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Autumn Social Bug houses, pumpkins, sunflowers, drunken butterflies and Chris Packham's Walk for Wildlife

Date posted: Wednesday 26th September 2018

Autumn Social Bug houses, pumpkins, sunflowers, drunken butterflies and Chris Packham's Walk for Wildlife

Bug House 1st Prize

Long time no post! It was our Autumn Social and Produce Show 16 Sept and for what seems weeks I’ve been preoccupied with all the planning and preparation (and driving to a wonderful goat farm to buy straw bales for the Family Scarecrow competition – Oakleigh Garden Farm) so little time on my plot was spent! We were so lucky with the weather – a day of warm sun, contrasting to this past weekend’s heavy rain! It was a great day, lots of people turning up to enjoy the various events, not least the Produce Show – not, of course that anyone’s the least competitive and it’s all about the taking part (not!). There was a distinct wildlife friendly feel to the Show this year. In the Children’s section (for ages 8 and over) one competition was to build a bug hotel/house/bedsit- the winner was a delightful Bug Disco and this one was sunflower themed!

There were some amazing entries and the judges found it very hard to award prizes – all the entries were so inventive and creative! And there were two outstanding and charismatic Veggie Bugs!

Carrying on the wildlife theme, one of the floral categories was an arrangement of pollinator friendly flowers and very pleased to say that I won!

Not the usual massive pumpkin entries or incredibly tall sunflowers this year, most likely due to the extremely hot conditions through July and August, but the People’s Pumpkin award caused hilarity!

Last year the tallest sunflower 3m 35cm as against this year’s 2m 33cm and the pumpkin sizes were also down – we needed that summer rain but got a heatwave instead..

Now to spend some time getting my plot put to bed for the season, although not much is going to be done to the perennials, I’ll leave much up for over-wintering habitats. There has been an amazing abundance of fruit this year – my plum tree was laden with Victorias and my next door neighbour’s red apples cover the ground under the tree – attracting this late Red Admiral for last orders of fermenting fruit – cider!

Excellent news from my plot neighbour, Matt yesterday – he spotted a fox going along the back of my plot and his, while I had my head down in the leeks so missed it. Let’s hope it’s taken up residence and that nobody is inane enough to put down any form of poison this time round, as we think occurred at the end of last year when two mature foxes died in mysterious circumstances.

Went on Chris Packham’s Walk for Wildlife on Sunday – rained on our parade but that didn’t put off the many hundreds of ardent wildlife supporters who turned up in masses in Hyde Park to listen to speakers deliver a mixture of positive and negative accounts of what’s going on in UK farming, fishing and the natural environment – Dave Goulson, Robert Macfarlane, Billy Bragg, Chris and his ‘ministers’ for his Wildlife Manifesto. Robert Macfarlane invited youngsters to read out ‘spells for wildlife’ and an amazingly self-assured and articulate young lad (11ish) from Brighton described his involvement with a local park’s wildlife initiatives, before saying that he has Aspergers – an embryo Chris in the making – sign him up! Then we walked in an orderly fashion to Westminster to deliver Chris’s message that we need to start getting serious about the environment and wildlife protection in the UK.