Autumn Tasks

Wednesday, September 30th 2020

Sunny autumn days are perfect for strimming and raking. This week, work has continued on the special glades around the reserve. They are managed like 'mini meadows' and cut at the end of the summer once all of the flowers have gone to seed. A small corner of the main hay meadow cannot be reached by tractor and also has to be cut with strimmers.

The cuttings will be left for a few days so that most of the seeds have a chance to fall to the ground. After the baling of the main meadow there was still some hay to be raked up. Volunteers tidied the whole area up using old fashioned wooden hay rakes.

Although it is hard work, it is a satisfying job as you can see where you have been!

2020 hasn't been a great year for lots of reasons but it was a good one for the rape seed harvest and the waste from this crop contains protein rich seeds such as poppy which makes fantastic winter wild bird food. Having bagged up several tonne sacks into smaller bags came the challenge of fitting them all into the store. 

Some of the older sacks of seed were spread out onto an area that is sown specifically to create a 'wild bird seed crop'. Flocks of finches will feed on this and some of it will hopefully grow too.

This small habitat improves yearly as it is ploughed and sowed by a local farmer.

It is a favourite spot for Roe deer and earlier this year Tawny Owls nested in the conifer plantation for the first time (Kestrels have used the nest box in previous years). Volunteers have also been working on boardwalk repairs, painting fingerposts, identifying fungi, flowers and moths and fixing the office printer! Our thanks to all involved!

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