Despite it being a Bank Holiday Sunday the weather was great and there were four of us, Julie and Mark, along with new helper Annie, and Mick. The idea was to clear around the bee bank that was a little overgrown and then plant some of the donated gypsywort along with some self heal to increase the mix of pollinator plants surrounding it. The scrub cutter saw of the worst of the grass, and then shears were used to do the fine work.
The nice surprise was to see two of the roe deer, probably the fawn from a couple of years ago (with the limp) and this years one. There were also large fox paw prints and smell around the hole to the north of the bee bank. A large black toad was hiding under a piece of plywood at the rear of the bank.
The bee bank started to become more visible whilst there was lots of activity from small dark flying invertebrates using the many holes. Mick also managed to disturb a wasp nest at the rear. The holes in the log section also appeared to have been used.
Interestingly, in the base of one of the gypsywort pots Annie found two dormant Tansy Beetles – a left over from the Geoff & Roma experiments with Tansy Beetle diet no doubt – they were also put into the holes with the plants so it may be interesting to see if the may their way to the nearby tansy plants in the Spring.
There were still some Tansy Beetles about in the New Meadow enclosures and the Cornfield gate have now been left open to give them the opportunity to feed there before the work party on Sunday 10th September (from 10:30) when we shall be spreading yellow rattle seed to reduce the grass growth on the Cornfield Grassland, along with clearing the south-western corner of the field, if the cattle haven’t done it for us.