Spring Cleaning at the Reserve
Written by: Hamish
Published: 21st April 2016
Spring is here!
Based on the weather the past week, we can only cross our fingers that Spring has finally sprung! There’s something about sunny weather that makes us feel like being extra productive and as the snow melts and rain withholds, we are finally able to begin the tedious task of Spring cleaning on the Reserves. After months of steady planting in the fall and the recent decisions of wildflower planting being made, it’s time for us to focus on giving the fauna the TLC it deserves. With the recent purchase of a strimmer, we’ll be able to work on cutting back the bracken around the trees and keeping it at bay, as well as using our newest additions to the reserve, Saddleback pigs Barker and Corbett, to keep the grounds tidy.
Clearing up the bracken
Sometimes it seems we can get so caught up in planting that the upkeep gets put off. We set ourselves high planting goals each year but realise that unless we stay on top of the maintenance, it becomes a further issue down the line. That’s why this year, we’ve decided to take a short break in planting and properly concentrate on developing the areas we’ve already planted to ensure they do not become overrun with invasive species such as bracken causing us to tear it all out and start over again. This means cleaning up the areas we’ve already planted, ensuring the areas have ample fertilization and the nourishment they need to flourish and planning rounds of cut backs before the weather gets too warm. Once the temperature starts to heat up, bracken produces spores which can be harmful to our health which means we can no longer get too close to it so making sure this is at the top of our to do list is a major priority.
Wild flower planting
As per our recent polls, we’ve made plans to get going on planting the colourful wild flowers in hopes of bringing a burst of colour to the Reserve. The big winner in the polls was the Scottish Thistle, a natural winner being the official flower of Scotland, which you can already find on the Reserve brightening up the landscape with their vibrant shades of purple and magenta. The primrose has also made a strong appearance this spring with it’s bright yellow petals shining bright like the sunshine that has brought them out. The distinct lack of rain (please don’t jinx it!) over the past few weeks have allowed many of our returning wild flowers to flourish instead of simply being washed away in the downpours. We are now starting to plant a mixture of wild flower seeds on the Reserve which include a mix of Meadow Buttercup, Field Scabious, Lady’s Bedstraw, Lesser Knapweed, Ribwort Plantain, Yarrow, Meadowsweet, Ox-eye Daisy, Red Campion, Greater Burnet and Selfheal.
Remember to check out our full list of flora and fauna on the reserve to learn more about the species that inhabit the Reserve!