Mud, mud ... and waders, not wellies.
It sometimes takes a bigger pair of wellies for some of work that we do at Saltholme.
The sand martins did not nest in our specially built sand martin bank this year. It's likely that they found somewhere else - they can be enterprising and opportunistic little birds and will nest anywhere that looks good. In the hope that they come back next year, we are giving the bank and the pool in front a lot of care and attention . This week we are clearing the pool of reeds, sedges and bulrushes which are taking over the water. They all have stout roots under the mud which have to be removed, and there is only one way. We have to loosen them with a garden fork then get our hands underneath and pull them out, and the mud gets everywhere.
Adam, one of Saltholme's volunteer, is clearing the last of the roots in his waders - if we left it to grow even more, it would interrupt the flight path to the nest holes.
We still have a lot more work to do clearing the rest of the pool, and then routine maintenance of the nest bank.
At the end of the day, back in the workshop, we have the tools to clean and put away. It is good to know there is a kettle for the tea, and this time a shower. You can see why with this shot of volunteers Dan and Adam - the rest of us looked just the same.
All said, a satisfying day's work, and you can see what we have done from the visitor centre window.
If saving nature is your kind of thing, then take a look on the Stepping up for Nature pages on the RSPB website. There's all sorts of ideas for helping nature on your doorstep and all over the world... and you don't always have to get as muddy as we do.