A heron took off from the marsh in the middle of Big Meadow at about 1pm today.
Apologies for late posting! A sole Little Egret was spotted in the fields adjoining FLORA, late morning on the 17th, 18th and 19th January.
Kestrel observed hovering over the marsh in Big Meadow this morning.
Heard calling loudly across FAUNA just after 9pm yesterday. Seemed to be along the Lucy Brook hedge line, down towards Upper Sowerholme.
Yesterday morning I saw three geese circle the FAUNA fields three times and then land in the Big Meadow near the ash tree. It was too dull to tell whether they were Graylaggs or Canada but they seemed to take a very good look and then come down to investigate further.
Spotted flying off from Cromwell’s Pond as I walked across to the volunteer session this morning.
The Fairfield Association is carrying out hedge laying work. This involves removing dead wood and laying healthy stems down to stimulate new, thick growth low down in the hedge.
Dense hedges are best for wildlife, particularly garden and woodland birds. Hedge laying work is only undertaken in winter and will stop as soon as any nesting activity is noticed. The hedge will start quite low but will soon grow and will be kept at around two metres when mature.
We will lay selected sections of the hedge this winter, especially those adjacent to clusters of trees and shrubs in the Orchard. We shall be leaving mature trees (especially holly and ash) but removing some of the elder. Mature trees that we will leave have a red marker round the trunk. The intention is to minimise the impact on the landscape whilst the hedge on the other side of the path thickens up.
Like other aspects of Orchard and FAUNA maintenance, hedge laying is a long term process. Once laid, a hedge will last for many years. We hope you will share our long term vision for this lovely spot.
Contact details for the Fairfield Association can be found on our notice boards and you can also use the form on the ‘Contact Us’ pages of the website.
There’ll be a volunteer session in Fairfield Orchard this Saturday, February 9th, starting bright and bushy tailed at the usual time of 10.00am and finishing stinky and dog tired at 1.00pm or thereabouts.
The delights awaiting us on this occasion:
1. Complete the retrieval and stacking of re-usable bricks in the pig sty area. A number of us have been doing this for months now and it’s always a right good laugh.
2. Lop off self seeded saplings and bramble in a number of areas where their number and density has become invasive. (e.g. to the north of Towneley Close path, although there are several others).
3. Prune back blackthorn in the fruit hedge. Those shrubs ready for hard pruning have been marked with a ribbon.
4. Continue laying the Pads hedge. N.B. This will only be undertaken by those with hedge laying training although others can assist in clearing dead wood and carting away excess vegetation.
We will be benefitting from the assistance of a group of Green Lancaster students.
I’ve spoken with my usual contacts in Weather and have been promised interesting conditions throughout so please do come along for as long as you possibly can. You know you’ll have wanted to.
Very much hoping to see you there,
Two jays clearly observed in the Orchard this morning (5th Feb), right up at the north end in the woody bit before the former pig sties. Whether a ‘pair’ or not I don’t know.
Today Ian , Tony and Richard of the RSPB braved the cold and wind to put up several new nestboxes. I think that I can remember where we put them!
We have put them in places where they can be observed from the paths – here are some of the locations:
- There are tit boxes on the ash tree along the path to Cromwell Rd, on the willows alongside Lucy Brook which can be seen from this path east of the ash tree
- Bat boxes and a nest box near the junction of this path and the N end of the Orchard
- Additional tit boxes in the orchard itself.
So keep a look out over the coming months for activity and let us know what you see.