Tales from Gazen Salts

The Grunts of a Job Well Done Is Music To My Ears!

Season 3
The dead wall is finally finished, and aside from additional padding needed to increase the height to match the other wall, it is thankfully a job done well—the entire wall measures ninety-eight feet in length with a height of four feet and a front-to-back width of five feet.

See Here for Seasons One, Two and Three of Tales from Gazen Salts Nature Reserve Directory

I can’t pretend l am not pleased with the final results – l am, but more importantly – so are the others.

One of the biggest problems when volunteers form part of the staffing for somewhere, is that they are, of course, volunteers giving their free time up as opposed to paid workers who are there because they are earning a wage. The former doesn’t have to be there, but the latter must be to receive an income.

Gazen Salts has no formal employees. The warden’s vacant role hasn’t got the funding to support it, so all the jobs to be performed are done by volunteers gifting the charity with their free time.

Last week we had eighteen volunteers, and this week sadly, we only had nine, including me. So the workload was reduced by fifty percent. The Wildlife Garden only has three volunteers attached to it. Three of the entire volunteer body are interested in working with it. I am one, and there are two ladies.

Except for yesterday when the two ladies weren’t present, and l was the only one working in the garden. I would only be there for two hours from 9 – 11 am, as l had a lunch appointment, so l had to make sure that l had my skates on. I opted not to take a tea break at half ten, crack on, and finally finish the main job.

When l make a firm decision, I am a person who sees it through to the end, and the dead wall was a project l had given my word to and so short ‘staffed’ or not, l was going to see it through.

The same was with the Nissan Hut when l decided to clear it of the rubbish – whatever the final result would be considering the items for sale or disposal, my brief was clear – tidy it up, clean and clear it and identify what needed to be sold.

The irony, albeit somewhat annoying, is that l cleared the entire hut and made a whole area ready for decisions regarding sales. We might have anywhere between £3000 to £7000 in items needing to be sold. The damn committee has not made any moves with it but continues to gripe about lower donations and not having enough finances!

It would be an understatement to say l am perplexed at their dilly dailiness with this situation! We have content ready to sell, and all that needs to be done is for the items to be looked at and yet …………….??!

Nobody bothered to review anything three months after the hut was cleared out!
The dead wall is a different matter – well, as no one is interested in buying or selling the content. I was initially going to buy the logs. However, after discovering they would be too wet to chip, we decided to keep them and incorporate them into the exoskeleton of the dead wall. There was a total of fifteen tons of wet logs.

In the main and over the last three weeks, l have shifted these logs with no help from anyone with any regularity. The ladies don’t lift logs by their choice. It’s tough graft moving fifteen tons of wet logs with merely the aid of a wheelbarrow with a rotten barrow and a wonky wheel from the location by the side of the shed to 400 steps away over irregular grounds. But yesterday, l finally achieved it and moved the last twenty assorted-sized logs into the new and final section of the wall.

I vowed l would complete the wall, l also promised l would make the garden a tidy and safer area, and l vowed l would make the garden a pleasant viewing experience for all parties involved. I have done as much as l can with the available materials on the wall – we need additional padding to increase its height. This will be achieved with the cut grasses from Gallow’s Field over the next few months.

I have moved all the logs and opened up the old area where they once were. I established a compost bin. Whether it is needed or not, it is sited. I said l would make the space available for odds and ends and smarten that up. I have achieved fifty percent of that. I also said l would clear up the wood shelter, and l have achieved that with the aid of the treasurer a few months back.

The entire area, including the Nissan Hut, is now at least 500% improved from where it was last September. The whole area is functional, aesthetically pleasing and practical. Next week l will finish off the odds and ends area and smarten that up, and the following week l will start digging the necessary soils for the garden.

I am not a person who boasts, l am not a pompous person, l am a person who likes to get things done, and l prefer the grunt work of achievement, and that is not saying l haven’t got the savvy to be methodical or strategizing because l have. I do not need recognition or continued gratification for a well-done job. If anything, l am usually slightly embarrassed by compliments and congratulatory back-patting. BUT, l know when a job’s been done well – and l have done a great job with this wall and the tidying up.

If l were to leave Gazen Salts tomorrow as a volunteer, l could rest assured knowing that many others would benefit from the work l have done, which is reward enough.

Project 2 is the next job to be ticked off my list – the area that is relatively dangerous and needs tidying up and sifting through – we either need it or we don’t, and if we don’t, someone else might – hell, Plot 17 might! If not, the content must be correctly identified, stored, or disposed of.

Designs – Earthly Comforts – Inspired by Nature – see collection here

Tales from Gazen Salts Nature Reserve is about my time and stories of my voluntary work with this project.

I’ll see you next episode. Thanks for reading.

Gazen Salts Nature Reserve
Sandwich, Kent, England, UK

Published by The Autistic Composter

Earthly Comforts is a wildlife journaling scrapbook focusing on the countryside, wildlife biodiversity and environmental conservation, flora and fauna volunteering projects, gardening, composting and vermiculture, inspiration, poetry and photography.

18 thoughts on “Tales from Gazen Salts

      1. Once you blow out your spine, life is NEVER the same. I did mine in when I was just a young teenager, maybe 13 or 14. Horses and one pickax, misused (because I had no idea how to use such a heavy piece of yard equipment. Owen did his in when he was in his early thirties pushing a stubborn car at work. My granddaughter, like me, did hers in when she was just 15 doing gymnastics. Only Garry has a functional spine but he blew out his should instead and even after surgery, it has never been the same.

        Really, seriously, BE CAREFUL. It doesn’t take much and there’s no surgery that will fix it. Spines are not sturdy.

        Liked by 1 person

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