Our Wildlife FieldThe field is managed to encourage local wildlife and bio-diversity.
The major task of early autumn is the hard cutting of the three meadow areas and this year the complete cut should be accomplished by the end of November. Once cut the arisings are left to dry out, slower this year with the frequent downpours, and then carried away to the haystack mounds which encircle the meadows. These mounds slowly rot down and provide valuable habitat for lizards, amphibians, mice and, occasionally wasp nests. The many mounds of Yellow Meadow ants, almost a hundred now, become very apparent once the mowing is finished. During the winter seed such as Yellow Rattle will be sown in the hard cut areas where bare soil patches have been created. Additionally herbaceous perennials which have been grown in the island beds to a good size, will be transplanted into the meadow to add to the colour and interest of a largely hay meadow. Many of these plants have been donated to the meadow project by generous plot holders who have adopted the wildlife area as an extension of their own plots.
Other winter work will be a good clean out of excess vegetation in the main pond and some more work coppicing and cutting the long hedge of hazel, hawthorn, blackthorn and buckthorn planted in early 2012.
The Wednesday afternoon volunteers have done a terrific job once again in creating an area of beauty and a real haven for wildlife. Once again butterfly numbers have set new records which suggests that the management is probably along the right lines. At the end of October the team will take a well earned winter break and gather again in early March to prepare for 2020 and another exciting and rewarding year. My grateful thanks to all involved plus our several plant donors.
If anyone can spare just a couple of hours from 1pm on a Wednesday afternoon next year to help our dedicated team of volunteers we will be delighted to see you. At the end of the session you will be welcome to join us for a beverage and cakes.