Monday, 24 February 2014

Lovely logs: eco-pile or den building material?

You’re in Hoe Fen with your children and you see all these logs and branches lying about just asking to be made into a den, but … how can you be sure that you’re not disturbing the resident wildlife? Fallen logs and branches get piled up to provide homes and nourishment for a myriad tiny plants, animals and fungi and it’s best to leave these ‘eco-piles’ undisturbed until they’ve completely rotted down.

To make it easier for everyone to be sure they’re not destroying the eco-piles by mistake, we decided to organise another ‘Family Muck-in’ and build a dedicated area where intrepid den builders can find enough logs and branches to build the perfect den. Mums, dads and children from 8 families made short work of clearing existing dens, digging in fence posts, making bunting, fixing fencing and filling the new den-building area with logs.

Dismantling an old den:

Posts and paling ready to go:

Digging a post hole:

Putting the fence posts in:

Bunting production line:

Investigating the local wildlife:

Nearly done:

Applying the finishing touches:

Ta da!
We also built two tipi-style dens nearby which we’ll eventually use for information leaflets and den-building guides. This session was one of our busiest Family Muck-ins so far, with 29 people turning up - the youngest was only 20 days old! Thanks to everyone for all your help.

Kate Boursnell 
Community Reporter
Anglesey Abbey
Please get in touch with Community Ranger Lois Baker on 01353 720274 or if you’d like to find out more about joining in with conservation projects at Wicken Fen or Anglesey Abbey.

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