We have held two outdoor sessions on the Open Learning Programme for which there are of course no slides or podcasts. The first was last October – a Friday morning threatening rain when a small group of 6 or so went round with Richard Storton. For some it was the first chance to get into the Flora fields and up to Pony Wood. Richard talked us through the plans and the reasons for some of the choices – providing a habitat for the species we want to attract whilst giving public access and preservingthe landscape. We are hoping that Richard can do a return visit this summer in an early evening which will be easier for people to get to and could be lovely.
Richard is based is based in Lancaster and is an RSPB wetland advisor. He has helped us with the management plans for the reserve
The second session was last Saturday afternoon a gorgeous early spring day. 25 of us went through the orchard and into Flora with Tarja Wilson who’s interest is managing hedges and hedgerow trees for the benefit of wildlife. Again there was an opportunity to go into the Flora fields and again discussion on the choices we face. The trees are a well loved landscape feature and attract interesting birds – flocks of red-wings feed from the berries in winter and on Saturday 3 reed buntings were in the venerable old Alder tree. However the crows and magpies perch on them patiently waiting for a movement in the reeds which enables them to spot a nest site and take the eggs – not encouraging for the snipe to nest there!
David Loxam came with us and pointed out his 50 year old hedge-laying, as well as the way the banks were built up to create a dyke. We walked long the land which we bought from NACRO where the ancient strip system is still evident and heard what a nuisance that was for the tenant farmer who had two lots of rent to pay in one field. When you knolw what to look, for the history of the landscape is all around the Flora and Fauna site.
Tarja,who is the Environmental Projects Officer for Lancashire County Council was impressed by the work of today’s hedge – layers and was full of praise for what isbeing achieved.