Lots more flowers

There are more flowers to report.

Bluebells in the Orchard



Ransomes in the Orchard



Jack in the Hedge down the track from Sunnyside Lane



Shepherd’s Purse near the Shed



White dead nettle in the Orchard



Groundsel in Pony Wood



Green alkanet near the Towneley path



Herb robert on the Towneley path



Marsh marigold in the Orchard



Cow parsley in the Orchard



Daisy in Big Meadow



Cuckoo flower in Big Meadow



Sweet woodruff planted in the Orchard



Winter cress in the playground



Ivy leaved toad flax on the path to the playground



Dusky cranes bill near the Towneley path



Posting on behalf of Graham. In addition to the lapwings, he noticed a pair of shelduck in Flora Field this morning. They seemed quite interested in one of the grass fallow strips. He wonders whether they might have been looking for a nest site?

Volunteer evening Wednesday 29th April

Here is Jonathan’s message:

Greetings All,

Joy upon joy!
Some go by the first sighting of a swallow, and some prefer to listen out
for the cuckoo, but we orchardeers know that Spring is truly underway when
news arrives of the first of our evening volunteer sessions.
And here it is!
The first evening volunteer session in Fairfield Orchard, Fauna and Flora
of 2015 will take place on Wednesday April 29th starting at 6.30pm, or as
soon after that time as you can possibly make it.

For the benefit of newcomers – during the lighter half of the year, we
meet on the final Wednesday evening of each month. As often as not, it’s a
very beautiful thing.

On the agenda for this occasion…

1. We have more plants for planting- in this case for a meadow area rather
than woodland (ox eye daisy and sweet woodruff).

2. Tidy up the ruts left by the chippers in the Hay Meadow. At the same
time we can check that the eel sluice is working properly and if not plan
how to get it sorted.

3. Whilst in the Hay Meadow we should review the access track into Upper
Sowerholme left by the machine cutting the rushes. On the one hand we
don’t want the cattle wandering into Sowerholme. On the other we might
want fell ponies to do just that! So an on site review might come up with
a plan.

4. We have two smallish sections of barbed wire which need repair (near
the Fauna path and near the Lucy Brook cattle crossing). The fence around
Little Wood could also do with some reinforcement.

5. Clear brash from the West Field north-west gateway to provide access.

6. Tidy up some of the brash in the Orchard including cutting out some of
the thicker pieces and creating log piles.

7. Clear algae from one of the Flora ponds and fix the leak in the other.

So there we have it.
Moderate drinkers and conversationalists might be interested to learn that
it’s not unknown for an evening volunteer session such as this one to end
up in the pub.
If the sound of this appeals, remember to bring along some pocket money
and a note from your Mum.

And that’s your lot for this time from me.
All the very best,


More redstarts

On my way home this evening I noticed a female redstart in the hawthorns along the path near School Pond. There were also still 2 male redstarts on the allotment perimeter fence near the orchard showing superbly.
Interestingly, a pair of stock dove were nearby, paired up and looking like local nesters…

There were plenty of swallows and sand martins moving over too.

A brown hare was on the reserve.


A cracking male redstart was in the reserve this morning. Several swallows passed through too.

Further sightings from nearby and a very fuzzy pic of the redstart can be found at: http://birdingaldcliffe.blogspot.co.uk/