A working party from A Rocha UK were with us here at Scargill Monday 24th May to Friday 28th May. They were leading a bioblitz, an intense period of biological surveying, especially focusing on plant and bird life on our 90-acre estate. They were also working with the Estate team at Scargill in building an accessible wildlife pond and sensory garden, with pathway, seating area, stumpery (see later), and hazel arch entrance.
Here at Scargill we love caring for God’s creation and we are part of A Rocha’s Partner in Action conservation network. Our lead with A Rocha is community member Chloe Leigh. We asked Chloe some questions about the bioblitz and pond project.
Chloe, how was it working with A Rocha? Now be honest!
‘Oh, it was brilliant! They’re such a lovely and dedicated group to work with. Andy led the bioblitz group in surveying the estate, and Regina led the group working on the pond area. Every meal and break time we would sit and compare notes on how we were getting on, and it was lovely to hear everyone’s achievements and experiences of the day. Everyone had a very positive working attitude and we achieved so much in just a short length of time! I really hope we can work together again in the future.’
Can you give us one exciting finding from the bioblitz?
‘Well, we’re yet to find out the survey results, but I did hear that we have several rare species onsite. They also set up a wildlife camera at the top of the estate, so it will be fascinating to see what species they managed to capture on camera.’
How pleased were you with how far you got with the wildlife pond?
‘Very pleased! We managed to dig the pond, shape it, make a raised seating area, dig, and line the paths, build a stumpery (a rockery made from tree stumps), build a bench and extend the dry-stone wall – all in just three days! It was very impressive how everyone was so dedicated and worked so hard to complete their tasks, and I appreciate the working friends coming to offer their support as well.’
What needs to happen next?
‘Next we actually need to fill the pond! However, before we do that we need to put up natural fencing (for health and safety reasons) and put the liner in. We also need to weave the arch, make a path through the woodland and build an insect hotel! We’ve come such a long way from just a piece of paper with a sketched drawing on and an empty plot of land– we’ve got a wildlife garden well under way! I can’t wait for more guests to come and sit on our benches to admire the beautiful view down the valley, and to praise God’s wonderful creation.’