A dry day that got sunnier, if a little chilly, as we gathered to cut off and bundle the common reed filling the original Water Vole scrape in the Reservoir Basin. A great day as there were ten of us (Judi, Pete & Jason, Masha, Andra, Mark, Ron , Helen, Mick and Carol). As it was very boggy in the Basin the decision was made for the bolder ones, wearing more waterproof footwear to deal with that, whilst the other group could tackle the flood debris in the Cornfield – this was needed to reduce problems when it is cut and collected in a month or two but also to prevent weeds generating underneath.
The cut reeds were collected and tied in bundles that were stashed in the scrub to provide insect habitat as they dried out. Mick after an hours work managed to stumble backwards on the uneven bottom of the variable depth scrape and filled his chest waders with water… – not recommended. As a result he can’t display any photographs as both camera and phone were soaked! Jason did spot an Anisosticta novemdecimpunctata – 19 spot ladybird, a wetland species often in reeds where the larvae feed on aphids. (ID thanks to Martin Hammond).
After Mick departed for a shower and a change of clothes, the team carried on and apart from Judi going bottom-wards in the mud, there were no more incidents. The Cornfield should be relatively clear for the cut and some new growth of common reed and occasional reedmace for the wildlife to feed upon. The extended scrape next to the original is due to be fenced to keep cattle out, which will allow the reed bed to extend.
Our thanks to all who helped
Current plans are:
|Mar 2016||13th||Freshwater Habitats Trust (FHT) Water Blitz|
|Tue 22nd March – World Water Day|
|April 2016||10th||Flood debris clearance|
|Friday 15th Yorkshire Wildlife Trust tansy planting 10 – 3 near Pond|
|17th||Wildflower planting in Cornfield|
|June 2016||12th||FHT Invertebrate ID Course (numbers limited)|
|20th – 26th June National Insect Week|
|July 2016||Sat 2nd July – National Meadows Day|
May be some variation due to water levels.
Sunday work parties from 10:30 am until about 13:00pm.
In May we’ll move to Thursday evenings meeting at 18:30 onwards.