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It has been a busy few weeks here at Mudchute, with lots of new projects forging ahead with the help of our corporate volunteer groups. Over the past two weeks we have hosted groups from AIG, Morgan Stanley, Blackrock, Barclays and Societe Generale (via East End Community).

AIG, Morgan Stanley and Society Generale helped us with new fencing for the riding arena and to create a new pony paddock opposite our riding arena, as well as helping to clear some of our many paths of the brambles and nettles which grow so quickly at this time of year. Our stables team are looking forward to being able to turn the ponies out in the new paddock. It’s proximity to the stables and riding arena mean they can also keep an eye on them to prevent any mischief!

Work has also been continuing on our community orchard thanks to volunteers as well, with a group from Barclays helping to weed around the young trees and removing some of the protective mesh now that they are becoming more established. The trees are coming along well and should continue to take shape over the coming months.

We have also begun work on a new custom cow shed. Groups from Morgan Stanley and Blackrock got stuck in preparing the foundation of the new shed, including lots of hard graft shifting aggregate! We will be continuing to work on this in the coming weeks, setting the foundation and constructing the shelter itself.

Thank you to all of our staff and volunteers and the groups who helped us get these projects underway. As a small local charity, these projects are only possible thanks to your hard graft and continued support. Could you and your team help? You can find out more about our corporate volunteering programme on our website.


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Last week we celebrated National Moth Night. The national event in recognition of moth recording is organized by Atropos and Butterfly Conservation and focused this year on woodland moths. To celebrate, we welcomed you to join us as we checked the trap on Sunday morning and meet some of Mudchute’s many moths!

Here at Mudchute, we provide valuable habitats for these creatures, supporting moths at all of the stages of their lives. Our trees and shrubs offer food for hungry caterpillars as well as places for moths to hibernate over the winter. Our blossoms and wildflowers provide food for adult moths, including migratory species who refuel on their journeys. Caterpillars and moths in turn are food for nesting birds and bats. Finding out more about the moths that live in and pass through our site will allow us to better understand the ecology of Mudchute and bigger issues such as climate change.

To trap the moths, we set up our moth trap overnight. The trap uses a very bright light to attract the moths and its shape helps to funnel the moths into the trap.

Moths as they are photographed and counted before being released

Moths as they are photographed and counted before being released

On Sunday morning we found nearly 70 moths in the trap (as well as a few beetles, flies, lacewings and a wasp)! The moths we’ve met at Mudchute come in a huge range of shapes, sizes, colours and patterns. They are all adapted to particular niches. Some hold their wings tight to appear long and narrow to hide among the grasses, others spread their wings wide and flat to lie flush against the bark of trees. The Water Veneer (Acentria ephemerella) has even evolved to live part of its life underwater! Below you can find just a few of the incredible species we’ve encountered.

All moths were released after being counted!

You can find out more about moths at Butterfly Conservation’s Moths Count website. While Britain is home to about 70 butterfly species, it is home to some 2,500 species of moths, including species which pass through the country during their migration, which includes routes from North Africa and Scandinavia! Interested in finding out more about moths at Mudchute? Get in touch via farm_office@mudchute.org to find out more about or next trapping day.


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Plums are ripening all around our goat enclosure and the fruits are attracting a host of wildlife. You’ll hear the noisy chatter of starlings and squawking of parakeets as they feed overhead on a feast of plums. Squirrels are also making the most of the fruits and you may catch a wood pigeon awkwardly trying to navigate its way through the branches. It’s a great opportunity to get a close look at some of these creatures, who might otherwise be a bit shy, including the Monk Parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus), a non-native species established locally here on the Isle of Dogs.

Juvenile starlings feed on the fallen fruits.

Juvenile starlings feed on the fallen fruits.

An adult starling plucks an unripe plum from the trees.

An adult starling plucks an unripe plum from the trees.

Monk parakeets have white cheeks and are smaller than their ring-necked cousins.

Monk parakeets have white cheeks and are smaller than their ring-necked cousins.

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