Blue Flower

Thursday 25/5/23  When we clear the fallen river wall we need to drive a digger across the blacksmiths shop to the river bank to remove rubble from the river, so we need to cover the blacksmiths area with soil to give level access. Fred already filled the tractor trailer with soil, so I took it to the mill and tipped it in the blacksmiths area. Emma, Eddie and I spread it out and covered most of the area, we will need one more load of soil to finish it. 

The blacksmiths area has deteriorated badly since uncovering it in 2016, so we will leave it covered to preserve the remains. Part of the forge will still be visible above ground and photos of the area when first uncovered will be displayed in the visitor centre. A sign with pictures has already been made for open days.

Emma made us tea which we had in the wagon and we tried our new biscuits, Emma had three stuck together which looked like Mickey Mouse. We watched the nest cameras, there are still two Jackdaw chicks and at least four Great Tits have hatched, they were all being fed regularly. 

Eddie brought the mower and cut all the grass, then strimmed around the features. Emma brought my mitre saw and some wood I got for making a table, then weeded and strimmed the gardens including the corner around the Ash tree which Beryl gave us. I watered the Cherry tree and plants.

Emma had to leave early but Eddie and I had lunch outside watching Goldfinches using the new Cherry tree as a landing post, before going across to the Nyger feeder which Eddie had just taken apart, cleaned and refilled. 

In the afternoon we made a table from the wood and my old garden table top. I cut four legs and two cross pieces which we fitted to the table top. Eddie and I tested it by having coffee and biscuits at the new table. The picnic bench will be going to the wildflower meadow soon, so the new table will replace it on the lawn.

Thursday 1/6/23 A Red Kite was flying overhead when we arrived and our meadow is flowering well and looks beautiful with many Poppies, Cornflowers and vast amounts of Corn Chamomile. We agreed it was worth all the effort of making it to see the results. There were lots of Bees on the flowers. I have added the latest pictures to the wildflower meadow gallery.

I strimmed the top of the river bank and planted a Lollipop plant (Common Bistort) which I brought today, they like wet conditions, spread well and attract Bees, I watered it, then watered the Lupins, other plants and small trees. Ryan cut all the grass on the upstream river bank with the push mower.

Eddie went across the footbridge and painted the bench on the Nar Valley Way, he rubbed it down last October but could not paint it in Winter. We painted benches in Narborough Churchyard in 2021 at the request of Monica, who said we could keep the left over paint for the mill, which is what we used.

Ryan and I went to collect more logs from the fallen tree across the track, when we got back Ryan cut them up for the woodburner using the saw horse, this was the first time it had been used. Ryan lit the fire today as it was quite cold and he wanted to heat his sausage roll in the oven above the fire.

When I took a Wet Paint sign over to Eddie for the bench, I could see the wildflower meadow from across the river, so walkers will be able to see it from the footpath. The tall nest box in a tree near the bench was in use, as I could see nesting material sticking out of the holes at the bottom, we had removed this next box from the shed as we thought it was more likely to be used in a tree.

Blue Tits are nesting in one of the Sparrow terraces on the back of the visitor centre, I saw one come out when we put the saw horse back. Ryan noticed a rake in the stream which I managed to hook out with the pole pruner, the handle is broken but we will replace it and use it. There was a Hare in the field behind the visitor centre.

My last job was pulling up some of the Corn Chamomile from the wildflower meadow as maintenance involves thinning out dominant species to give others more chance. Ryan cleared away the uprooted plants and tipped them in the compost bay. Ryan also mowed the grass and nettles around the compost bay.

Graham Bartlett  

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