Thursday, 3 March 2011

The March of Time

I've been away for two months and just returned to work today. I'm amazed at all the work that has gone on in my absence. So far I have been round the Meadow Trail and Barford Road Pocket Park. Well done to the Rangers and all our volunteers.

PATH CLOSURE: Anglian Water has a team working on the Meadow Trail at the moment. They are replacing the entire sewage pipe that runs beneath our path from the allotments to the Ouse Valley Way, between the big ditch and the Hayling Lake. This work will take about 6 weeks and the path will be closed for the entire time. We apologise for any inconvenience, especially to our regulars from the village who use this trail a lot.

Weather: Spring is definitely springing this week, despite the cold, easterly winds. Cormorants are well into their breeding season now; the pussy willows are bursting out; there are masses of snowdrops and we found frog spawn at Barford Road. I haven't seen a newt yet but guess they are about already. It won't be long until we see and hear the first chiff-chaffs of the year.

The biggest transformation in my absence has been at the Environmental Education Centre where the paths, planting and landscaping are more or less complete. The Green Team from Hunts Regional College is working daily on building a giant mammoth near the gate. Hopefully this will scare the deer off our young trees!

Our rolling programme of hedging and fencing continues, mainly to protect nightingale territories that are in danger of vanishing along the Heron Trail and the Haul Road. Muntjac and rabbits open up the brambles then people follow and, before you know it, another clump of bushes has gone. On the meadow trail where deer and rabbits are almost absent, the opposite is the case. Here, most bramble patches are expanding.

FRIENDS' AGM: The guest speaker this year is Tim Mackrill from Rutland Water. He is in charge of the Osprey Re-introduction scheme there. The meeting, which is for members only, is on Friday the 18th of March in Little Paxton Village Hall. Of course, you could join on the night!