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Ivy Clearing by Donibristle P7 pupils

Ivy is a useful plant for wildlife, the flowers in October/November are a great bonus for late flying insects, but when it carpets the woodland floor it smothers most other plant-life. We already knew from some clearing that had been done in by Blair and Joy 2014 that if the ground cover is removed a range of woodland flowers will germinate from seeds that have lain dormant in the soil. Ivy covered bank before clearing The reward of flowers from dormant seed The Sunday Work Part cleared the area of brambles and other snags so that the children could get a good start on the clearing work Monday was fine, the work area was sheltered from the cold wind, and all was ready for the Donibristle P

Wildflower area: Preparing for Spring

Appropriate perhaps for Remembrance Sunday, we spent a couple of hours today strimming and clearing the summer growth from the wildflower area where each year we have managed to provide a show of scarlet poppies. While most of the wildflowers now are perennials, there are areas where seeds of the cornfield annuals are sown. This ensures that in addition to the poppies we also have the gold of corn marigold and the blue of cornflowers to brighten the view for passers-by. Appropriately, Cornflower are also flowers of remembrance for the French. Strimming and removing the summer’s growth means that the overwintering clumps of grass do not smother the shoots of our perennial wild flowers and hel

Autumn Moths

When the word “moth” is mentioned, most people think immediately of holes in precious woollen clothing or carpets. But the clothes or carpet moths are but a tiny proportion of the over 2,000 moth species recorded from the UK and there are several of these moths to be found around our woodlands and gardens. Unlike their conspicuous cousins the butterflies, most moths only fly at night and so remain unseen by the majority of us. They are however of great ecological significance. The adult moths, and more especially their caterpillars, are the food for many of the small birds that we enjoy seeing visiting our gardens, as well as insect eating mammals like shrews and hedgehogs. Thanks to an

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