Devon Wildlife Trust have put together a wonderful document about beavers and their place in the environment. Click the picture to visit Devon Wildlife Trust and read the report or we do have a limited number of paper copies in the office.
…out like a lamb, or so they say about March. We are almost into the last week of the month and it’s still feeling very lion-like and the forecast is only set to get colder and wetter through the week. It’s making the reinstatement work very difficult at Ricketts Mill. A few dry days last week and some of the moisture had started to come out of the clay but now we’re back to bog and heaven knows when we will will be able to get any machinery on it. Still, having said that, the grass seeds are taking off (where the pheasants haven’t eaten them) the willows we are planting are really shooting on and there is masses of toadspawn in the big lake. We have relocated a few hollies and ashes from the mill leat to the drier bits of land around the lake, let’s hope they take, one never holds much hope for the poor ash trees though. We’ve raised the water level by about 6cm and have also fitted outfalls to two of the smaller off-line ponds to raise the level in them. A few more leaning willows and alders along the river have been cut back and the resulting brash piles are already being made use of by wildlife. All we need now is a bit of sun!
There are some other signs of spring too…
Really gratifying to see new tadpoles hatching in one of the ponds we have recently made. Toads are doing well here too but it’s saddening to see how many are being killed on the road every night. The herons too are taking their toll. They kill them but then find them unpalatable so it’s a rather tragic and pointless end.
The willows we have planted this winter are starting to come away as is the grass seed and hopefully the wildflower seeds too. This weekend saw a couple of new visitors – a pair of goosanders and the trees are alive with bird song.
Another healthy crop of Himalayan balsam is germinating. At this time of year you can really see the effects of its powerful seed projection mechanism. The old stalks are still clearly visible and the newly germinated seedlings can be spotted up to 4 metres away. Its rate of spread is quite terrifying.