All Creatures Great and Small

Friday, September 6th 2013

Colin has been working hard behind the scenes to produce another fantastic educational feature for the reserve. The latest addition is a wormery. On the left hand side is the control area and on the right hand side is where the worms have been introduced. The idea is that the school children will be able to observe how the worms mix up the layers of soil and leaves and learn how important these animals are in the ecosystem. The worm's hotel was carefully filled by Ross who harvested mole hills from around the reserve!


Out on the training area, the conditions were perfect for Bracken control. This helicopter was observed spraying this invasive species on the land adjacent to the reserve. It was an impressive sight as it wheeled and turned over the moorland. On the Foxglove side of the fence the Bracken is managed in a more traditional (and cheaper) way by volunteers wielding slashing tools or staff with brushcutters!


Yesterday's sunny weather also meant ideal conditions for spraying the sheep! The farmer came to treat his flock of Herdwick and Swaledale sheep in order to prevent disease caused by flies. The sheep were rounded up by eager volunteers and loaded into the trailer to assist with the job.


All supervised by the Belted Galloways!


Finally, a while ago Ruth found this odd looking form on the underside of an oak leaf. Roger Key has now identified this as a nest of Paidiscura pallens which is a spider. This is quite a rare find and another new species for the reserve.


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