Volunteers work in woodlands at Castle Mey

Members of the Caithness Countryside Volunteers took refuge from the bitter winds on Sunday (3rd May) by working within the walled woodland garden of the Castle of Mey. The volunteers assisted head gardener and fellow Caithness Countryside Volunteer, Andrew Glaister, with weeding of the Giant Yellow Tibetan Cowslip, Primula Florindae. The plant was first collected in 1924 by Frank Kingdon-Ward and named after his wife Florind. It is native to southeastern Tibet and does very well growing in the shade of mature trees at the Castle of Mey.  

The ‘Primula Circle’ in the woodland was originally dug out by soldiers stationed at the Castle during WW2 and was planted with primula in the 1950s.  

The volunteers carefully removed weeds from the circle and completed some other tasks such as digging out Japanses knotweed and planting of some broadleaf trees.  Afterwards, the volunteers were treated to an interesting tour of the walled garden.  

Marina Swanson, The Highland Council’s Ranger said: “There is an abundance of wildlife living within the grounds around the castle and it is wonderful the volunteers were giving the opportunity to enhance the habitats by plantiing more trees and removing the invasive Japanese Knotweed. The volunteers found this project very interesting because of the rich history associated with the Primula circle. Many thanks to Andrew who gave a fantastic tour of the gardens. It was a lovely finish to the day.”  

The Caithness Countryside Volunteers is organised through the Highland Council’s Development and Infrastructure Countryside Rangers and is always looking for new members. If you wish to find out more about the group, please contact Marina Swanson on 01955604588 or e-mail marina.swanson@highland.gov.uk

5 May 2015
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