Monday, 10 December 2012

The Isle of May Bird Observatory needs YOU - next year.

Work is now well under way on the redevelopment of the Low Light on the Isle of May. In June 2012 a tender was let to James Aird and Sons, Builders, Crail to carry out the work. This consists of demolishing the ‘Black Hole’ and the brick extension which forms the wash room. In their place is being built a new extension which will consist of three twin bedded rooms and a flushing lavatory and a room for a future shower facility. The present bunk room is being converted into a kitchen and the living room is being refurbished.
This work is programmed be finished by December 2012 when we expect to have a wind and watertight building. It was always envisaged that some of the finishing work, in particular the decoration, would be done by voluntary work parties to save money.  The exact amount to be done will not be clear until the building is handed over to us in December.
However, it is likely to include (in addition to painting), laying floor coverings, fitting out the kitchen and probably the w/c and shower room, plastering and repairing plasterwork, repairing the stove and fireplaces, some landscaping and a lot of painting and general cleaning. The aim is to have the Low Light ready to take visitors from the beginning of April 2013.
To carry out this work and also any Trap refurbishments and maintenance, a volunteer work party will take place from 2nd to 30th March 2013. Accommodation will be in the Low Light.
 Obviously the building will not be in a completely finished state but it will be wind and watertight and as comfortable as the Low Light currently is. Accommodation and transport to the island will be free for work party members. We will arrange a boat each Saturday in the expectation that individual work party members would be able to manage a week on the island.  Some may be able to manage longer. If there are other boats going to and from the island in March, shorter stays may be possible but this will only be known nearer the time and, if volunteering, you should do so on the basis of a week’s stay.
 We would find it particularly helpful if you could let us know if you have particular skills or know of people who have those skills and would be ready to help. The particular skills we are keen to have available are: plastering, laying floor tiles, experienced carpentry, kitchen and w/c fitting. The new extension will hopefully have an electrical first fit “i.e. wiring only” and we would particularly welcome the services of a qualified electrician to help complete and certify the electrical installation.
Mark Oksien will be the overall manager of the work party and will be on the island for much of March. He will be responsible for drawing up an overall plan and programming the work.
The first week of the March 2013 work party is likely to be taken up with fitting the kitchen and the w/c. Subsequent weeks will be concerned with, plastering, wall tiling, painting, floor coverings and final a deep clean of the building and some landscaping work.
Catering: It is the intention to arrange the catering on a communal rather than individual basis and it would be appreciated if volunteers could indicate any special food needs.
If you would like to volunteer or discuss what is involved could you please get in touch with Mark Oksien 32 Struan Drive, Inverkeithing, Fife KY11 1AR.Phone 01383 419503. E mail  . In doing so could you please let him know the dates you can manage and what skills you can provide (or have a friend who can provide). Could you please let him know by the end of November.
Once we know how many volunteers we have, we will be able to plan the work party in detail. I do hope you are able to help.
Many thanks,
Ian Darling
Chairman, Isle of May Bird Observatory and Field Station Trust

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