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Nature blog - Jenny Bourne

The RPA Nature blog with Jenny Bourne.

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Relocation, relocation, relocation!

Date posted: Wednesday 26th April 2017

Relocation, relocation, relocation!

Our Bug Hotel has now been relocated into a more secluded spot in the wildlife area, thanks to the efforts of a Sunday morning workparty. The de luxe multi-storey habitat will hopefully provide a home for a range of insects and invertebrates over-wintering in the shelter of the native hedge. Meanwhile in the area by the gate that gets sun most of the day we’re going to set up some examples of habitats for wildlife that prefers sunny locations that can be made easily by plotholders from recycled materials – treated wood posts drilled with different size holes for solitary bees, log piles, a piece of corrugated iron for the grass snake to hide under etc. For more information about how to create your own bug hotels, insect habitats, log spirals etc go to RSPB, Buglife or Google for ideas that can be easily put together and kids love it!
Build a bug hotel – RSPB…/build-a-bug-hotel/

A couple of plotholders have reported wasps nests in their sheds – unfortunately not welcome in that location and so it’ll be back to the drawing board for those particular industrious wasps intent on their amazing wood pulp constructions. Sad also for this female robin? who’s eggs were found by another plotholder last week. Our robins nesting in our courtyard at home have been thwarted by a predator that managed to get into the nest and take the babies – probably a magpie but we’ll never know and a reminder that nature is ruthless – all about feeding your young at this time of year!

While chatting to a plotholder about the Bug Hotel location a few days ago this wren was perched nearby, singing it’s explosive burst of loudness into the spring air!

Flora opened up her sweet pea root trainers to discover this caterpillar that had squidged itself into a gap between the modules – it was quite long, approx 4.5cm but neither of us was able to identify it – any ideas? I put it under my small apple tree in amongst the dense perennial bed so I hope it’s managed to survive into the next stage of development!

As I write I hear the welcome sound of RAIN! It has been dry for almost all the month and everything is in dire need of a proper soaking – we’re watering non-stop but there’s no substitute for the real thing! Let’s hope this is more than an April shower and it goes on for the whole day, in order to do more than provide a surface for the slugs to get going! (Two minutes later).. grrh, that’s it, then! Sun now out and not even wet enough underfoot for any self-respecting slug to venture out onto the dry, baked soil! Bring back those April showers and weather as it used to be when I was a kid… old fogey or climate change – you decide!!