Hi everyone, we’re the new VPA team! Here is a picture of our beautiful faces….
From Left to Right we are: Steven, Karen, Tawanda, James Miguel, Liz, Tayo, Marc, Sarah, Sharaz, Sabrina and Rachel.
Our first day was a whirlwind of paperwork, pictures and ice breaker games as we started our ‘induction’. Day two was very much the same, with the addition of recipes and planning for our residential!
On Wednesday we set off to Brunt’s Barn in the Peak District for two days of conservation work with the Peak District National Park Authority. The rest of Wednesday was spent ‘balsalm bashing’ to remove the invasive himalayan balsalm which grows EVERYWHERE, outcompeting native species and removing water from the soil. The picture below shows Rachel and Sabrina in action (they are smiling so this was definately taken before the novelty wore off!)
After several hours we returned to the barn for hot showers and a meal cooked by team ‘A’. We feasted on roasted vegetables, hummus, falafel, chicken and potato wedges, followed by chocolate cake! The rest of the evening was spent playing games including the hilarious picture consequences.
The next morning we had breakfast and set off to build steps on a stretch of woodland path. As well as steps, drainage channels had to be placed in order to drain water off the path and keep it from turning into a muddy sludge. It rained most of the day which didn’t make the task any easier, and by the end everybody was covered in mud and sliding down the hill! We did however successfully get some steps built and everybody learnt something new!
Here is a picture of Steven digging a drainage channel…
and here’s one of Liz, Marc and James Miguel building a step……
For the last step we remembered to do a before and after shot to show how our step has helped improve the path….
Once it has stopped raining and some grass has grown on the edges of the path it will hopefully look a bit less like a building site! The picture below shows James Miguel and Tawanda showing off our efforts…
We returned to the Brunt’s Barn tired and covered in mud, eagerly awaiting team B’s chilli and apple pie! After dinner we played lots of crazy games including the celebrity game and empires, and were treated to some amusing, incredible and scary powerful magic tricks by James Miguel!
On Friday we returned home to finish a great first week of VPA.