There are signs of spring across the farm as February comes to an end. Spring bulbs in bloom, the first blossom on trees and songbirds among the still-bare branches. This month has seen Storm Doris and a real mix of weather including snow, hail, rain and bitterly low temperatures as well as bouts of warm sunshine.
The days are getting longer and Spring is just around the corner. As we get ready for a busy Spring on the farm there are lots of subtle signs that Winter is losing its hold. We’ve spotted the first snowdrops in our coppice and bulbs are starting to peek out across the farm. Even the first cherry buds are appearing. It won’t be long until the trees fill with blossoms and new leaves. But for now, the trees are largely bare and it makes for some fantastic opportunities to spot wild birds. At the moment there are large flocks of Redwing and Starlings across the farm. What are your favourite signs of Spring?
There’s a meadow in the making on our big field. Last week the London Beekeeper’s Association planted 1200 potted wildflower plants representing 21 native species on our big field. On Friday and Saturday, volunteers first prepared the area by mowing and raking, then introduced the new plants. The team also sowed the area with the seeds of the yellow rattle (Rhinanthus minor), a species which can weaken and suppress more vigorous grasses, which should help the newly planted species.
We hope the new plants with thrive and provide excellent sources of nectar for both the honeybees at Mudchute as well as the many wild bee species living on the farm. These important pollinator species are essential not only for wild flora and fauna, but also play a vital role in producing the food we eat.
Many thanks to the all of the team at the LBKA, Tesco bags of help who funded the project and all of the volunteers who helped out including corporate volunteers from NOMURA bank, Costain, Cross Rail, Neal’s Yard Remedies Covent Garden.
To find out more about beekeeping, please visit the LBKA’s website and Facebook group. You can find out more about the important role pollinators play Save London Bees. Interested in what you can do to help bees? Find out more at http://www.lbka.org.uk/forage.html