Report on the Rawcliffe Meadows Work Party 28 February 2016

A dry day that got sunnier, if a little chilly, as we gathered to cut off and bundle the common reed filling the original Water Vole scrape in the Reservoir Basin. A great day as there were ten of us (Judi, Pete & Jason, Masha, Andra, Mark, Ron , Helen, Mick and Carol). As it was very boggy in the Basin the decision was made for the bolder ones, wearing more waterproof footwear to deal with that, whilst the other group could tackle the flood debris in the Cornfield – this was needed to reduce problems when it is cut and collected in a month or two but also to prevent weeds generating underneath.

The cut reeds were collected and tied in bundles that were stashed in the scrub to provide insect habitat as they dried out. Mick after an hours work managed to stumble backwards on the uneven bottom of the variable depth scrape and filled his chest waders with water… – not recommended. As a result he can’t display any photographs as both camera and phone were soaked! Jason did spot an Anisosticta novemdecimpunctata – 19 spot ladybird, a wetland species often in reeds where the larvae feed on aphids. (ID thanks to Martin Hammond).

Anisosticta novemdecimpunctata - 19 spot ladybird

Anisosticta novemdecimpunctata – 19 spot ladybird

After Mick departed for a shower and a change of clothes, the team carried on and apart from Judi going bottom-wards in the mud, there were no more incidents. The Cornfield should be relatively clear for the cut and some new growth of common reed and occasional reedmace for the wildlife to feed upon. The extended scrape next to the original is due to be fenced to keep cattle out, which will allow the reed bed to extend.

Our thanks to all who helped

Current plans are:

Month Sun Thurs Task
Mar 2016 13th   Freshwater Habitats Trust (FHT) Water Blitz
  20th   Tansy planting
      Tue 22nd March – World Water Day
April 2016 10th   Flood debris clearance
      Friday 15th Yorkshire Wildlife Trust  tansy planting 10 – 3 near Pond
  17th   Wildflower planting in Cornfield
May 2016   ?  
June 2016 12th   FHT Invertebrate ID Course (numbers limited)
      20th – 26th June National Insect Week
July 2016     Sat 2nd July – National Meadows Day

May be some variation due to water levels.

Sunday work parties from 10:30 am until about 13:00pm.

In May we’ll move to Thursday evenings meeting at 18:30 onwards.



About greatemancipator

Researcher and practioner in matters relating to egovernment, government ICT and their approach to the citizen.
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