Our Wildlife FieldThe field is managed to encourage local wildlife and bio-diversity.
SPRING 2016 UPDATE ON THE WILDLIFE FIELD
The pond is looking good with the water lilies just coming up to the surface with the increase in slightly warmer temperatures. A pair of Mallards have adopted the pond as their home, when I was there a few weeks ago the female had produced a pale blue egg. They had been busy eating most of the frog’s spawn which is rather good in an environmental way as had they not done so we could have ended up with a plague of frogs to rival the second Egyptian plague. My family did some pond-dipping and found two quite sizable newts, tadpoles, water boatmen and lots of mosquito larvae.
Malcolm has identified over 17 different types of grass. He reported that the meadow has improved in quality and is now supporting yellow meadow ants nests. The ants thrive in grasslands and are good for the grass in many ways. Their underground colonies open up the soil and keep it porous, their droppings fertilize the roots of the grass and the ants eat insects, some of which may damage the grass. The ants are also known for letting the caterpillars of the large blue butterfly into their nests. These nests will soon start to attract green woodpeckers, this eye-catching bird with its green plumage has a staple diet consisting of ants, ants and more ants.
There is beautiful display of Hyacinths growing in tubs, these bulbs were donated by the trading centre. Once they have finished flowering they will be planted in the field to give us a splash of colour every year in the spring. Special thanks to Maureen for her hard work planting these this last year; she has also been busy weeding out couch grass from the base of the lavenders, as many of us gardeners know, this is not an easy task.
The snakeheads fritillaries are coming up in the meadow. They flourish amongst long grasses as the cycle of flowering and dying back will be completed by the time the meadow grasses are scythed in late summer.
Clearing the flower beds has begun in order to make them ready for planting out bee friendly plants.