Wild things! started Blue Gym in 2014 in response to the growing problem of invasive non-native plants in Moray.
Over the last few years it has become apparent that plants such as giant hogweed, Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam are spreading at an alarming rate; reducing space and nutrients available to our native plants. We work with volunteers to control the invasive plants, whilst offering people opportunities to build upon their skills and experience and increase their employability.
Through our Blue Gym project, Wild things! aims to:
- Help our native flowers to regenerate by controlling invasive plants
- Provide opportunities for people to develop new skills and experience
- Offer training in a range of areas including the safe use of pesticides, first aid and naturalist subjects
- Support people in taking gentle exercise and spending more time in the outdoors
What does a day out with Blue Gym involve?
- Conservation work to help wildflower regeneration by controlling invasive non-native plants around the River Findhorn and its tributaries. For example, this could be:
- Digging up giant hogweed
- Pulling up Himalayan balsam
- Spraying giant hogweed with herbicides
- Spraying Japanese knotweed with herbicides
- Clearing paths
- Surveying for invasive non native plants
- Fresh air and exercise
- Good company
- An opportunity to explore local habitats and the plants and animals that live there
Who is Blue Gym for?
- Blue Gym conservation days are open to anyone aged 16 years and over.
- A basic level of fitness is required as the activities can involve walking on uneven surfaces, occasional clambering and carrying weights of around 10kg.
When does Blue Gym run?
- Almost every Saturday throughout the summer 10am-3pm
- Frequent sessions on Tuesday evenings, around 6pm-8pm
(These details are subject to change, please contact us to book on to ensure that you have the correct date and time.)
Is there a minimum time commitment?
- There is no minimum time commitment, although we hope that you will enjoy your time with us and want to come back week after week!
What do Wild things! provide (unless otherwise stated)?
- All necessary protective clothing
- All necessary tools and equipment
- Tea and coffee
What do you need to bring?
- Warm clothes and layers
- A drink
Any other useful information?
- Wild things! can offer a local pick up if you do not have your own transport. We currently pick up from: Findhorn, Kinloss Spar, Forres
- Tesco but other pick up points could possibly be added. Contact us for more information.
How do I get involved?
- Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call us on 01309 690450
“I have already included this in my new CV with favourable comments and feedback.” – Participant
“A combination of fresh air, good companions, a genuine sense of wellbeing and a chance to do something worthwhile.” – Participant
“I have started to really look forward to a day out with Wild things!” – Participant
“It has really helped to restore a sense of self worth, confidence and a more positive outlook.” – Participant
“A chance to help the local environment by assisting Wild things! in providing information to help plan their conservation work.” – Participant
“Taking part in activities with Wild things! staff and volunteers, I have been lucky to get the opportunity to get out into the local area and appreciate the diverse and beautiful coastline and countryside we have on our doorstep. Since taking part in a wide range of activities with the Wild things! team these last few months I have really started to understand and enjoy elements of the local area I had previously taken for granted. I have found Wild things! an excellent way to stay active and focus on the really important things in life. It’s a really good way to get a good work and lifestyle balance by undertaking outdoor activities with like-minded people, who are trying to protect and enhance the local area.” – Participant