Updates – Blog

Friends information evening – Wednesday 27th July 22, 6.30 – 7.30 display of photos and artefacts, info about things such as benches, steps and habitat on Paddock Mound in the past and future plans.

Come and find out more, and share your ideas with other friends.

The current friends committee will hold the AGM at 7.30 after the opportunity to browse and chat. Everyone is welcome.

Orchid count at Lodge Field and The Beeches LNR – maybe we’ll be counting orchids at {addock Mound one day! John Box has invited people to help with the Orchid count on Sunday 26th June – see his message below.

Hi – You are most welcome to come and join the orchid counts at Lodge Field and at The Beeches on Sunday 26 June. This is great fun and easy to do and we expect lots of common spotted orchids. So ask your friends and family to come along as well. Everyone and all ages are welcome to join in. The more people we have, the more fun it is. No specialist botanical knowledge is required at all.

We will start on Lodge Field at 10 am on Sunday 26 JuneMeet on the path from the entrance from Hodge Bower that goes up the slope to the bench and comes down the slope past the viewpoint bench from the entrance from Lincoln Hill. Wear stout footwear and bring a shower-proof jacket. We are expecting about 3,500 common spotted orchids on Lodge Field and we will have finished by about 12 o’clock. Then it’s on to The Beeches which is close nearby to count the orchids on their fields (should be around 350 orchids). All the counting should be done by about 1 pm. You are welcome to come and join in at any time. Don’t feel you have to count the orchids at both sites. Stay for as long as you like.

I’ve attached a photo of the orchid count from last year for those who have not been before. Each person holds a knot in a long piece of string with knots 1.5 m apart. Each person will be about one metre from those on either side.

The leaflet for both sites is attached showing the access points for Lodge Field and for The Beeches. The postcode for satnavs for Lodge Field is TF8 7QD and for The Beeches is TF8 7PA for those not familiar with the two sites – and for your families and friends. There is extremely limited parking on the nearby roads.

Attached are charts showing the annual increases in the number of orchids on Lodge Field and on The Beeches since the species-rich meadows started to be managed for their biodiversity and wildflowers. The technique involves cutting and removing the grasses annually in August in order to maintain the low soil fertility that encourages wildflowers rather than coarse grasses. Many of you have been helping do these counts over the years and I hope you can all come again this year.

                                 Paddock Pals

During each of the last few months pals mornings, the focus has been on improving the top meadow The aim of managing this grassland is to improve the number of species of flowers, which in turn should increase bug life etc. etc.

We’re starting with collecting yellow rattle seed from the flowers already present, to which we added some purchased seed. This plant, whichis a lovely native flower in ts own right, also weakens the roots of very strong grasses – allowing other wild flower seeds to have more chance to become established.

Maybe before too many more seasons, we’ll be able to undertake an orchid count. We’ll hope to do this every year, and will maybe have the sort of success that other LNRs have had. See the report on the fantastic increase in orchid numbers at The Beeches and Lodge Field described by John Box on our Links page. We’re starting with collecting yellow rattle seed from the flowers already present, to which we added some purchased seed. This plant, whichis a lovely native flower in ts own right, also weakens the roots of very strong grasses – allowing other wild flower seeds to have more chance to become established.

We’ve also kept a general eye on the condition of paths – cutting back overhanging branches and nettles etc. Also, to help the heather patches on the upper slopes to regenerate, as t’s a fairly rare area of acid heathland, we keep the gorse from encroaching. The broom at the edges of the top meadow has also become too strong and invasive, so again we keep it cut back, though bosth gorse and broom have their place for their lovely flowers and insect life.

See full details of the things we’ll be checking on and doing, on the Risk assessment page. This has to be done so that the site owners – Telford and Wrekin Council – who support us, are up to date with tasks, and their insurance covers the pals when we undertake any agreed tasks.

01/06/2022
Thanks to those who help the pals on the first Sunday and Third Thursday of each month.

An invitation to join us – Next chance to join the Pals is Sunday June 5th

We will be meeting outside the Garden of Rest, Red Lees at 10am weather permitting. You don’t have to be there at ten, just look out for us anytime 10- 12.

It is very important that we continue to socially distance and wear our own gloves.

Published by paddockmound

Committee member, friends of Ketley Paddock Mound

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