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Pillwort, Poaching and Planning Ahead!

Thursday, September 24th 2020

Plover's Pool was only created a few years ago and is now well established. It is a favourite location for breeding Lapwing in spring and for many species of Dragonfly in late summer. Pillwort (a rare aquatic fern) has been planted here and is growing well.

Pillwort is a specialist of bare pond edge habitats. It is not a good competitor and only thrives where there are few other plants. One of its key habitat requirements is poaching and grazing by livestock. This is the best form of sustainable management because it creates bare ground which the plant needs. This is where Thor and his gang come in! They are currently grazing in this area and should help the Pillwort to spread. Today however, they were mainly lazing around perhaps they knew that it was going to rain heavily this afternoon.

The Foxglove team worked hard all day repairing boardwalk, strimming orchards, creating net rides and collecting more chaff for the hoppers. When the rain started, a suitable 'inside job' was bagging up the seed (waste from a local Oil Seed Rape crop) into smaller sacks for storage. A tedious task but one which will ensure a good supply of feed for the wild finches over the winter months. 

It will all be worthwhile when the feeders attract flocks of birds such as Chaffinches, Bullfinches and Redpoll. 

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