An invasion


We have been invaded again. Last year it was the ladybirds which loved our warm walls. This time it is the long-tailed tits. There are only two of the little birds and they had been collecting cobwebs for their nest, now that seems to have finished but the birds will not leave us.

They are there on the windowsills looking in. It gets a bit unnerving to have these little creatures staring at me as I eat my breakfast. They move from room to room on the south side outside windows. I cannot see cobwebs in their beaks this time, but I think that they may be catching little flies, they sit still for a while then fly up just under the wisteria then fly down again. I have decided to sit back and enjoy this invasion of wildlife whilst it lasts.

Of course, we all want to encourage nature and ‘No mow May’ is one way to do this. The National Trust and wildlife organisations are encouraging us to leave our lawns alone for a month. My friend did this last year and she liked it so much that she extended it to June. All sorts of flowers came up. Her lawn was a mass of dandelions, daisies, buttercups and clover. The bees and butterflies came in abundance but eventually the lawn was mowed again. At least it was a boost for wildlife whist it lasted.

Just down the road here I have been watching a massive clearing of land for a new development. The Highways encouraged the care of wildlife when they undertook these road works creating a double roundabout. Between the two new roads there is now a new pond. I suppose it is for the frogs, toads and newts. But where will the wildlife go in their lifetime? They cannot escape and I am not sure that you can put a ring fence around a patch of wildlife and hope that it thrives.

We have three fields around our house bursting with creatures most of the time. Oak Meadow and Goose Bottom are cut for hay in September by a local farmer. Hopefully most of the wildlife is underground as eggs, larvae, or chrysalises or in the long grass near the hedge. But they can only live here, our boundaries are ‘no go’ areas of cultivated fields and a road. I think we need wildlife corridors – wild routes for creatures on the move.

Mind you it can get to be a bit much. I was looking forward to my first juicy red strawberry of the season today, only to find that the blackbirds had got there before me!

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)


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