Monthly Archives: July 2017

Flora Field


The field by the Long Pads looked lovely in the sun on Friday, with the bird seed mix – mustard, folder radish and phacelia in full bloom and corn marigold, corn chamomile, cornflowers and poppies mixed in with the crop . Clouds of white ( mainly green veined white) butterflies with meadow browns, and further round a peacock and a gatekeeper. At the top of the hill by Pony Wood we startled a female roe deer hiding in the wheat. A second ( possibly the juvenile) at first tried to hide – we could see the top of its head – then decided to bound off as well. A truly magical afternoon.



Volunteering session, Wednesday evening 26th July

Here is Jonathan’s message

Greetings All,

There’ll be a Fairfield Orchard, Fauna and Flora volunteer session this
Wednesday evening, July 26th, commencing at 6.30pm and finishing whenever
your aching limbs give up on you.
The meeting point is as ever the tool shed at the Sunnyside Lane End, and
remember there’s no embarrassment or shame to be felt if you can’t quite
arrive on the dot.

On this occasion:

* The priority job is to get the net on the shed roof given the number of
sycamore helicopters coming down.

* Removing graffiti from Fauna bench.

* Sharpening the stakes we brought from Little Wood for use as hedging
stakes. Vampires beware, etc.

* Repairing the ‘Men and Women at Work’ sign.

* Continuing to remove bindweed and goose grass from the Pads hedges.

Best wishes,

Hare again

Another sighting in the Grammar School Field. Paul spotted one in the grass in the NE corner as we walked back from scything thistles in the Gun Range this afternoon. It headed off into the soft rush around School Pond.

Strange Behaviour from the Little Owl

This Little Owl was perched on top of the rusty metal tank in the sheep field ( adjacent to West Field). I think a sheep banged into it and the owl flew down amongst the sheep making quite a racket. It then flew to this mound of earth where it was strafed by a swallow and some minutes later flew up into the trees just behind it, in the hedge line where Jon has seen the nest.



Belated note of the volunteering session

I seem to have a block about remembering to post Jonathan’s emails advertising our volunteering sessions. Once again here is a post-event ‘advertisment’

Greetings All,

There’ll be a volunteer session at Fairfield Orchard, Fauna and Flora this
Saturday morning, July 8th, commencing at the usual time of 10.00am and
finishing around about 1.00pm.

Mick will be leading this session in Ian’s absence.
The tasks on this occasion are:
* To open up the edges of the water scrapes to improve wildlife access as
recommended by our Natural England adviser.
* To put in further work supporting the Pony Wood saplings.
* Clear bindweed and goose grass enveloping the hedge between the Pads
footpath and Lower Sowerholme / Flora Field.
* Clear around the benches along the Fauna path.
* Cut up and clear the substantial branch that has come down over the
stump circle.

The Ragwort Working Party continues to meet on Wednesday mornings (9.30 at
the shed) and will shortly be turning its attention to scything thistles,
rush and long grass.

Stand by your inboxes for soon to be announced announcements about:
* An early evening scything group.
* Hay making – hopefully later this month although, as always, this is
weather dependent.

And last but not least a very big thank you to all the volunteers who
helped with the Open Garden setting up and dismantling.

Best wishes,

Another hare sighting

Quite a number of sightings have been reported recently of brown hare in Flora Field, but yesterday’s view was at the other end of the reserve, in the LGGS Field. As the Ragwort Working Party dispersed across the field to start its work, a hare dashed across from the top in the direction of the Orchard crossroads. Just flashes of the animal visible through the long grass.

Moorhens by Alder Pond

The first photo shows the moorhen sitting on its nest (just above the waterline) on June 24th.


The second photo shows two of the five chicks that we saw yesterday (3rd July). Moorhens typically have between 5 and 11 chicks, so we may not have seen them all!