On Sunday, the fields of Mudchute were taken over by busy teams of people, as they furiously hammered and sawed against the clock. It was of course the Go-Kart Grand Prix, organised in collaboration with London Play. ‘Expect the worst but prepare for the best’ was the motto of the day as tarpaulins had been strung in the trees for shelter against the rain storms, but a gentle shower during the four hour build only cooled the young carpenters down. The race heats started just as the sun came out and visitors to the farm eagerly lined the racetrack to cheer the young people on. The imagination that went into each machine gave the day a distinct similarity to Wacky Races, but luckily no dastardly foul play took place! I think everyone left feeling a winner as teams were seen slinking out of the farm, go-kart in tow and cheeks rosy from a day running up and down hills. Without bragging too much you should all know that Team Mudchute came first with the Mudchute Lol Machine! A huge thank you to London Play and all the other play organisations and families who took part. See you for the Go-Kart Grand Prix 2014!!!!

You can find the full set of photos from the day on flickr here.


A carpet of buttercups.

We begin June with lots of new greenery. The recent spell of warm weather has kickstarted new growth in both the trees and undergrowth. Much of the understory across the farm is now dominated by the white flowers of cow parsley and a wide variety of wildflowers can be spotted all across Mudchute including buttercups, ribwort plantain, cutleaf cranesbill, red campion and many more.

A tiny green Phyllobius weevil.

Warm weather and developing flora have also coaxed invertebrates of all sorts out of hibernation. The leafy understory is full of tiny beetles, flies, bugs and other invertebrates. Overhead, tender young tree leaves provide food for caterpillars, which will in turn, feed baby birds.

Many young birds will begin to leave the nest this month.

All across the farm, birds will be hurriedly carrying invertebrate prey to their nestlings. Those who began nesting early will already have youngsters beginning to fledge. You may come across young birds who are in the process of leaving the nest. If you do encounter a baby bird without its parents, keep a watchful eye, but this is likely part of the normal fledging process and the young birds should be left alone as its parents are likely searching for food and continuing to feed them. For more information, please read the following advice pages from the RSPB.

Down on the ponds, damselflies and dragonflies will also be appearing, emerging as larvae from the waters where they have overwintered to moult into winged adults. Within the ponds, tadpoles and newt larvae are growing rapidly on algae and vegetation underwater. These incredible creatures were the focus of a recent identification workshop held here at Mudchute and run by FrogLife (read more about the course here from Tower Habitats).

See more of just some of the creatures we’ve encountered and don’t forget that you can share your own finds with us via twitter, facebook or flickr!