A few years ago and around May last year; I visited the Frankley Beeches woodland. I noticed it was being ill-managed and not really being cared for.
I have grown up with this remarkable wood, as my local landmark for 30 years (my entire life), and despite it looking lovely on the outside, it unfortunately is not the same on the inside!
Research concluded that it is the National Trust that haven’t been doing (their job) anything with it for years, and Bromsgrove District Council cannot have cared much either…
When I visited it last, it was in much need of restoration & conservation, within the wood there are dead & damaged trees, plus rubbish & disturbed soil from its careless visitors. The anthropogenic effect on the woodland is very much the same to this day!
I recently did a Tweet, tagging in those who it concerns and may care about the Frankley Beeches, and yesterday (01.09.2020) I visited there and made this video:
Today (02.09.2020) the National Trust in the Midlands got back to me on Twitter:
“…thank you for raising your concerns with us. I’m pleased to hear that you have seen a difference to the site. Unfortunately, like many places, we only have a small team who can complete essential tasks right now but we will make sure to take on your feedback when we update the conservation management plan. We did not put in place the plastic tree guards, but I have let the team at Clent Hills know that they are now littered around…”
So it’s the Clent Team who (are to blame) haven’t been doing anything for years, until fairly recently 🤔 I am pleased they finally replied to me, as a few years ago, I emailed them and was ignored!
Sorry to hear of their small team, thus causing neglect and negative knock-on effects to much cherished places…
Today I visited an Urban Organic Micro Farm, called Rea Spring Gardens – which is a short walk away. It is own and ran by a lovely, enthusiastic couple, Charlie and Ashley, who farm with wildlife and the environment in mind 🌍
In the video below, you get to see what they grow and the animals they keep! 👨🏻🌾
The now classified as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List, UK Amber and Red List species under the Birds of Conservation Concern review and as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, Eurasian Curlew are still holding on at Upton Warren in the landlocked county of Worcestershire in the West Midlands region, and they can be seen throughout autumn and winter, roosting at The Flashes most evenings.
For waders they’re large and tall, approx the size of female a Pheasant – making them the largest European wading bird. Their haunting call (‘Cur-lee’) is unmistakable – it’s one of my favourite bird calls – it can be heard from February through to July on its breeding grounds; wet grasslands, farmland, heath and moorlands. From July onwards coastal numbers start to build up and peak in January.
Curlews feed on worms, shrimps and shellfish. The largest concentrations of them are found at Morecambe Bay, the Solway Firth, the Wash and the Dee, plus, the Severn, Humber and Thames estuaries. Their greatest breeding numbers are found in north Wales, the Pennines, the southern uplands and east Highlands of Scotland and the Northern Isles.
The agricultural intensification (e.g drainage and reseeding) of upland farmland and moorland – plus the afforestation of moorland – is a big factor in the decline of their breeding population.
Despite Snowmageddon, the Beast from the East and Storm Emma, some animals will still be going about their business as usual, if you can believe it! The videos below are of what you may see if you venture out, if not, then you got to enjoy these species in detail in the comfort of your home, and maybe would have learnt a thing or two about them as well!
The weather has been inclement again, and I was off to the N.E.C later as a member of Press, to report on BBC Gardeners’ World Live. So I opted to write a wild poem; I was happy there was a break in between showers, because I was able to get out into my partner’s garden to recite my poem.
Today I helped out at Cranesbill Nursery – it’s a lovely company that sells Hardy Geraniums. ‘Cranesbill’ is the common name for a Hardy Geranium, and there were plenty of Bees buzzing around them today. Many of the varieties on the nursery are in flower at the moment, and they are fantastic for creating that rich micro-climate for wildlife in your garden. The plants are very diverse – they come from all over the world – so the good thing about them is that you can literally find one for every part of the garden, and because they come from a variety of climates, by mixing them up within your borders, you can ensure that you have flowers from very early in the growing year, until late Autumn, therefore providing a food source for wildlife for a very long period. So naturally I put a flower behind my ear. 😉
The nursery is located on a farm – just on the edge of South Staffordshire – where I observed Swallows, Skylarks, House Sparrows, baby Rabbits, Moths and Butterflies (as well as the Bees).