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.
As the nation celebrates National Insect Week, we thought we’d round up some of our favourite Mudchute insects. It’s hard to choose as there are so many incredible insects that make Mudchute their home.
It’s a fantastic excuse to get outside and explore our local wildlife, whether that be out watching butterflies and grasshoppers on the fields, spotting damselflies and dragonflies on our ponds or helping take part in the Great British Bee Count. Come meet some of your wild six-legged neighbours!
And to find out more about local wild insects, you can visit our Wildlife at Mudchute flickr pool and find out more about the moths, butterflies and other minibeasts of Mudchute in these illustrated guides.
Our hardworking volunteers have been helping to transform logs and branches from felled trees into new habitats for wildlife on the farm, in the form of dead hedges and loggery. These projects will help support our resident wildlife, offering shelter to small mammals and birds, providing food and shelter to a wide range of invertebrates and even acting as a place for some of our pondlife to spend the winter. They also make excellent use of the wood which has resulted from the tree maintenance works across Mudchute. The strong winds this year have meant that we have had to remove several trees and branches to keep our open spaces safe for the public.
As these structures are made from wood, they will weather in the coming months and begin to rot down as they are eaten by minibeasts, fungi and bacteria. These creatures will in turn feed other organisms, recycling the nutrients in more ways than one. As the hedges rot down, we will top them up with additional fresh wood from any tree works, maintaining these habitats.
A big thank you goes out to our wonderful corporate volunteer groups from HSBC and Save the Children for their work in creating our dead hedge and to Standard Chartered for creating our new loggery!