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Sowing the first seed for the Naturetale RF meadow trial – now we truly are up and running

We had intended to cultivate the appropriate plots and sow the seed in early November.  But Duncan felt that the soil at the trial site, which is very clayey, was too dry to form an acceptable tilth.  He was worried that it would remain in clods.  So we agreed to wait until some rain had fallen.  Luckily we did not have to wait for too long, and so we agreed to do it on 18 November. Continue reading

Marking out the Naturetale Restoration Foundation meadow trial plots – sort of

About ten days before we planned to cultivate the plots and sow the seed I met Duncan, our contractor, at the trial site to mark out the plots.  Armed with a measuring wheel, a very long tape measure, lots of stakes and a thumper, we planned our strategy.  Or, rather, Duncan did. Here he is, working out his cunning plan. Continue reading

The Naturetale Restoration Foundation moves to the next stage – Charity Commission registration!

So the really big news from the world of Naturetale this week is that, far quicker than expected, we’ve received an e-mail from the Charity Commission to say that the Naturetale Restoration Foundation (NRF) has successfully registered as a bone fide charity, with merit.  Its registration number is 1166077, and here is our certificate to prove it. Continue reading

Time stands still in Hillhouse Wood – frustratingly

Down here in north east Essex my least favourite weather is when we get a low to the east, which produced cold and cloudy dull conditions.  These can last for days, or even weeks, and are mainly experienced in spring. We’ve had one for the last week, so unsurprisingly very little had progressed in Hillhouse Wood. Continue reading

Breaking my back for Turtle Doves

Apparently Essex and Suffolk now hold around a third of the (dwindling) UK population of Turtle Doves.  So action to help them around here makes good sense, which is why the RSPB has set up a project to do so.  A week ago an opportunity to do this arose on a military base in the middle of Essex (if I tell you where, I shall have to kill myself).  Continue reading

My first Track a Tree field work visit – needless to say things did not go as expected. (Final) Part 4

And so on to my final target, the Oaks.  At least these were still where I remembered them, although large Oaks are difficult to miss. Continue reading

Have you ever thought about how birds eat berries? No? Then read on for some fascinating stuff!

All of us will have seen Blackbirds and other birds eating berries.  They sit there and gulp the fruit down: end of story.  Except that, actually, it’s not.  Studies (see below) have shown that berry eating birds vary in how they take the fruit, how successful they are at doing so, and how able they are to swallow it.  As a consequence different species of birds vary in which species of berries they eat, and how good they are at doing it. Continue reading