At last the first real signs of spring on the Hills and Holes (apart from the plant protection fencing that went up on Wednesday). See if you can identify the flora starting to emerge and decorate the limestone grassland
And then we burnt even more stuff! After which, with the help of those nice folks from Tata, what was too good to be burnt, we all made hibernaculums out of! So a very productive day at Swaddywell was had by all.
ETTON/MAXEY PITS RESERVE - EASTER SAT 31 MARCH
We are organising a weekend work party to ensure we compete some urgent tasks before the breeding season starts in earnest. We are meeting at Etton High Meadow barn at 10:00 and will finish at around 4:00. If you would like to join us, you needn’t commit to a whole day, just as much time as you’re able to manage, as your help would be most welcome.
The tasks will include bridge mending and willow and reed cutting and possibly repairing and re-floating a tern raft. There will probably be other jobs as well.
Depending on how many of us there are, there is the task at High Meadow of continuing with the planting of a native mixed hedgerow to provide food and shelter for the birds and a wildlife corridor.
If you are able to come along, please bring some food and drink, gardening gloves and wellies as the reserve is very wet at the moment.
Hope you’ll be able to make it.
To find Etton High Meadow go over the small bridge as you leave Etton village on the Etton – Maxey road. Approx 150 yds down the road on your right there is a gated track which runs down to a large barn. The gate will be open.
ETTON HIGH MEADOW
The fortnightly Monday work party met today in very cold working conditions to complete the hedge planting through the centre of Etton High Meadow, This involved clearing grass from around the mixed hedge planting, first put in last year, adding missing stakes and reinforcing with guards to protect from rabbits. Any gaps were filled with small hawthorn whips. Keren as leader of the group organised the day and provided welcome refreshments at the end of the morning.
More details will be soon advertised about the next LCT Etton work party which is planned for Easter Saturday morning. All are welcome to come along and join in to help. Tools will be provided by Langdyke trust..
BAINTON NATURE RESERVE
Perkins Retired Member volunteers working in the morning with Stuart Irons and Chis Topper on path clearance and joined in the afternoon by the regular Thursday afternoon LCT work party to undertake bare root tree planting with enclosed protective fencing at the Langdyke Trust Bainton Nature Reserve..
Spring has certainly arrived in our garden pond in Market Deeping. This afternoon there was at least 20 frogs in our pond all very occupied with one thing. Breeding! I watched them for about 30 minutes as the first spawn of the year was laid.Very different from last week when the pond had a thick layer of ice. Perhaps we can dare believe that Spring may be coming soon.
There is hope for our farmland birds, wouldn't it be great if this success could be replicated nearby? I find it very depressing how few birds there are in the fields around our villages, I haven't seen a yellowhammer flock all winter.
LCT South had a busy time braving the cold wind and rain whilst collecting water samples from numerous water bodies around the Castor Hanglands area a couple of weeks ago. And then promptly rewarded themselves with a nice meal and a pint (or a cup of coffee) at the delightfully warm 'Prince of Wales Feathers' pub in Castor!
What a treat to feel the warm sun on our backs today at Etton High Meadow. There were even a few bees buzzing about the orchard and allotments. We have finally finished replacing the tree stakes and protectors (made on site) in the Heritage Orchard. There are 76 trees (mainly apple), which include local varieties such as Barnack Beauty and Lord Burghley.
In February 2017 2 new hedges were planted during our Green Leap Day event. They are mixed hedgerows to create wildlife corridors and shade for the sheep. We weeded round the young hedging plants and straightened stakes etc. The East wind has damaged one of the sheep feeders so volunteers set about repairing it.
I spent a very tranquil and peaceful afternoon in Castor Hanglands last week, with on one else around except the local wildlife - the most notable being three Woodcock and one Hare, all taking shelter from the bitter North wind.
Richard, do you know is there is a map of the area with all of Clare's names thereon? I get asked often where different places were/are... and am often stumped. For instance... the Tindhills, Billings Close, Bates Spinney, Porters Snow Close, etc.