Bales, Bells and Bridges

Tuesday, September 22nd 2020

During the weekend, the hay on the wildflower meadow was baled. This year, due to the dry summer, only 7 bales were made compared to 12 last year!

The end result is a very impressive, tidy meadow. The hay is removed because wild flowers thrive on impoverished soil. If soil fertility is too high the grasses and the strongest wild flowers tend to out-compete the more delicate species. The field edges could not be reached by the tractor and these will be left as they are to maintain important wildlife corridors.

Managed in a similar way is the Bluebell bank on the moorland. However, this area is unaccessible by tractor so the cutting falls to staff and volunteers with brushcutters! 

The Bluebell bank wasn't as spectacular this year compared to previous years and this is thought to be due once again to the dry weather conditions in the summer. The flowers made a brief appearance before wilting in the heat wave. Hopefully, next year they will put on a better 'display'.

With some people strimming and others raking and removing the cuttings, the job was completed in just one day.

The team did a fantastic job and even managed to mow carefully around a few late flowering Harebells!

The skies darkened in the afternoon but it stayed dry and blustery throughout; Gerry's jokes kept spirits high (the old ones are the best)!

Meanwhile, back in the workshop, Roger continued to paint the fingerposts. With many more scattered around the site it is a bit like painting the Forth Road Bridge!

Whilst on the subject of the mammoth tasks, Bob has probably constructed the equivalent of the Forth Road Bridge by re-building most of the woodland pathway!

Never a dull day on the reserve!

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