A TEAM of Scottish Water workers did their bit to help improve the local environment when they carried out important voluntary conservation work at Mugdock Country Park near Milngavie.
Staff from the utility’s electrical, mechanical and energy department, spent the day working on a variety of tasks at the Mugdock Wood Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The wood and the adjacent heath, Drumclog Moor, were designated as an SSSI in 1968 to protect the unusual mosaic of habitats - from ancient dry oak wood and wet alder stands to dry heather moorland, wet mire and open water and swamp.
East Dunbartonshire Council and Mugdock Country Park Ranger Service manage the SSSI to ensure the mix of habitats, and the wildlife associated with them, continues to thrive.
The Scottish Water volunteers removed some invasive, non-native species, mainly rhododendron, which if left alone would continue to spread throughout the area to the detriment of native species.
Maggie Ferguson, of the East Dunbartonshire and Mugdock Country Park Ranger Service, said: “We are very pleased that Scottish Water were able to provide these volunteers for the day to help carry out such important work, which will help native species and wildlife on the SSSI.
“Their work will also ensure the continued existence of the heather moorland following the removal of invading birch trees from it and, within the ancient woodland, work carried out on tree guards will ensure they continue to protect young trees from grazing herbivores.”
The workers were Jim Pettigrew, Gerry Mason, Jim Tracey, Alison Hume, Christine Blue, Allan Bond, Iain Livingstone, Kerr Russell, Paul Alexander, Doug Crozier, Mitch McCulloch, Gordon Hughes, Bobby Ballantyne and Tom Hendry. Most of them are based at Scottish Water’s offices in Balmore Road.
Fiona Burley, Scottish Water’s volunteering programme co-ordinator, said: “We are delighted to have been able to work with Mugdock Country Park and provide volunteers to carry out these very worthwhile tasks.
“Scottish Water’s volunteering programme was launched in the spring and has already been very successful. There is a huge amount of passion within the business for volunteering and it’s a great way for employees to get involved in their local communities.”