Helen raking out the bark on the paths
Linda, Plants for Bugs volunteer writes;
"Despite the light drizzle our challenge for today was to move 4 cubic metres of bark.
We needed to top up the compacted bark on the paths between the plots, ensuring it came level with the top of the timber edging boards. Although most beetles and ground insects would have little difficulty in scaling the rough wooden surface, some studies show that they tend to run along the length of the board rather than venturing up and over it into the plot.
Exposed timber edging and Linda loading up another barrow of bark
Alas, the bark ran out all too quick and it now looks like we will need to order at least three times as much."
Spotted this week;
• Heavy leaf drop on some of the frost-hit Pittosporum
• Piles of seeds and kernels left by hungry mice – the seed is not readily identifiable as coming from any of the plants used in the trial so it is possible the mice have carried the seeds from elsewhere and are using the plant cover on the plots to feed undisturbed
• Chilling evidence of an encounter on one of the plots between a fox and a pheasant!
What appears to be pheasant feathers
Helen adds - I too have a pheasant that comes to scratch around underneath my bird feeder every day, despite being chased off by my Irish Terrier, Margot. I hear on the news that male pheasants can be quite aggressive but mine seems quite tame. Am I alone in having a 'pet' pheasant?!