Archive for June, 2014

Breakfast with Moths, Saturday 5th July

Elephant Hawk Moth

Elephant Hawk Moth

Breakfast with Moths
Marbury Country Park
9.30 am Saturday 5th July

See what was attracted to the traps the previous night.

Croissants and orange juice will be available for breakfast.
Donations welcome.

For more information contact Brenda Yates 01565 733197


1st. Alan and I met to discuss plans for the Arboretum Project. After lunch I joined Jim on the burning site, where he and Elna had got the fire going again. There was a little more breeze than yesterday. This fanned the flames to generate a lot of heat. It was just as well because Chris and his team of volunteers arrived with two trailers loaded with timber removed from the board walk at Marshall’s Arm. Much of it had been immersed in water for several years, so, not only was it wet, but it was slimy. Yuk! It caught light and will probably smoulder for a couple of days.
pasca sowingl
7th. About half a dozen volunteers followed Chris down Marbury Lane to the bird seed meadow. We watched as he dragged the harrow behind the tractor across the field, producing a fine tilth. We lined up with a quota of seed and broadcast it as we walked across the field. Much of it was sunflower seed, so as well as providing food for birds, it should give us a fine display. Chris pulled the harrow over the ground again to finish the job. sowing dance

There were two smaller fields on Dairy House Meadows, where we repeated the operation. We finished before feeling the first spots of rain, which will immediately help with germination.
Sandra and I followed Chris’ directions to find a load of litter from a party “In the corner, Carriage Drive, Marbury Lane”. We found a few bits of litter but not the remnants of a party. We returned to Chris and “In the trees on the other side of the Carriage Drive” made things clearer. We came across the remains of a children’s picnic, which may have been tied in a plastic carrier bag before animals tore into it and spread it all around.

bending work8th. With the threat of heavy storms looming, we went to Carey Park to be joined by half a dozen Rotarians. Mark handed out each person’s weapon of choice, sickle or big scissors (shears). The knee-high grass was wet after heavy rain, so some had donned wellies and other waterproof gear. Our mission was to cut a metre square around each of the one thousand trees planted last year. You wouldn’t mow your lawn in these conditions, but we tore at the grass, nettles, thistles and other budding wild flowers to give the young saplings more of a fighting chance. We looked for the supporting canes and tree guards marking the trees’ locations and there were very few failures. After bending for some time it was a relief to straighten up and have a chat. I know which bit of me will ache most tomorrow – the biggest bit. Numbers of volunteers dwindled in the afternoon. It didn’t rain; it just became very humid. I managed not to trip over on the uneven ground and I was at least dry from the knees up. The heavens opened on our return to the cabin.

image15th. Chris sent Elna and me to do some cutting back. We started with the path through the euphemistically called ‘dog exercise field’ to the car park. This path has been getting steadily wider as people try to avoid the encroaching cherry plum. We walked on down into Hopyards and found the main problem that Chris had sent us to deal with. Near the footbridge over Marbury Brook a hornbeam tree had been uprooted and was overhanging the path. It wasn’t something that we could sort with loppers. It needed a chain saw. We caught up with Chris and Diana, who had just moved the cattle across to the far field. We hitched a lift and helped them remove fencing so that the first field could be used as a car park for a weekend event. Elna and I did our Butterfly Transect and as we were on the return route, we could hear the whirr of the chain saw as Chris dealt with the hornbeam.