L.O.S. Pennington Flash Volunteers

Today saw the inaugural meeting of a new group of volunteers intent on improving and maintaining the nature, birding and wildlife facilities at Pennington Flash.  Led by Leigh Ornithological Society Chairman David Shallcross and under the umbrella of the L.O.S., the volunteers will maintain the habitat for wildlife and birds at Pennington Flash by refurbishing the feeders, mending the fences and clearing unwanted vegetation so the the public can once again enjoy the bird hides and walks around the Country Park.

Twelve volunteers turned up at the first planning meeting today with the promise of another fifteen who couldn't make it due to holidays and other commitments.  The maintenance work will be carried out under the guidance of Wigan Council who will make sure that Health and Safety rules are followed and the correct equipment is used.

The first work will be carried out at Bunting Hide in three or four weeks time, where the layout will redone under the watchful eye of former Warden Charlie Owen with better squirrel-proof feeders and less clutter. Some consideration will be given for photographers but it must be remembered that the hides are for everyone to enjoy seeing wildlife and not just the snappers amongst us.

Anyone is welcome to volunteer in any capacity, no matter how much or how little you can manage. There is no expectation to be at every session we do and David was keen to stress that it would be fine to stop work if you found you couldn't do something, or needed a rest - no pressure would be put on you to continue.

So if you would like to become a member of the L.O.S. Pennington Flash Volunteer Group, contact David on leighos.chairman@gmail.com or by coming along to the next session, Details will be made available on this website and on our new Facebook Group page here:


SteveyG said...

The bunting hide seemed fine last year. Then some people changed it all around and now it's just not as good in my opinion.

LeighOS Webmaster said...

Thanks for your comment, hopefully we'll be able to put that right.

David Shallcross said...

Cheers Martyn i'm sure we will achieve a good result for the birds and visitors before Winter sets in. P.S. thank you for the page of information above.

David Shallcross said...

Saturday 23rd July
This was the first meeting of our newly formed group, to be known as, Leigh Ornithological Society, Pennington Flash Volunteer Group.

12 friends attended 15 gave their apologies, I (David Shallcross) addressed the meeting pointing out what we will be doing and what we won’t be doing. We will be carrying out light tasks of habitat maintenance, fence and feeding table repair, cleaning and painting inside the hides. I have also agreed that we will carry out some litter picking. There will be more tasks I’m sure as we develop and form a relationship with the 3 council departments that control the Flash.

We talked through various tasks, and I emphasised the importance of doing no more than each person can do and that we should recognise that we all have different strengths and abilities. If you need to rest then do, there is no pressure to do more; the group is about doing something worthwhile for the benefit of wildlife, the community, and our own health and well-being.
I mentioned the need for the group to be a friendly open one, we are all on the same footing and have equal status, and any concerns should be aired as soon as they arise. For the moment I am your “go to” for answers.
I am looking for people to come forward and say they can be an organiser / leader for a particular task, and to utilise the skills that some of us have.
It was noted that people are eager to get on with the work, but I am committed to doing things right from the beginning so please be patient.

Issues remaining to be sorted out are:
1. An action plan (to be discussed with the council)
2. Insurance cover
3. P.P.E. personal protection equipment, including some kind of public recognition vest.
4. A storage area for tools and P.P.E.
5. A bank account for the volunteer groups funding, signatories and seconders.
6. Funding from local businesses, and grant schemes

Since our meeting on Saturday 23rd July I have met with Mike King, Green Spaces Manager and Michael Fishwick, Greenspace Development Officer. I had previously met with Graham Workman Biodiversity Services Manager.

So we now have liaison with all 3 officers and have agreed to work together for the good of the reserve.

Martyn Jones the society’s web master has set up a Facebook page and posted information on the L.O.S. web site, links to those are: www.leighos.org.uk and www.facebook.com/groups/LOSpenningtonflashvolunteers/

Our next meeting will be on the 23rd August 10 am on the carpark close to the visitor’s centre, when we will carry out cleaning/ fence repairs/ habitat enhancement at the Bunting hide. (I hope to have car parking passes in place for you by then) Suggestions welcome.

David Shallcross.

leighos.chairman@gmail.com mobile: 07885077819

David Shallcross said...

Good weather arrived for our first day as volunteers at Pennington Flash, the previous few days had been very wet and most of the paths and hides were under water. We weren’t able to do any work on the feeding station bird tables and perches, as the water had almost reached the table tops.

What we did do is: clean down the inside of the Bunting hide and wash and disinfect the seating and shelves with Jeyes Fluid, we carried out fence repairs and renewals to the Bunting Hide approach, and mended the gate latch.
We cut down overhanging tree branches and did some thinning out in the surrounding woodland. Some of the gang went on a litter pick around the site but concentrated their time around the lagoon on Ramsdale’s Ruck.

Many thanks to 19 of the group who could make it today, and to Mr Graham Workman Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles / Development Manager - Biodiversity, for his advice on habitat maintenance and the provision of equipment.

Thanks also to Jeff “park ranger” for his cooperation today.

Thanks also to Michael Fishwick, Greenspace Development Officer. for supplying equipment and wire fencing.

Our next work day will be Saturday 3rd September
8am till 11 am

Bringing your own hand tools is always helpful but not essential.

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