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Murlough is cared for as Ireland's first nature reserve since 1967, the fragile 6000 year old sand dune system offers some lovely walks. Due to the reserves wild nature you can discover birds, flowers, butterflies and more, all overlooked by the rounded peaks of the Mourne Mountains to the south.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Volunteer accommodation

Volunteer Accomodation

When I arrived in the volunteer accommodation I was very impressed with the size of the rooms. There is space for 3 volunteers, each with their own room. A communal bathroom, kitchen and lounge are also provided.  This is all in the same building as the office and workshop, so you can literally roll out of bed into work (in a professional manner, at 8.30am sharp).

The house provides bedding, washing machine, TV with Freeview, general kitchen appliances and equipment. Intenet is provided (although its not wifi), you can use the national trust computers or your own laptop.

You can be picked up from either of the Belfast airports (City or International) within working hours by the National Trust.
You may wonder what you need to bring after that list?  Well, lots of socks, thick and long especially.  Leggings or thin under-trousers for the winter, sturdy working clothes that you don't mind getting ashy, charcoaly, muddy or  covered in brambly clippings.  A towel; always have your towel.  A hot-water bottle if you get super-chilly.  Books (the sum total of fiction left in the house is 3 atrocious chick-lit things and Wild Swans, which is powerfully good.) If you can, bring your favourite films and music to share.  Also don't forget a rubber duck for the boss, as he really appreciates them and has a growing collection!

If you want to keep packing simple, worry not, most essential things are provided.  You'll get steel-toe-capped boots, basic waterproofs, wellies and gloves. There is loads of stuff up in the office you can read, all about monitoring biodiversity and determining the taxonomic importance of grasshoppers or the dreadful things flies can do to livestock (choice examples).  Read about moths, butterflies, even better use your time here to brush up on your ID skills.  Beetles are the best in my considered opinion, and if you want to learn about them I have left plenty of files on ID on the shared drive. 

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