Blue Flower

Saturday 16/7/22  Our first jobs were cutting all the grass and strimming, watering the gardens and the Ash tree in its pot. We also weeded the Lupins which are still flowering. Toby the farmer has cut the large area between our lawn and his potato field, making it easier for Eddie to continue clearing nettles from the adjacent corner, where there is a small Oak tree.

While the mower was on site we tried out all the towed accessories. The tipping trailer was loaded with nettles that Eddie pulled up which I took and tipped into the compost bay, the roller was tested on the wildflower area, we decided it would be better filled with water than soil for ballast. The seed spreader was tested using fine soil instead of seeds, and the sweeper was used to collect today’s grass cuttings. All performed well and will be needed when we make the wildflower area, they will now be stored securely off site until needed.

We also need a harrow to prepare soil for sowing seed and to disturb the soil each year which encourages annual wildflower seeds to germinate, I decided to make one from materials on site. I cut a scaffold board in half and put lots of screws through sticking out the other side, the two boards are held together with rope which goes around the mower towbar. It can be towed upside down to the area needed, then turned over for harrowing. I tested it on the bare soil and it has the desired effect but needs boards to join the two sections together. Making this ourselves saves around £200.

We noticed the river is very low, the floor behind the wheel is normally under shallow water but its now dry, Moorhen chicks came out of the river across this floor and disappeared up behind the wheel.

Thursday 21/7/22  Ryan joined us today, he is helping us in the school holidays. After I showed him round he spent most of the day metal detecting on the wildflower meadow soil heap, and putting his finds on the new shelves in the visitor centre. Ryan has filled one shelf already with nails, staple, various metal parts and glass fragments. Ryan has his own metal detector which he may bring another time.

Eddie made good progress clearing all the nettles around the little Oak tree, exposing a Hawthorn tree, an old bird table and lots of twisted metal. I pulled up thistles in this area with our new thick gloves and took all the weeds to the compost bay. In the opposite corner we planted and watered the Common Ash tree which Beryl gave us, these grow big so we found a place with room for it to grow.

Eddie noticed the leaves at the ends of the Cherry tree branches were dry, so I poured several buckets of river water around the trunk. Birds had eaten all the cherries before we had the chance to, apart from one which I had a few weeks ago, the following week the tree was bare. 

We had a visit from Stephen, Jess, baby Ruby, Simon and Vivien who crossed our bridge from the footpath and looked around the mill. They were the first visitors to see our new displays in the visitor centre. I explained what we are doing with our projects, and said our next open days are on 17 & 18 September. They saw a pair of Muntjacs in the field behind the mill while I was taking their picture.

Debra and Abbie arrived in the afternoon with Labradors Hector and Henry. We were all playing with the dogs, Hector was going in the river to retrieve sticks, Henry preferred to stay on dry land. Debra told us that the twisted metal we found near the Oak tree was an old gate.

John Isom who lives at Barge Cottages has taken more wildlife photos, a Poplar Hawk Moth on Beryl’s greenhouse and the Duck with Ducklings on the field, which is her third brood.

Graham Bartlett                

Interactive Plan   Activity   Heritage Open Days  Green Grant   Wildflower Meadow   Volunteer  Previous Next

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