My Work Experience Placement with NWT - part 3

As the third month of my placement comes to an end, there is a definite feel of winter arriving, whether it is the worsening weather or the beginning of Winter Wonderland at Kielder. As always it was a busy month and I assisted with a wide range of tasks. The most significant task from this month was the removal of an old pond in the wildlife garden at Kielder Waterside.

After a much larger pond with a dipping platform was installed in the wildlife garden, myself, Dan, Peter and Morris had the very muddy task of removing the old pond. Peter and I began bailing out the water whilst Dan and Peter attempted to remove the vegetation which had very helpfully rooted into the pond liner. Everything was going well until Peter “accidently” spilt water down Morris’ wellies. Meanwhile, I was trying to avoid falling into the new pond when transferring the plants and frogs from the old pond. The steep, muddy and soaking wet banks resembled a mud slide more than anything else and there were a few close calls especially when trying to rearrange stones for the vegetation to sit on. Needless to say, with both my waterproof trousers and coat covered in mud they were dumped in a bag before being allowed near the boss’ car for a lift home.

When all the vegetation and the majority of the water was removed, the next step was to remove the wooden sleepers around the pond. Even with four of us carrying one at a time, the soaked sleepers were extremely heavy. By the time we had carried half of the sleepers down, the light was beginning to go down but Morris wanted to stay and finish the job. Thankfully, Dan was not talked into this as the pair of us discovered the day after there was a lot more work to be done!

The next day the weather was equally as poor and Dan and I removed the rest of the sleepers in the driving rain. We then began to take apart the underlay and pond liner, a very difficult task which needed a silky saw to free the underlay from the rooted vegetation. In the afternoon, just as we were close to completing the job, we were joined by Kelly from the Restoring Ratty team who was not enjoying being alone in the apparently haunted castle. Nevertheless, the extra help was appreciated and the job was completed soon after.

Although I haven’t had my camera at work with me this month, here’s a couple of my recent photos!