Tuesday 12th June
Well, there’s one good thing about all the rain, and that’s the fantastic start it has given to the wildflowers in Idle Valley Nature Reserve and all our hedgerows. Have you ever seen so much red campion ? (the pink flower 2 – 4 feet high) – it can really brighten your day when driving to work. The orchids are appearing around the reserve, the first two to emerge and bloom are southern marsh orchid and the rather exotic-looking bee orchid. Then we have a great mix of the old favourites, ox-eye daisy, buttercups, bright red field poppies, meadow rattle and cuckoo flower (which is great for attracting orange-tipped butterflies to your garden). Wild clary is another attractive native wildflower, and you can use the purple-blue flowers in your summer salads.
Although the recent erratic wet season has been giving our feathered friends a very difficult time with keeping nests and chicks safe, there are thousands of happy endings with every chick that makes it to adulthood and Idle Valley is full of them. It is an amazing fact to learn that nearly 80% of all birds hatch and fledge less than 2 feet above ground level. A dunnock nest had a very close escape when it was discovered just inches away from where volunteers were constructing a path between the Ecominds Garden and the Green Classroom at Idle Valley. Luckily we spotted it in time and closed off the area until they had successfully fledged.