Orchard tidying evening

Trimming and tidying around the trees

Thank you to everyone who came to the orchard tidying evening yesterday – hope you enjoyed the drinks and nibbles too!  There was an excellent turnout from both the orchard group and the wildlife group, and the site was tidied up very quickly.

Probably thanks to all the rain we’ve been having, almost all the trees are growing well, including a small buckthorn shrub which had self-seeded – it isn’t an orchard tree, but it is good for biodiversity, as it is the foodplant for the bright yellow Brimstone butterflies.  A little patch of foxglove seedlings was planted near the back of the site, to feed the bees and to make a splash of colour next summer.  We are also thinking of planting some more native shrubs, such as guelder rose and wayfaring tree, to add variety to the site for wildlife.
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And here is Old Father Time in his wellies!

A few wildlife reports

John R: toad and smooth newt in the garden in Lighthorne Road

Penny V: Comma butterfly in the garden in Banbury Road

Di N: Ringlet butterfly and Meadow Brown butterfly in the garden in Banbury Street

Flock of swifts regularly flying over the village centre (where are they nesting?) and also a flock of house martins, which have nests on house eaves near the end of King John’s Road.

This week there were hundreds, maybe thousands, of Meadow Brown butterflies in the meadows behind Compton Verney, and quite a few 6-spot Burnet moths (bright scarlet with black spots).  However, the fields are being cut for hay now, depriving the butterflies of nectar.  Let’s hope enough of them have laid eggs already, for next year’s butterflies.

Kingstree Wood – paths are very boggy from all the rain.  Comma butterfly seen near the walnut grove, and a few Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Green-veined White butterflies along the pathways.  The meadow areas have been cut now though, so not much nectar left for them, other than a few creeping thistles along the path edges.

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