October 2020 – Reserve
12 Oct 2020
Wildflower Meadow cut down and sightings on the reserve
This September has seen a dramatic change in the weather; from glorious sunshine to storms causing the fall of a number of trees on the reserve. The start of September was focused on cutting down the main Wildflower Meadow with help from our wonderful regular volunteers and a volunteer group from the AVIVA group. How we do this is by cutting the meadow down with a reciprocating mower, allowing the seed heads from the cut wildflowers to fall into the soil for a couple of days before being raked away. The reason why we cut down the wildflowers and leave them for a couple of days is to allow the key nutrients help improve the soil to settle ready for the next year ahead.
The Wader Scrape continues to draw in autumn birds with Teal numbers increasing with dropping numbers of birds in total. Sightings of marsh harrier and kite have been recorded on the reserve, with Stoats being very active around the reserve too. As the winter migrant birds start to appear on the reserve you will start to see visiting birds such as redwing, teal and wigeon.
Across the site other projects have included the clearing of trees due to the adverse weather conditions causing four trees to become uprooted. Several other grasslands have been cut and raked including the primrose area and six longhorn cattle have been placed on a small grazing meadow now near the River Hut. Ivy is a late flowering plant attracting wasps and bees and this year we have seen our first ivy bee on flowering ivy in the Wildlife Habitat Garden. Due to the damper weather fungi is starting to appear everywhere over the reserve. Sightings to look out for include fly agaric, parasol and a new record sighting for the reserve, dog stinkhorn.