Linnets & Teal

I saw a treeful of linnets (is that the collective noun for them <g>) along the long pads footpath this afternoon, looking very pretty in the glow of the setting sun. Also seven teal on the school pond – I hadn’t seen them there for a few weeks.

Wildlife whilst hedging

The Hedge Working Party met yesterday. One of us observed a small flock of field fare in West Field on the way to meet the group. A member of the public reported seeing a stoat on the track near the treble gates and we disturbed a heron in Flora Field as we approached our hedge.

Building up nicely

A lovely late-autumn morning for the second flush count of the season. A total of 80 snipe flushed: as last month, well up on the numbers counted at the same time in the past three winters.  The breakdown was 4 in Hay Meadow (close to Cromwell’s Pond), 21 in School Pond (principally on the northern side) and 55 in Big Meadow. There have been intermittent reports of snipe in the Flora fields (including 3 flushed up in West Field on 24 October as part of the reserve inspection). But today these fields yielded none. Ditto Upper Sowerholme.

A group of chaffinch flew over School Pond and three meadow pipits were noted in the adjacent LGGS Field. About 12 teal, both male and female, took off as we approached Alder Pond.

Volunteering Saturday 12th November

Here is Jonathan’s message:

Greetings All,

Here are two slices of information cake to sate your Fairfield Orchard,
Fauna and Flora cravings.

First, there’ll be a volunteer session on Saturday morning, November 12th,
kicking off at 10.00am and wrapping up at 1.00pm. Please come along for as
long as you’re able to.

Fun things to look forward to include:
· Removing the logs originally intended as children’s seating at the edge
of Pony Wood. Then stacking them as a habitat pile away from the fire
· Checking whether any more of the now sizeable saplings in the Pony Wood
extension require staking. If the answer comes back in the affirmative,
then we’ll use the stakes stored next to Little Wood.
· Checking the ivy on Tree 527 – which you won’t need me to tell you is
the hawthorn near Orchard House – and deciding whether to remove it or
· Trimming back the blackthorn overcrowding the fruit trees near the
Orchard middle entrance.
· Strimming back the long grass and other growth around the fruit trees
near the big sycamore in the Orchard.
· Blocking with brash the emerging ‘entrances’ from the main path into the
northern ‘wild’ area of the Orchard.
· As an experiment, digging out the sucker saplings from the hawthorn
hedge alongside the Fauna path and checking whether they are re-plantable
for hedging purposes.
· Continuing to cut back and dig out the bramble invading Carr House
Meadow on its northern edge.
· Trimming the Paddock south hedge.

And second, you are cordially reminded that our Associate Volunteer scheme
enables people to contribute to volunteer work in their own time.
Over the winter we have a great deal of hedge trimming to undertake and if
you’re able to help with this please contact Ian Procter to discuss the
You can email him on your internet at or if
you’d rather, he’ll be standing by his telephone like a latter day Batman
in gardening gloves, waiting for you to call him on 07811 970595.

And that’s about your lot for this time,

Best wishes,