The first step was to add a few more trees to the wildlife hedge that we planted in the boundary car park in 2012. The hedge plants were chosen because they have fruits or nuts that will be food in the autumn for birds and animals. The team set to work, firstly to see what trees remained, as there was a "strimming incident" when the neighbouring allotments, who look after the car park, strimmed the hedge. We thought we'd lost a lot of the plants, but it turned out when we marked them, that most of the trees were still there, and still quite healthy. We gave them a weed through, and then planted up thin bits and gaps, and mulched everything with wood-chip to keep the moisture in.
|Guy trims back the bramble to make planting|
|Jon shows us how to slip plant a tree|
|The Gateway to Nature Team after a job well done.|
After lunch, we worked to improve our site's wildlife value. We created "critter bottles" - lots of plastic bottles full of straw or cardboard rolls, to provide dry spaces for mini beasts. These went in various places in the orchard, and in the mini beast hotel.
|Bottle with a cardboard roll inside - excellent for|
various mini beasts, including lacewings
|Filled with straw - bottles make a great dry space|
for many different creatures.
|Stuffing a large bottle with hay and cardboard|
to see if this is even more enjoyed
|Putting "critter bottles" into the mini beast hotel|
|Hedgehog home ready to be installed|
|Once box is covered with hay and twigs, it's almost invisible|
and quite cosy.
|Bumble-bee nest option 1 - clay pot version|
|Version 2, plastic bottle version bee home|
|Old hose pipe can also make a good home for solitary bees.|
Thanks again to Gateway to Nature. We really enjoy their monthly visits, and it certainly means we get a lot done!