Stop the culls

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/165672

 

The news came yesterday that the government plans to continue and extend the badger culls into new counties. They have already taken place in Somerset and Gloucestershire since 2013 and in Dorset last year. The aim of the culls is to tackle bovine TB. Bovine TB is a serious issue for cattle farmers it affects thousands of farms and tens of thousands of cattle are culled each year as a result of it. There is a push to develop and approve vaccines for Bovine TB to vaccinate badgers and the cattle. However due to the expense and time this will take the culling option has been put forward as the main way of tackling the problem.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-37220043

So the culls have been going ahead which so far has been a very costly procedure.

A quick look at the figures:

2015 round of badger culling

Licensed culls in West Somerset, West Gloucestershire and Dorset

1,467

badgers culled in 2015

£1,779,000

total “badger control costs” for the year

  • £1,212.68 equivalent per badger culled
  • 743 badgers culled by “controlled shooting”
  • 724 badgers culled by cage trapping

Hedgehog feeding

As part of my RSPB home for nature plan I was set the task of opening a hedgehog cafe.

 

Details of here: https://ww2.rspb.org.uk/makeahomeforwildlife/givenatureahomeinyourgarden/gardenactivities/openahedgehogcafe/

I haven’t set up the box station yet, but got a feeding tray and water tray ready next to the hedgehog home.

 

For those who have been following the blog you’ll of seen my highways and byways have had some success getting a hedgehogs into the garden.

Last night I had some of the busiest activity from my hedgehog visitor. I got some of the best footage on the trail cam. Then with Alice rising early for a morning feed at 4 I actually got to see the hedgehog this morning shuffling around the garden rather than just on the trail cam.

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Horse and hound

Today me and Alice went out for a walk around town. We found a horse and dog show going on in the park.

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Alice didn’t seem too bothered for horses. She fell asleep on seeing one. At least I know she won’t be asking for a pony for Christmas any time soon.

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We only saw the horse show which was a suitably equestrian affair. Rosettes being presented by women in dowdy dresses and wide brimmed hats. The dog show I can only imagine is more of a wrestling match with last dog standing. There were dogs snarling at each other, straining on their leads, circling in the ring. I reckon any dog that makes it to the end of the afternoon is a winner.

There were a few stalls around the show. I picked up a nice pot of heather. Should look and smell nice potted on the patio. Along with adding to the pollen selection available to the insect life in the garden.

On the way home we went by the seafront. It was a nice day with a good view of Flamborough.

I spotted three butterfly species along the coastal path: tortoiseshell, red admiral and speckled wood.

Linked to my trip to the park the government are looking at how our parks are used. This is a chance to share one way you gain access to nature. It’s just a quick questionnaire. The more people who fill it in the better.

http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/HO3PU/

 

Highways and Byways continued

Now I have internet again I’m going to be working on catching up on some updates to bring my progress on my new garden up to date. Further proof that the hedgehole hole works built as part of my highways and biways. Just a small hole makes a difference.

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And video evidence

A morning stroll

This morning me and Alice took a stroll out to let Amy get some more rest. We headed out across town to Hornsea Mere. Alice has been fascinated the last week any time we go under the shade of trees her head darts about looking at the branches excitedly. As we came along the path to the mere she had the double excitement of branches and bird song.

 

The mere was looking stunning this morning with the sun reflecting off the water. Beautiful blue sky and a slight breeze.

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A great variety of ducks, geese and seabirds were resting in the sun. I’m going to need to work on my identification skills seeing a greater variety. I can pick out the mute swan, the canada goose, but too many of the others are just duck currently. There are also lots of faster moving smaller birds which I think are sand martins, but my lens isn’t able to take a decent photo at the distance.

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The waters edge has some lovely wild flowers keeping the bees happy.

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We then walked home back along a section of the Trans Penine trail along the old railway track and seafront. Not too bad for a gentle morning stroll.

 

Hornsea

I have made the move to the new house. We have no internet for a few weeks so posts will be fewer. Me and Alice made it out for a walk in a break from unpacking. Lots of butterflies and wild poppies. I’ve got the materials for bug hotel so hopefully add that to the garden next week.

Home for nature-Hedgehog home

I wanted to see if it anything had come into through the new highway before I move into the new house properly. So I set up the trail cam to run over Thursday night. I’m glad to report the trail cam met success.

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I had been concerned about what birdlife I might get in the garden with the seagulls dominating the rooftops. Yesterday I saw a few starting to come into the feeder. Pigeons have settled in and a swarm of starlings.

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Last child in the woods

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I finished reading Richard Louv-Last child in the woods. It has been quite a long time reading as new borns slow down your reading rate, but well worth the time. Louv looks at how American children have become detached from nature. The first edition was published in 2005 and has been revised since While examining Americans it is just as relevant to the UK. The book examines different reasons children are becoming detached such as law suit culture, screen time, parental fears. He covers hope the future in ways we can make sure our future generations reconnect to nature. The book finishes with suggestions of what you can do for different groups: children, schools, etc. This addition has been written for the UK edition on Kindle to name UK organisations where relevant. An excellent read for any parents or nature lovers.

The theme of the book is only becoming more important as climate change continues to threaten. With many native species under threat in the UK there are many concerns for the future if children don’t care. I’m glad to say many UK organisations are recognising the disconnection of children. Without the engagement of children these organisations will slowly die. The RSPB home for nature, the woodland trusts tree party, the wildlife trusts 30 days of wild are all excellent examples of how we can promote nature.

I’ve moved onto foxes unearthed by Lucy Jones examining the love hate relationship of foxes in the UK. I’ve read the first chapter so far covering some of the history of foxes in literature and the history of hunts in the UK. Quite gripped so far.

Start a wildflower meadow

Continuing my RSPB home for nature plan I have set aside an area in the front garden for a wildflower meadow. Wildflowers creates a feast for bees, butterflies and other insects. From that it gives the birds another supply of food. There also very attractive looking.

RSPB link

The patch chosen is a little strip alongside the front path. It had nothing growing of any major use. A couple of dandelions, but no great variety for attracting insect life.

I started by turning over the soil and taking out the couple of dandelions.

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I broke up the soil to make it finer. Wildflower mix will generally find a way to grow, but might as well make it easier to take.

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I added a thin layer of compost from the heap to give the soil a layer of fresh nutrients. The soil in my garden is mainly clay, so the compost will hopefully help the flowers a little further.

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Then scattered a box of wildflower mix, a bag of seeds from the friends of the earth bee pack then a few poppy seeds and other seed packs.

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Lastly walked over to step it in and watered.

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I was concerned that it was too late in the year but watching a gardeners world episode it encouraged setting up an area pretty much any time except late Autumn and early Winter, so we’ll see what happens.

Currently we have not moved into the house so took across one bird feeder from the current house to see what comes in. So far just pigeons, but at this point of the year most birds will find their own food while insects are plentiful. We are by the sea, so slightly concerned that the seagulls will scare away some of my favourite garden birds, but will have to wait and see.

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I’ve potted some lavender. I like lavender as an insect attracting flower and cat repentant (don’t want the birds eaten), but it does badly in clay soil, so I’ll see if it can manage in pots.

I’ve added a insect home and butterfly home ticking off another home for nature activity.

Build a bee B&B

The garden is currently pretty wild, which I’m in favour of, but mainly just for slugs and snails. So I’ve worked on clearing the dandelion forest to claim a flower bed back. A good afternoons work digging and turning over.

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I’ve got some ivy ready to continue adding to the  on the fence. Very important for many moth species, spiders and giving some further cover.

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And a butterfly enjoying the garden.

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The petition is gradually growing.  Please continue to share and support.

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/161489

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