Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Life on the Margins

It's amazing what you can find while having a quiet wander along the side of the beautiful flower margins on the top of Bredon Hill at the moment.  Many are situated along side public rights of way so there's no need to trample across farmland to view them.  They are created by cultivating the soil to stimulate the wild seeds to grow that have been dormant in the soil for many years.  But the wild flowers are only part of the benefits, the flowers also encourage millions of insects that in turn provide valuable feed for young farmland birds.

The list of spices very evident is long, from bumblebees, butterflies, hoverflies, beetles and other pollinator species.  There were also many insect feeding birds such as Skylarks, Yellow Hammers, Goldfinches Meadow Pipits and Linnets, all feeding in the margins and carrying the feed out into the fields or up into neighbouring trees or hedges, where their nests are located.  You may have seen the small bare patches that have no crop in them which provide landing areas for Skylark and today they were singing with joy, that the sun had finally appeared!
Not all of the margins are this successful; in other margins we have had to mow the margin to stop the weed seeds from becoming fertile and adding to the weed seed bank, which is necessary for the long term benefit of the strip.  We hope that you enjoy walking on the hill and looking at what nature is providing and in order to enhance the benefit please do not let your dogs disturb the birds busily collecting feed for their young, by keeping them under very close control or ideally on a lead.