Our Wildlife FieldThe field is managed to encourage local wildlife and bio-diversity.
The wildlife meadow has survived an extraordinary year and has provided joy and solace to the several people, meadow volunteers and plot holders, who have discovered its charm. 2020 began in the worst possible way with the sad news of the death of David (Warner), a great contributor to the work of creating and maintaining our lovely island beds. This loss was then followed by the arrival of Covid 19 and lockdown which made our Wednesday work parties impossible and they have not yet resumed.
That the meadow, paths, pond and island beds have looked glorious throughout a decent to good summer is a tribute to the meadow volunteers who have turned out regularly, working on their own and doing whatever job seemed to be the most important. Such loyalty and understanding of the collective vision of our wildlife meadow/garden is the great strength which underpins this project soon to enter its eleventh year.
The single outstanding achievement is the completion of the Bug Hotel, first mooted in 2014. Mike Steward, having completed his scheme to collect rain water from the hall roof to feed the pond during the hot summer (it worked a treat) now turned his attention to the Bug Hotel. He has created a structure (next to the painted shed in the far corner) which is complex, inventive and aesthetically very attractive. His off beat sense of humour can be enjoyed on closer scrutiny of the various units of this extraordinary creation.
The butterflies have enjoyed the summer heat although their flight period was shorter in consequence. They were able to mate, lay eggs and enjoy their short lives without pause during the hot, dry spell. Once again the meadow was blessed with a new arrival, the Chalkhill Blue. This brings the total of species to 25 which is remarkable for a suburban allotment. The visitor was a male so there is no promise of offspring in 2021 but next year, perhaps, a female might turn up in our meadow.
For me and a growing number of you, the wildlife meadow has been an escape for a precious hour or so from the events of a year to forget, if we are allowed to. My thanks to all of you who have contributed in some way or other - working in the meadow, donating plants or strolling around - and making the meadow an important chapter in the story of AWSLG.
Editor’s note. It has been Malcolm’s vision and expert knowledge that has made the meadow such a successful project; it is an exceptional area that we are all so fortunate to either work in or simply enjoy the diverse abundance of wildlife. Thank you so much Malcolm.