Recently our “green champion” volunteers had a visit from Alice of Buglife at the “Covers” fields in College Road which is currently occupied by sparrows delighting in the meadow for food and cover! You can read more about the project in the lovely new noticeboards that have been installed here, and in the Martello field, funded by the “Ouse Valley Climate Action” lottery fund.
Alice was there to share information about insects so we started off using some sweep nets to brush through the lovely long vegetation coming up in the smaller field. Lots of small bugs were soon found, and other insects including hoverflies, honey bees and bumble bees. We were also delighted to catch a Green veined white butterfly (our first recording of this butterfly here!). The group then moved over to the larger field, which is quite different with some finer grasses and flowers such as bird’s foot trefoil.
It’s great that there are some pollinator plants coming up for the insects to nectar on, but Alice was also keen to talk to us about insect habitats. We were keen to hear how we could potentially improve the habitat for insects. “On the Verge” were keen to trial Buglife’s new assessment forms to help focus on what already exists, and what is missing.
We hope this method will help us in other green spaces too.
All ideas will of course need to be agreed with the council, and some will need funding. The ideas we came up with included:
We all left enthused about the site, and the icing on the cake for Alice and Sarah, was spotting some orchids emerging on the site as they left!
What wonders appear when the grass cutting stops! Watch this space to see what happens next. If you live near this space and would like to help with this project, please let us know.