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Net Rides, Insects and Nest Boxes

Thursday, May 24th 2018

Work on the Heathland and the net rides continued today, with cutting of the grass within each net ride being completed for nearly all of the rides.  While one group of volunteers did this part of the job, another was busy working on the garden at the Field Centre and, when that was finished, moved on to trim back any growth on the trees surrounding the rides to make sure that there will be plenty of space for the nets. 


Work then continued on removal of Birch, Gorse, Hawthorn and Willow from the Heathland using the tree poppers to pull them up.  Given how cold it got yesterday evening when we had a visit from Brownies and Rainbows from Leyburn, it was good to work in the warm sunshine today.



While work will continue to stop the Heathland being colonised by those tree species being removed, it is good to see the area's diversity.  The small pools around the three Heathland compartments were attracting invertebrates in the warm weather and Ian was able to get this picture of a Four-spotted Chaser using one of the old stems of Reedmace as a vantage point.

Elsewhere, while there is still some work to do on strimming back the Soft Rush on the Wetland, Lark and Taurus have returned there to tackle the emerging grasses on the bunds and around the sides of the ponds.  This will be a short term measure so that we can monitor the impact of their grazing and the effect of their walking around on other vegetation.

Work today is not yet finished.  Ian has set off to join a group checking nest boxes around the training area.  Talking to a visitor yesterday, I mentioned that we would be getting Beavers at Foxglove this evening, and he briefly got very excited, imagining large mammals felling trees to dam the watercourses.  Sadly, I had to explain that these will actually be the youngest members of the Scout movement.  Judging by how much the Brownies and Rainbows enjoyed their minibeast hunt and pond dipping yesterday, I think they will probably be as enthusiastic and excited.

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