Away Day, Hay Day!

Wednesday, May 2nd 2012

A special trip for volunteers took place to Staveley Nature Reserve near to Minskip, managed by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. The reserve is a worked-out gravel pit, part of a much larger area previously known as Staveley Carrs, which was famed during the nineteenth century for its rare marsh plants. Carl Watts (Staveley Outreach Community Officer) met the group in the brand new car park and explained the morning's task. Piles of hay in the orchard needed to be moved to create one giant haystack in order to comply with the Higher Level Stewardship scheme. Here is the 'before' picture.

Before

Foxglove volunteers set to work and began to move the many heaps of dried grass.

Haytime

Two teams were formed, the wheelbarrow one…

Wheelbarrow team

and the trailer one!

Trailer team

The long grasses in the orchard provide the perfect habitat for mammals such as Field Voles and whilst working, several voles were discovered.

Baby vole

Toads also love this damp environment and were everywhere!

Baby Toad

This caterpillar (possibly a Square-spot Rustic moth one) was hidden within the hay too.

Caterpillar

A Kestrel was seen frequently overhead, no doubt planning his tea! By early afternoon, a giant haystack had been created in a corner of the field.

Group Photo

There was time to help move some of the Hebridean sheep to fresh grazing before heading out on a guided walk.

Sheep herding

Our sincere thanks to Carl and Andy for an informative and fun day out and an invitation to the Staveley volunteers for a similar visit to Foxglove Covert in the near future. Thanks to Elizabeth too for staying behind and looking after Foxglove!


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