Who are A Rocha UK?
A Rocha UK (pronounced “a rawsha”) is a Christian charity that works alongside Christian organisations, groups and churches to protect and restore the natural environment. Their aim is to inspire individuals and groups, equip organisations and leaders, build partnerships and manage land for God, nature and all people.
As an A Rocha UK Partner in Action, Lendrick Muir Residential Outdoor Activity Centre is committing to:
- caring for the biodiversity of the 120 acre site
- supporting the recovery of declining species and threatened habitats and
- engaging with guests to spread a message of hope for creation while demonstrating good conservation practice
Partner in Action
Read on to find out why Tim, Assistant Facilities Manager, signed up to become a Partner in Action.
As part of the facilities team at Lendrick Muir, I have direct involvement in how we manage the land. We have 120 acres, about half of which is untamed grassland and woodland.
I have often wished that we could do something more exciting than just ‘cutting the grass.’ Lendrick Muir is a fantastic site that has so much potential for wildlife. Of course, there already is quite a bit if you take your time to stop and look! With this thought in mind, we decided to become a ‘Partner in Action’.
After an initial visit to discuss the partnership, Andy and Regina from A Rocha UK came up with suggestions on how we could improve the natural landscape, encourage native species, and protect what we already have. We had our official launch at Lendrick Muir in November 2021 and planted some trees to mark the occasion.
Over the years, our volunteer Graham Simpson has put a lot of time and effort into installing bird boxes and planting hundreds of trees around the site. So, to continue in the same vein we created bird box kits that could be assembled by some of the school groups that visit us. It proved to be quite popular and was great to see the boxes appearing around the site. Hopefully in time they will become well visited!
Another initiative was to welcome outside groups to help us plant trees around the site. With some advice on the best locations and types of trees to plant, a group from Peter Vardy spent the day with us and planted over 100 trees. We also cleared a section of Rhododendron, a plant which is well-known to reduce biodiversity.
It’s great being able to see the site changing in a way that will encourage the flourishing of nature. We want to see the children and young people that visit us experience the joy of being outside in God’s creation. We want to see them getting their hands dirty and taking part in His call to care for the world that we live in.
There is much in this world to lament when it comes to the environment and much work to be done. But that should not cause us to turn from our calling to care for God’s world. And hopefully we can play our part in teaching future generations how important this work is and how it plays a part in our desire to worship and honour our heavenly Father.
Target 25 Projects
The Target 25 project: protecting threatened species and habitats in the UK.
Target 25 is A Rocha UK’s project to help a range of declining species, taxonomic groups, and threatened habitats. Lendrick Muir’s work will be centred around Grassland habitats with a focus on:
- native wildflowers
- farmland and garden birds, such as the House Martin
- small mammals like Red Squirrels and bats
The goal of iRecord is to help bring together wildlife sightings from many sources, so that they can be checked by experts and made available to support research and decision-making. It is operated by the Biological Records Centre (BRC) as part of the work of the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH).
iRecord is a website for sharing wildlife observations (biological records), including associated photos – you can register quickly and for free. Once registered, you can add your own records for others to see, and you can see what has been recorded by others. Your data will be kept secure and will be regularly backed up. Records can also be added to iRecord via the iRecord app.
In November 2021, work began to develop a wildflower meadow. The Lendrick Muir team ploughed an area of course grass and sowed Yellow Rattle. Over the summer the Yellow Rattle helped break up the root system of the grass with the hope that a greater number of species could become established.
In September 2022, we were very thankful to have the help of some new recruits from Peter Vardy to assist us with phase 2. Their volunteers raked up the weakened grass and sowed a wildflower seed mix. We look forward to seeing the results in summer 2023. A group from Peter Vardy also worked on reclaiming land lost to rhodedendrons.
If you’d like to help us in our work to care for the flora and fauna of Lendrick Muir Residential Outdoor Activity Centre, please get in touch.
You can download the app or visit the iRecord website to record sightings of plants, animals and insects during a visit to Lendrick Muir.