August has arrived, bringing the summer holidays and lots of great chances to get out enjoy our fantastic wildlife. Here on the farm, fruits are beginning to ripen on both in the trees and the hedgerows. The first of the blackberries are fully ripe, with many more to join them soon and the birds have already enjoyed the first of the cherries. These will soon be followed by crabapples, plums, elderberries, hawthorn and more. The tiny acorns which appeared last month are starting to grow too, and are nearly the size of a marble now.
The farm is filled with butterflies and moths. It is already the second generation for some of the most spectacular large species such as Peacocks and Small Tortoishells, and should the good weather continue, you might also spot the migratory Red Admirals and Painted Ladies. However, if you take the time to watch, even common species such as the Small White can be fascinating, as males defend females, constantly chasing off rivals. Bees of many species are also active at this time of year, and are joined on flowering plants by hoverflies, which mimic both bees and wasps. Near the ponds you may also spot Migrant Hawker and Southern Hawker dragonflies as well as Common Darters.
August should also see the first of the returning migrant birds passing through Mudchute. We expect to see Swallows and House Martins flying, as well as species such as Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat and perhaps even a Wheatear or Whinchat. Swifts (which have been commoner than usual in the borough this year) will also be departing in early August to head back to Africa.
Love wildlife? We hope you will join us on Wednesday, August 21st for our Go Wild at Mudchute Day! Organisations from all over London will be offering activities, including a bug hunt, seed bomb activity, arts and crafts, tree climbing, home made pizza oven and a live band. Activities will include:
- Bug hunts in children’s wildlife garden (normally closed to the public but open access during the day) with the Horniman Museum and Gardens
- Seed sowing with the Women’s Environment Network
- Guided talks and walks from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets Sustainable Development Team
- Seed bombs and Urban Chicken keeping information from us at Mudchute
- Information from representatives from the People’s Trust of Endangered Species and London Wildlife Trust
We look forward to celebrating our local wildlife with you!