Sustainability with Lucy November 2021

Sustainability with Lucy November 2021

Between the pond and the new area of gorse bushes, this month has been rife with opportunities for planting and transplanting. I planted some wildseed in random areas between the layers of turf that had been laid out around the banks of the pond. As mentioned last month, the ponds have been filling up and the remaining exposed dirt will be planted with flag irises from other ponds in the area soon. These plants will help treat the water as flag irises soak up macronutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus through its roots. We’re looking to add vegetation in a way that doesn’t look manmade- ideally, we plant a few things here and there and let nature do the rest, spreading the plants where it can.

We’ve been planting gorse bushes in Warsett- these areas used to be managed turf, but the area lacked biodiversity. Gorse bushes make particularly good homes for bird species such as yellowhammers, linnets and stonechats and the flowers on gorse bushes provide plenty of nectar for bees and butterflies. We’re helping the area return to nature by transplanting the small gorse growing around other established gorse shrubs. We’ve placed the small gorse bushes with enough space in between so their roots have space to anchor into the new soil. Gorse grows very slowly (about 15-30cm per year) so it’ll take more than a few months to see results, but ideally the gorse will fill in the gaps and look attractive for this area of the golf course.

Since last month’s post, particularly the section regarding the survival of the barn owl chicks, some people have raised concerns about leaving the owls to fend for themselves over the winter period and have suggested hand rearing them to ensure their safety. As nice as it would be to care for the owls with a more hands-on approach, there’s a lot of risk to doing it. Owls can imprint on humans and rely on us for food and shelter, but we just want to give owls more convenient nesting spaces to raise their own young. Owls need to maintain their ability to hunt for themselves and when they are looked after by people, they can lose their independence in the wild.

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