Hello! It’s been a while since the eclipse and I think I’ve fallen into the trap of starting to write a blog about something, and then something else happens so I’ll wait to include that and it’s snowballed a bit. So here’s a roundup of what we’ve been up to.
As many people will have noticed the grazing enclosure is now being grazed. Before the animals went out there we were repairing the perimeter fence and that is as good an excuse as any to just be out in Ashdown Forest and no, these aren’t a little flotilla of flying saucers that have crashed into a willow, but a kind of staircase of bracket fungus sp. Actually, I should point out that sp. is sort for species, so bracket fungus sp. is a way of saying it’s a type of bracket fungus but I don’t know which one.
Other wildlife interest I’ve seen around, apart from finally seeing my first Ashdown Forest Dartford Warbler (and how I went for over a year on the Forest without seeing one I will never know but now I have seen one I don’t care anymore), is this heathland specialist Green Tiger Beetle; considering how flighty these things are I am very pleased with getting this photo! The best place to see these is on the bare sand of the fire breaks.
Going back to grazing for a moment, we have also been putting up fencing for our own Hebridean Sheep and here they are going out on to what we refer to as Arden’s Valley near Nutley.
Hebridean Sheep do a fantastic job of grazing down Silver Birch and within minutes of them being let out at Arden’s they head straight for little Silver Birch!
It’s also been lambing season and here is one of our sweet, cute, woolly, cute and sweetly woolly lambs. This is in its pen still with its mother and when I took this photo it was about a day old.
Coming up in our world will be the ‘Forest Wide Litter Pick’, so that means litter picking all the road verges in Ashdown Forest. Going into that, it’s worth remembering why we’re doing it, which is for the benefit of the Forest and wildlife such as this Hobby! Hobbies are a pretty regular sight during the summer, with the flying skill to catch dragonflies and small birds on the wing. You’re looking for something that looks like a big Swift, very sharp wings and (I’ve just thought of this) like a boomerang that looks like it knows what it’s doing!