Friday, 23 September 2016

The 'Nutrient Nickers' of Tolworth

Meet Greg and Chris of Red Kites, engaged in this Poldarkian  haycut at Tolworth Court Farm Moated Manor. 

The matrix is cut by tractor, whilst the delicate areas- around the  yellow meadow ant mounds- are carefully strimmed. 

Raking and removing the hay is an essential part of the process of sequestering the nutrients before they can enrich the grassland.

If the hay is left to rot down it will  fertilise and encourage rank grassland, nettles and hemlock which will outcompete next years delicate flowers. If anyone can lend us a cow, we can greatly assist in this process.

Last week young people participating in a Duke of Edingborough Award Scheme -under the direction of the Environment Trust- extended the dead hedging, which will eventually secure the site enabling us to have grazing animals at the site.

In addition to the two Homonids were seen:
  • Two buzzards and a kestrel with a marsh harrier on passage spotted before my arrival;
  • Reptile mats yielded their usual catch of short tailed vole, pygmy shrew, wood mouse and a less usual  bank vole;
  • Last Wednesday we set up the harp trap catching four Pipistrellus bats as well as a small Myotis bat. 
  • Badgers have also been caught- but eating peanuts - on the camera traps!

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