It was a lovely October morning to be on the Meadows, and in particularly in the Reservoir Basin. There were only four of us, Judi, Mick, Pete and Ron, but we managed to do most of the work planned which consisted of planting forty Ragged-Robin developed from local seedlings by Brunswick Nursery, along with some Devils-Bit Scabious grown from local seed by our ecologist. We put the plants in patches that had been prepared some years before for reseeding, and were re-fenced off to keep the cattle out. Forty tansy were also put into the Reservoir Basin bank where the cattle were not patrolling but was receiving ample sun light.
This left some 100 tansy plants to be planted on the New Meadow bank, once the cattle had been turfed out and the gate closed. There are also 160 plants stored in the Cornfield to be planted at a suitable location.
On the 27th/28th October it is hoped that Vale of York Trust for Conservation Volunteers (TCV) will be clearing both banks of the Blue Beck to the east of the Barrier Bank where it has become overgrown due to the nutrient-rich beck dredgings and difficulty in cutting it as a hay-crop.
The next work party is on Sunday 8th November when we return to planting more tansy on the New Meadow banks – fenced off from the actual New Meadow.
On the 5th November we hope to start work with a digger clearing the new scrape in the Reservoir Basin read for it to be fenced off joining the Water Vole scrape and extending the Phragmites cover and the Lesser Marshwort beneath it.
On the 20th November we hope to have a group of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust volunteers, as part of the Yorkshire Wet Grasslands project, clearing the western section of the Phragmites to produce some tender young growth in the Spring, along with tidying up around when the newer scrape has been dredged.
All this month’s work will hopefully increase the numbers of invertebrates and Water Vole and other small mammals in the area of the Reservoir Basin and Blue Beck.