June/July 2022 update

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June/July 2022 update

Beatons Wood and the Arlington Bluebell Walk

We have now calculated that the final amount raised this year, benefitting the 26 involved Charities, was £82,574. And so thoughts turn to building on this next year. The months are passing far too quickly and already the list of ideas to enhance the 2023 Walk is growing, currently two pages long!

Cleavers have now been cleared, thankfully before they seeded, so now busy removing nettles, docks, thistles, brambles and weed grasses from the Millennium Avenue and Beatons Wood, to facilitate the white wood anemones and bluebells to continue flourishing.

Judging of the Photographic Competition took place in June. All four judges agreed that this year the standard has been very high. Of course this meant picking the best images in each category was not an easy task. Each entry was judged on composition, visual appeal, technical ability, presentation and subject matter. Winners (1st and 2nd place and some highly commended) will be notified shortly. The prize-winning images will again be prominently displayed on the wall leading to the Gate House.

A new project looks set to proceed thanks to The Freshwater Habitats Trust, who contacted us recently as they are wanting to increase the population of the great crested newt (Triturus cristatus) in the area by creating and linking newt ponds. We are fortunate that this protected species has previously been spotted in our two ponds in Beatons Wood, so with an ancient pond in the far corner of a field that is adjacent to Beatons Wood, the Trust want to dig two more ponds to link the areas. They have just dug two test pits, and with the red clay very visible in the bottom I am sure that there will be no doubt that they will hold water! An exciting project if it goes ahead, as a small step to enhance the importance of Beatons Wood in protecting our wildlife.

  The last of the bluebells   Sunset through Beatons Wood  

I am fortunate that next week I am having a tour of Knepp Castle estate to see their re-wilding project, so will probably come back enthused as to how I can do more at Bates Green!

John McCutchan

 

Bates Green Garden

The Garden is now in full summer swing with much colour and texture to be found in borders, containers and the very fragrant sweet peas. There is also cool shade in which to meander and sit awhile.   Colour and Sweet Peas

 

We have had an interesting example of vivipary on an allium in the garden. This phenomenon occurs in warm moist weather which stimulates seed to germinate prematurely whilst still attached to the parent fruit. I think it looks like a bad hair day!   Vivipary

 

Saturday 2nd July was #NationalMeadowsDay and, earlier in June, our wildflower meadow was surveyed by members of the Sussex Botanical recording Society (sussexflora.org.uk) and we are delighted that 40 different species were identified and recorded. This field has been managed by John under the Field Stewardship Scheme for over 20 years. It was started by sowing a strip of yellow rattle (Rhinanthus minor) in order to encourage plant diversity. This semi-parasitic plant feeds off nutrients in the roots of grasses, reducing them in number and allowing more delicate species to thrive.

Conservation Meadow

The meadow is now cut once a year in August and then grazed by sheep until December. There is currently a path mown around the meadow to enable visitors to enjoy the sights and sounds of a traditional wildflower meadow. If you listen carefully towards the end of July you will hear the tiny seeds of the Rhinanthus minor rattling in their brown seed pods - hence the name yellow rattle.   Yellow Rattle Seedpods

 

If you’re interested in the plants identified in our meadow, you can download the current list from batesgreengarden.co.uk/downloads.html

Emma Reece - Head Gardener

You can book a visit to Bates Green Garden at www.batesgreengarden.co.uk

 

 

This message was added on Thursday 7th July 2022


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