Good Growing Weather
Tuesday, May 28th 2019
Recent sunshine and rainfall has created perfect growing conditions for the vegetation. Although habitat maintenance is kept to a minimum during the summer months, it is still necessary to prune back growth alongside path edges, otherwise trails and views become lost! Blackthorn grows quickly and was starting to fill in the view of the fallen tree in the lake from the easy access route. Volunteers began their day by carefully weeding it out.
Many wheelbarrow loads were taken to the main track and removed by trailer. It started as a 'small pruning job' but turned out to be a much bigger task!
In between heavy showers, volunteers also filled bird feeders, helped to unload a delivery of bird seed sacks and strimmed along trails. Further pruning was required where rain had caused branches to fall over the pathways.
Throughout the day, the plaintive cry of the Buzzard could be heard as it soared overhead in dramatic grey skies. It appears to be in moult with several feathers missing from one wing.
Closer to the ground a cinnabar moth was observed at the lake edge and hundreds of froghoppers. These are small colourful insects that spring quickly when disturbed. Some species of these invertebrates start out in life as a tiny bug surrounded by foam (commonly named cuckoo spit). However, this particular one does not!
Scientists are calling for thousands of volunteers to help record sightings of spittle (the foam) and spittlebugs across the UK. The information will be used to map the distribution of the insect, in a pre-emptive strike against a deadly plant disease which may eventually threaten native species such as Oak trees. You can take part in the survey about xylem feeding insects by filling out an online form.
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