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RPA Nature Blog by Jenny Bourne

  • What a difference a day makes, Painted Lady and Martin's monster!

    Date posted: Thursday 3rd June 2021

    What a difference a day makes, Painted Lady and Martin's monster!

    What a difference a day makes! Last week saw the end of the one of the wettest Mays on record; glad to see the back of the endless leaden grey skies and what felt like non-stop rain and, although rain was much needed after the cold, dry April, it all got the spirits down. So, Thursday dull, overcast and grey, Friday blue skies and warm sunshine,

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  • Swarms! Leopardskin pillbox hat, nesters and bird walk!

    Date posted: Tuesday 18th May 2021

    Well, huge excitement for the beekeeper last Sunday morning – as we were enjoying an early cup of tea at home an email arrived to say that a swarm had been located at the back of a plot near the beehive area. Action stations and up we went at the double to find this swarm in a tree, quite an unusual shape….

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  • Butterflies, bees and hungry heron...

    Date posted: Wednesday 21st April 2021

    Butterflies, bees and hungry heron...

    It’s said that one of the first five indicators that spring’s arrived is the Orange Tip butterfly and I was delighted to spot one on Sunday in Home Park, along with the first brimstone I’ve seen this year! The next day a Brimstone fluttered past at the back of my allotment, always a zing of vivid yellow to brighten the day, Peacock butterflies have been around for a good couple of weeks now

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  • Snowy Monday morning

    Date posted: Monday 12th April 2021

    Snowy Monday morning

    Woke up this Monday morning to a strangely heavy grey sky and snow falling! And it’s auspiciously the first day that shops, hairdressers and hospitality outdoors are allowed to open as a first lockdown relaxation

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  • Time flies, bees and herons

    Date posted: Saturday 3rd April 2021

    Time flies, bees and herons

    Is it just me or does time seem to by flying past at an alarming rate these days…! April already, but it’s been reassuring to see the first sand martins flying over Rick Pond in Home Park last Saturday, almost to the day I first saw them last year. Creatures of habit, like most species that rely on food sources being available at the same time,

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  • Reed buntings, grrrhh dead hedge, frogspawn envy and bees and flowers

    Date posted: Sunday 7th March 2021

    Reed buntings, grrrhh dead hedge, frogspawn envy and bees and flowers

    No March winds, but a cold raw week to start the month and it’s hard to get motivated to get out under grey, overcast skies. But this afternoon a welcome return of bright sunshine – birds are singing, crocus, narcissi, daffs, pulmonaria and hellebores in lovely flower and visitors from over the park wall to enliven the bird population around my back plot.

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  • Farewell, then old incinerator, redwings, birdbath and Happy Valentine's Day!

    Date posted: Sunday 14th February 2021

    Farewell, then old incinerator, redwings, birdbath and Happy Valentine's Day!

    So, farewell, then RPA incinerator, that’s stood here for many a year and provided the background for many Pumpkin competitions and awards presentations at the Autumn Social!

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  • Shoots of spring, native hedge and wildlife area plantings

    Date posted: Monday 8th February 2021

    Shoots of spring, native hedge and wildlife area plantings

    The Beast from the East 2 has been blowing snow flurries around for the past two days and it’s been bitterly cold. Before that it’s been incredibly wet with what felt like more rain than we’ve seen for ages, and the site roads have become fords in places.

    Click here to read the full story.

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  • Snow, goldcrests and harbingers of spring

    Date posted: Tuesday 26th January 2021

    Snow, goldcrests and harbingers of spring

    A snow fall on Sunday morning, causing widespread excitement for everyone of us in lockdown who’s been finding these short days of dark, dull weather increasingly irksome. We went down to the plot

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  • Mistletoe, holly and ivy too...

    Date posted: Wednesday 23rd December 2020

    Mistletoe, holly and ivy too...

    Several years ago I picked mistletoe berries from the abundant bunches growing in the ornamental apple tree at the front entrance to the site. I smeared some of the berries into the cracks and crevices in my old apple tree and this year, for the first time, I’ve got berries galore!

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  • Let's hear it for lichen!

    Date posted: Monday 7th December 2020

    Let's hear it for lichen!

    The logpile at the entrance to the dead hedge and beehive area is now hosting an intriguing white lichen. Lichens are fascinating and, to me mysterious and fascinating organisms. When you look closely at a tree branch or a wall covered with different varieties it can seem like a whole eco-system in miniature.

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