informal practice sessions will continue and I have no doubt that you will see Scotney’s trainee tree creepers hanging from a tree or quarry (or dare I say it, the bar of The Brown Trout) very soon.

Dave.

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