The beginning of spring this year was stormy but, apart from the few really rough nights, our teams were out for the whole month of March toad watching along Boundary Road in Rowledge. The number of toads was up from the previous year but there were very few frogs and no newts this time. The watchers all did a wonderful job and are warmly thanked for their time and enthusiasm.
The early crocuses and daffodils along the roadside verges and on our sites were particularly good this year and have now given way to primroses and bluebells. At the Crossroads the tulips have looked magnificent and the alliums have now opened up to enhance the display. Bees and a few butterflies have been in evidence but not in great numbers.
Normally noted for its showers, April was an unusually dry month this year and so we have had to watch our plants carefully and to start watering much earlier than usual at the Crossroads and in Middle Bourne Lane.
After the opening session in Burnt Hill Wood in January regular work has taken place in our other sites. In Middle Bourne Lane one of the first jobs was to clear up after the storms but soon moved on to early preparations for Farnham in Bloom, the judging for which will be in July. Experience has taught us that making an early start pays rich dividends. With that in mind we have re-seeded the wildflower meadow and those annual plants are already showing. We have also put in 100 wildflower plug plants near the pond which are responding well to regular watering.
In the Old Churchyard we have recently held two Sunday work sessions that concentrated on the edges and corners of the sites which were becoming overgrown with brambles and other aggressive plants. Attention has also been paid to the western fence line. As the photographs show, the prominent gap there has, as a temporary measure, been filled with a short stretch of dead-hedging. The team on that was Bryan Snashall assisted by Ellie and Will Herbert. Unfortunately Ellie missed the photo-shoot. We take this opportunity to thank them, our new members and the other Duke of Edinburgh Award candidates for all the help they are giving us in this valuable conservation work.
As 2022 is our 20th Anniversary Year there are some special events planned. These will start on 2 nd July with our stand at The Bourne Show, followed by a Bio blitz on the weekend of 6th – 7th August and an evening Social with talk on 29th September.