On a bright Spring-like morning 16 volunteers split into two groups.
Nature Reserve Working Party
Led by Andrew, 5 volunteers continued their work clearing the ancient track pathway and scrub on the Park Field leading down to the B656 Codicote Road.
Fernery Garden Working Party
Led by John and Sarah, 11 volunteers continued the work of planting and weeding.
We are grateful to Mike Smith for donating a teak bench that had become redundant since his recent house move. Harry had rubbed it down and treated it with teak oil ready for installation.
However, although the 11 volunteers present had agreed unanimously where the bench should be sited, our two representatives Harry and Alan, after extended negotiations with Chris, the WHBC Officer, failed to meet her demands for securing it.
With some loss of dignity a backstop agreement was nevertheless reached, and our two cross benchers, Harry and Alan, wearily took the unwanted concrete posts back to the hardware store, and replaced them appropriately with chains (!)
In doing so they missed their Tea Break and flapjacks, and the (above) photo-shoot.
Rabbit rabbit rabbit…
The WHBC have secured the large hole on the South East corner with very strong galvanised wire, and a rabbit proof board has been placed directly beneath the field gate on the North west side.
But, the rabbits still cause us problems, and they are enjoying Jenny’s wild flowers more than they are supposed to.
We have tried laying chicken wire flat on top of the flowers to stop rabbits accessing the roots, but suspect that they will simply wait for the tops to show through and try nibbling them instead of pulling the roots out of the ground.
In the short term, apart from continuing to screen off planting areas with chicken wire and posts, we will probably delay cutting the grass on the banks until later in the summer, in the hope that the rabbits will prefer nibbling grass to wild flowers.
Flora and Fauna
The planting beds are beginning to show their colours and contrasts, and bees are beginning to get busy pollenating.
This bee found just inside the Entrance Gate is a bit of an unknown, and has been referred to the County Recorder for his opinion.
Since identified as Apis mellifera Linnaeus – Western or European Honey Bee | Caste: Worker
Identified by Steve Lings, Bees & Wasps Recorder for Herts Nat Hist Soc.