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Scarlet Tiger Project Winter Update

Another fine day for our latest work party on Roman Road last Friday.  The original plan was to work on the area near the gate where we have planted various wild flowers and broom bushes in the past.  However we had to change direction in view of the work currently being carried out there to repair the wall.

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Work has also been carried out by the junction with Westwood Avenue where gas pipework has been replaced.  This means that the undergrowth has been removed, so we decided to take advantage of this and further dig over the area ready for sowing with wild flower seeds.  As in many spots along the bridle path, this is overshadowed by a sycamore tree but beneath the boughs is a variety of plants, many the result of domestic discards and planting by local residents.  There is a lovely patch of celandine which should soon be flowering and plenty of garlic mustard.

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The sun brought out several 7 spot ladybirds and we disturbed a couple of frogs amongst the dead leaves.

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We regularly find frogs during our work parties – a testament to the many garden ponds in the area.  At this time of year they will be stirring in preparation for the frantic mating season.

Another task was to check the bird boxes we erected last spring.  We didn’t really expect that any would have been inhabited but one of the 4 had a beautiful blue tit nest, full of interwoven moss and feathers.

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Blue tit nest with an egg that didn’t hatch.

Unfortunately the work on repairing the sandstone wall has also disrupted the wild flower area.  The broom is just about surviving and the patches nearest the gate should make it but we may have lost some of the plants.  However, in the long term, the work carried out should be an improvement – the sycamores have been cut down (does anyone have a good word for sycamores?) and the coarse grassy area has been completely dug over.  Thus our task next month will be to sow wild flower seeds – we are planning on a showy mix but with good ‘longer term’ content – i.e. bird’s foot trefoil and yellow rattle in amongst a meadow flower mix.

Looking forward to frog spawn and tiger caterpillars!

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Beautiful fungus decorating a decaying branch.

 

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