Thanks to the volunteers last session who helped us collect some creeping thistle to use on our thistle project – we spent a prickly couple of hours looking for thistle infected with rust fungus, which can be used as a biological method of control. We managed to get a bit, and the rust will be added to the trial plots this week. We hope this will reduce the amount of creeping thistle over time – which can dominate a meadow, as can be seen in Badgers Wood.
This week will be mostly about meadows – hay raking will be the order of the day! Come prepared for the weather (whatever that may be) and meet at the office at 10am.
Trumpington Meadows news
- You may have noticed that the hay cut has commenced! We are delighted this year that local farmer Steve of Cuckoo Hill Farm near Longstanton is cutting and baling the majority of the hay for us in the north. This means that we can give closer attention to any smaller areas ourselves.
- Have we reached peak butterfly? Last week the volunteers and I counted over 500 individuals of 13 species on our transect. Most numerous were the Meadow Browns, but Marbled Whites are also out in large numbers. It’s a good year for the Painted Lady – numbers of these long distance migratory butterflies vary from year to year. We also saw a hummingbird hawk-moth, also a migratory species. Both can be recorded on the Butterfly Conservation page if you see any in your gardens or in other green spaces.
- On a less positive note, we’ve had 2 quad bikes visiting the reserve recently. The owners have been asked to not drive onto the meadows, but have obviously not paid attention. They are a danger to other visitors, and they have no respect for the meadows – often trampling the wildflowers and disturbing wildlife. If you see these lads it is important that you call 101 immediately and report them. They are trespassing. You can inform me too, but informing me first just slows down the process of letting the police know. I have no idea where they live or who they are so I can do nothing if I am not on site. Thanks for your help!
Hope to see you Wednesday – let me know if you can make it.