Wednesday 25th November saw our annual biodiversity day take place at Hawkwood. This is an event we hold every year, celebrating and building on the awareness and habitats of the pollinators and other creatures we share the 12-acre site with.
Thankfully, the day was able to go ahead much as it always does, and to be able to bring everyone together for an afternoon of nature focus felt particularly good to do in these difficult times.
As has become the tradition, the production team, including our apprentice Emma, trainees, placements, volunteers, and course participants came together to complete tasks to the benefit of Hawkwood’s wildlife. As well as doing our bit to address the extinction crisis, this of course benefits us as organic growers too, by helping to create a healthy eco-system for pollination and pest management.
This year just over 40 people split onto 7 tasks:
- Honeybee Care – We did an inspection of our 4 bee families before starting to get them ready for winter.
- Leaf collection – We collected leaves from paths around the site to make a snug winter home for hibernating animals which in 1-2 years will become a resource for our compost mixes. This group’s activity attracted robins to feed on some of the worms that were uncovered.
- Wildlife Corridor – A section of this is cut back each year to maintain diverse habitats for the variety of species that prefer different stages of growth. Clearing a section of bramble occasionally on site has been shown to refresh the seed bank in the soil by allowing different plants to germinate and thrive for a period, in turn attracting a greater diversity of animals. This work continued at the far side of the orchard this year. A scurrying mouse was seen.
- Bird box inspection – Lots of activity in the boxes this year with orange/black feathers, tiny white eggs, spiders, beetles, a furry caterpillar, and a failed honeybee nest among the highlights found. Identifications to follow.
- Hedgehog homes – A snug new hedgehog hotel created and another well on the way to completion, as always these are sited in the cut-back section of the wildlife corridor.
- Terrace meadow – Annual maintenance completed, cut back, and bee homes repaired.
- Pond – Installation completed of our second new pond this autumn, this one near the Spring Field. The group were sung to by a grateful robin in a catkin-laden hazel. Snail/slug eggs were discovered, and life seen in the nearby snowberries.
A big thankyou to everyone that took part, shared photos and did something for the nature we share our wonderful site with.