Sunday March 17th was fortunately dry, even if the land was flooded, so the Friends were at work coppicing some of the trees we’d planted many years before to stop them shading the mounds where a large proportion of the tansy beetles live. With a bit of luck we should double the area on the southern mound that is given over to food plants for the beetles. We are also experimenting by planting alternative food sources such as apple and water mint, whilst keeping down some of the other vegetation that has a tendency to swamp the tansy plants.
From experience the very rare tansy beetle likes sunlight, along with being near water, their survival near water may be due to the lack of predation, as to the sunlight – they’re an invertebrate, so why?
As well as coppicing by the pond we also popped over the flood bank to the Body Shop Copse to do a bit more and also given Mike and Helen the chance to plant an elm tree each. So Mike planted Rawcliffe Meadows Elm 19 (1076) and Helen number 20 (1077), which can be followed by them on the Great British Elm Experiment Website through the future.
Thanks to Judi, Helen, Mike and Helen and Carol – good work folks!