The Nature Reserve is looking good. To some it may seem a bit wild but that’s what it’s meant to be, not a pristine garden of flowers.
The area is buzzing with wildlife. Honey bees are using the ponds as a source of water to drink, tadpoles are changing into tiny froglets, lots of damselflies (many from eggs laid in our ponds last year) have been flitting around.
The latest addition is a beehive which is against the fence on the left side, opposite the pavilion (thanks to Peter Clark for organising this). And plants have been added around the main pond edges - thanks to Angie Jones for donating and planting them.
Although we’re letting Nature do it’s thing we do need to control it a bit. Brambles need to be cut back/dug out where not wanted, bindweed taken out, shoots from old tree stumps cut back, weeds (the plants we don’t want in particular places) removed. The 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, 11am to 2pm, are the main times we do the maintenance. Everyone is welcome to come and help, just turn up with secateurs and gloves if you use them.
We’d also appreciate help with watering when (when!) we get a hot and dry period. There’s a tap next to the pavilion which is fed from the saved rainwater in the tanks and there’s a watering can available. If any of the planted areas (not the wild areas) seem to need some water then please do your bit to help.
Matt took down the three oaks today on a cold but stunning Winter's Day. Thank you John Packham for the photo.
The government have announced that all chickens must be contained in such a way that they cannot interact with wild birds. This effectively means that all chicken keepers on site will need to cover or provide a roof for their their runs. There have been a number of cases of avian influenza in both wild and captive birds in the UK and these measures come into force from December 14.
From the government website:
'The new housing measures, which will come into force on 14 December, mean that it will be a legal requirement for all bird keepers to keep their birds indoors and to follow strict biosecurity measures in order to limit the spread of and eradicate the disease.
Whether you keep just a few birds or thousands, from 14 December onwards you will be legally required to keep your birds indoors, or take appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds. We have not taken this decision lightly, but it is the best way to protect your birds from this highly infectious disease.'
For more information visit the Avian flu page on the government website.
Thank you John Packham for this panorama of the nature reserve in Autumn (click on the image to see an expanded version).
This is a photo from the top of the site back in June 1990. It's a little hard to discern what is going on given the quality of the photo but possibly not a lot of horticulture. Someone suggested it looks like Richmond Park with sheds. If you have any really old photos of the site we would love to see them.