Dr Richard Broughton from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology has been on one of his regular visits to update the bird survey. He confirmed that all the food we’ve planted from bird food mixes has been eaten. We are now entering the ‘Hungry Gap’ so we are supplementary feeding with surplus seeds left over from last year, including wheat, rape, canary seed, millet, sunflower, oats, barley and mustard.
The mild weather has resulted in an unusual amount of grass growth which has been kept under control thanks to two hundred sheep from the Adams’ family farm which came to us for a month to graze on the Honeydale hay meadow before moving on to pastures new. However we are pleased to welcome them back to graze the 35 acre Plum Tree field.
On the subject of fruit trees, Dave and Macca from the Cotswold Seeds warehouse have been guarding the final trees in the Heritage Orchard against deer, using 1.2 metre high tubes. Trees that have wider spreading growth have been guarded with mesh.
Good news for the sunnier months. We will be doubling our quantities of bee hives, when we welcome half a dozen hives from Cotswold Bees. We’re very proud that our original hives have been performing so well that Chris Wells, the regions’ top bee expert, wants to bring some of his bees to join us.