Whilst I was carrying out the annual survey of the elm trees that we planted in 2013 I made some checks on the tansy planting we’ve done over the last few years.
Starting from the north of the site we put a number of plants on the land by the cattle grid south of the Copse Meadow in 2014. These appear to be thriving despite getting some rough treatment by the cattle last autumn and this spring. Further south at the New Meadow, the “L” shaped enclosure we have established around it that excludes cattle, unless we permit them access, now has plants growing all the way around, including a little applemint. The original plants that have been there some years are doing well, but there is an obvious correlation to how much sun the patches get, as to how well they flourish. There were Tansy Beetles active on a number of clumps on the western side. There are also two stands of tansy just to the north of New Meadow that had been there before the sewage flood on New Meadow and subsequent repairs and have managed to survive.
In the latter part of 2014 and early 2015 we planted tansy, gypsywort and watermint in the north east corner of the Reservoir Basin, with some on the actual eastern bank below the allotments. These will have to contend with the higher water level and poaching by cattle but should prove interesting to observe.
In 2014, following preparation, we added a large number of tansy to the remnant population of plants on the southern bank of Blue Beck where it merges with the Ings Dyke These will need some management to assist against the competing vegetation but are currently doing well. There may also need to be protective measures taken, along with that at the northern end, when the cattle are grazing.
There are a couple of isolated stands along the tree line with the Ings Dyke that need to be checked for beetles every year but after the the main tansy clumps are within the Pond compound. The two mounds have been heavily planted, but again there is some movement by the plants towards the sunniest parts. There has been annual coppicing of the trees to bring as much light as possible to them. Further planting took place in spring 2015 on the southern mound, to the south of the Pond, and also within the extension to the fence line to the east. These, again, will need management against competing vegetation.
The most northern mound had a large number of beetles on the 20th April 2015 along the western face of the mound that clearly can be seen from the cycle track. The beetles on the southern mound, along with the plants seem to shift towards the eastern bank of that mound.
New plants have also been put in just below the new interpretation boards to hopefully add to the understanding and recognition.