At last a half day of dry weather allowed us a window in which to cut our last meadow on the allotments. This meadow is situated close to our very mature oak tree and within the grasses we grow wildflowers and cultivated plants that we know attract bees, butterflies and moths, hoverflies and all sorts of beneficial insects. It is home too to amphibians, small mammals and even grasshoppers and crickets. The flowering plants here this year just have not stopped flowering their hearts out so we have left cutting the meadow down until last.
So early in November four of us set to with strimmers, mowers and rakes and we made sure we had our water proof clothes at the ready. An hour into our work and we needed them. But we persevered and got the job done. Beautiful rainbows came out to wish us luck.
A few weeks earlier lots of members worked together mowing, strimming and raking away on the other meadows while the weather held. We were lucky to get so much done, finishing off all but one of our many meadow areas. It is really important to look after the meadows around the site as they are such an important habitat for wildlife and of course help us with our pest control by harbouring predatory insects.
The meadows grasses beneath the fruit trees in the orchard get very thick so take a lot of sorting out. Luckily, Ian one of our committee came along and he is a builder so he made light work of it.
The turf spiral is a very fiddly job but John came along and got to work with his strimmer. He loves strimming so we left him to get on with it! It looked really smart!
When we had finished we had time to appreciate the wonderful colourful fruit of the Crab Apples which we grow in the orchards to improve the pollination of our main apple trees.
When we stopped for our coffee and cake break we discovered that our resident Little Owl had been using the picnic bench before us. He had left a pellet for us to examine. We learned by studying it closely that he had been enjoying meals of beetles and mice.