Thursday April 23rd 2015
Rose and I working ie volunteering at school this morning-I began by filling the bird feeders +sorting the bird food ready for next week
Rose arrived in time to help with replanting a recently planted ragged robin wildflower near the pond-wondering if a badger had dug it out?
We also planted a couple of self seeded holly saplings on the slope below the shed-ground very hard and dry so lots of water needed!
Our next job was at the front of school where we did lots of weeding and watering -the daffodils have been looking even better this year especially in the small bed in the car park
In the school wildlife area noticed we have first pink flowered native cranesbills coming into bloom also lots of purple flowered honesty growing near the shed plus ground ivy wildflowers flowering just below the lower main path near the ash trees
Monday April 20th 2015
Welcome back Colin after a 7 week holiday-he arrived in time to help me with filling bird feeders around our school wildlife area
After sorting the bird food ready for our next session on Thursday Colin connected the hose pipe and filled the cans and water butts whilst I took at least 16 watering cans around our project site watering newly planted wildflowers +various planted pots
Cath arrived to join our team she went off to dig up more cuckoo flowers from the grassy area around the fruit trees by the playground whilst Colin and I moved the large sheet of plastic down just past the outdoor classroom seating area-Colin raked the earth where the plastic had been and we scattered native foxglove,poppies and assorted wildflower seeds on the earth-later watered in by Colin
NB large slow worm ie legless lizard found under the plastic sheeting-I took it up to the nursery for the staff to show the children-then later returned it back to under the plastic
After our coffee break all 3 of us carried down 9 wooden pallets into the wildlife area -they are stored near the pond ready to make more compost bins asap
Finally we transplanted lots of cuckoo flowers which Cath had dug up they were also watered in after planting on the grassy area just above the lower path near the ash trees
Not much time for bird watching this morning however the usual blackbirds and robins etc were around plus numerous speckled wood butterflies
Thursday April 16th 2015
Began morning work session by filling the bird feeders around our project site ie the school wildlife area-birds eating less of our bird food now that there are lots more insects,caterpillars etc around
Rose arrived in time to help me with sorting the bird food ready for next week
I had bought 6 more pots of wildflower plants-cornflower/teasel/clary/yellow toadflax/camomile daisy and ragged robin-which I planted and watered whilst Rose was busy re planting lots more foxglove plants which I have brought from my garden
After a coffee break we spent the rest of our time digging up and pulling out more alexanders which were growing below and behind the shed
Lots of bumble bees and speckled wood butterflies seen this morning-also noticed the lovely tiny bright pink flowers in the shiny leaved native cranesbill
Just before we left a group of children came into the wildlife area wearing gloves and collecting nettles to make a liquid feed for their fruit and veg plants in the raised beds growing area by the classrooms-needless to say several children got nettle stings and asked if we had dock leaves-which I found for them!!!
Monday April 13th 2015
First job as usual was filling all the bird feeders around the school wildlife area then sorting the bird food ready in the shed for Thursday’s work session
Next I planted more wildflower plants just below the far steps -red flowering clover,buttercups and 2 other native wildflowers from my garden
I also scattered red poppy seeds around the wildlife area -should have done it weeks ago as it was difficult this morning to find some bare earth!
Cath arrived around 10am she had a walk around our project site whilst I gathered tools etc ready for our next job at the front of school
We weeded and watered the flower bed nearest the school kitchen-it’s looking very colourful with wallflowers,primulas,grape hyacinth, violas, daffodils etc all in bloom
We also watered the 2 wooden planters and all the flower pots +the small flower bed by the bin store-wooden planters +small bed also weeded
NB just leaving 2 more beds at front of school to be weeded asap
In the wildlife area we saw a grey squirrel,bumble bee,speckled wood butterflies+robins and blackbirds
NB on the way home I gathered leaves from the cuckoo flowers on the grassy area near the playground-have laid them on damp compost in pots at home in a bid to grow more plants for our school wildlife area
Thursday April 9th 2015
At school just after 8.30am began by filling bird feeders-Rose arrived to help me at around 9am
After sorting bird food ready for next week I transplanted a dozen or more foxglove seedlings from my garden-have planted them at either side of the path near the pallet compost bin
Rose helped me water them in + she watered the foxgloves and other wildflowers we’d recently planted around our school wildlife area project site
Noticed we have more than 100 fritillaries in flower which are attracting lots of pollen seeking bumble bees-also saw we have cherry and plum blossom plus leaves opening on lots of trees including hazel,horsechestnut etc
A few butterflies also seen today in the wildlife area alas to far away to identify!
Collared doves,woodpigeons,blackbirds,robins,blue tits etc seen plus also lots of bird song heard this morning
After a coffee break Rose and I watered the plants outside the nursery,the nearby seat planter and all the fruit trees on the grassy slope by the playground
Rose pruned back the unwanted growth coming from the root stock stems on a couple of the fruit trees whilst I was busy digging up a bucket load of cuckoo flowers(food plant of the orange tipped butterfly)and a few fox and cubs seedlings from near the fruit trees-have replanted these wildflowers in the school wildlife area
NB want to rescue/transplant more cuckoo flowers +fox and cub seedlings asap before someone cuts the grass around the fruit trees-might try growing more cuckoo flowers by picking some leaves and laying them on trays of damp compost till they send out roots and make new plants..
Thursday April 2nd 2015
Just Rose and I working this morning in school wildlife area -began as usual by filling all the various bird feeders in and around our project site then we sorted the bird food ready for next time
Second job was planting more wildflower plants ie fox and cubs, selfheal, foxgloves, knapweeds and teasels-we added them to the grassy area in front of the wildlife pond fence-all new plants +the nearby potted roses were then watered
After our coffee break Rose and I set to doing more weeding out of alexanders at the bottom of the slope below the shed-lots more to remove before they flower and set seed everywhere…
New flowers in bloom spotted this morning included three cornered leeks/garlic,bluebells and dog violets
Lots of birds seen and heard ie wren,magpie,dunnock,great tits,wood pigeons,collared doves,chaffinch,robins and blackbirds
Thursday March 26th 2015
Began by filling bird feeders-put out extra food as not in next Monday-Rose arrived to help me sort food for next session on Thursday next week
First gardening job was planting and watering in more wild foxgloves plants (from my garden) which are now near the new daffodils below the far steps
Time for a coffee break then off to do more weeding-I was busy weeding out nettles from the slope below the shed and the main grassy area between the 2 paths whilst Rose was busy weeding out alexanders +pruning brambles from the native hedge near the wildlife pond
Mike from the learning centre came down to chat -the workshop he planned in the wildlife area for parents and toddlers today has been postponed till after Easter – date yet to be confirmed
Children and parents from Mr Ball’s class (after morning break) came down into the wildlife area with Woodland Trust print offs re looking for signs of Spring ie primroses,snowdrops etc
NB the snowdrop flowers are now over and the frogspawn in the neighbours pond appears to have hatched!
Finally Rose’s husband Brian came with tools to put a new padlock fitting on the other pond gate for us
Lots of birdsong heard this morning also lovely colourful display of almond tree blossom,snowflakes, primroes,daffodilds,scillas etc