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Farewell from the Summer VSO

21 Aug 2014

This past week has been jam packed with action, from super showers and determined dogs to bewitching bats and fantastic fish!


This week, the weather relaxed from the blustery remnants of Hurricane Bertha. Though there is still rain and wind, it isn’t as severe as last week, and the puddles in the adventure play area are being enjoyed by many children cycling through, trying to make the biggest splashes possible. (Though we understand that this may not be as enjoyed by parents as it is by the children!)

On Saturday, we began work on the dog park. With seven human volunteers and six four legged helpers, we had plenty of hands and paws to work on one of the larger instalments, the walk along!
This piece required lots of digging, sawing and hammering in of nails, as well as the occasional motivational face lickings from dogs (I think it was their way of saying “You can do it!”). Luckily, we had a volunteering joiner, without whom it’d probably have taken a lot longer to finish.

Upon its completion, the dogs had a chance to try out the finished product. Though it needed to be given a non-slip surface, it successfully carried the weight of the dogs both individually and sitting on it for a group photo.

On Thursday night, we had a bat watch, held by the local National Trust ranger. Visitors came to see our local batty residents begin their evening escapades, which can involve eating up to 30,000 a night! Another bat watch for young children and families will be held on Friday 29th at a slightly earlier time of 7:15pm, for further information and booking, please call 0844 4932167.

Yet another item on this week’s agenda was discussions about the fish pass. Here at haddo, our manmade lake is home to brown trout, eels and many other freshwater organisms. Our fish pass has failed to help in the migration of local fish.
We, Aberdeenshire Council, the Ythan Fishery Board and the National Trust have teamed up to rebuild the fish pass into a more successful migratory tool.
Unfortunately, this means that the cascade and outflow bridges will be closed for a short period, meaning that visitors parking in the Craigie Wood car park will have to enter from the deer park, and that lake side walks will be cut short.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the works, but please bear with us as we improve the lake and the lives of its fishy inhabitants!

This week has also been my final week as summer VSO at Haddo House and Country Park. As someone who has lived in and around Haddo since I was born, it will always hold a special place in my heart, but now that I’ve had the opportunity to work within the park to such extents, it feels far more important to me. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working here, from greeting visitors and getting to know everyone to stretching up on my tippy toes to smear peanut butter onto the ropes of the squirrel hide, this job has definitely been one of my more interesting employee endeavours.
Though I’m finishing my employment at Haddo Country Park, I am hoping to stay involved with events and perhaps even organise some musical entertainment for some time next year.
Goodbye from me, maybe I’ll be back next year for another taste of VSO-dom!