On Tuesday the volunteers descended on Yateley to help the Hart Rangers; Rachel, Adam and Nick. Whilst Tony Elston set to work hay cutting the wet meadow, we cut back the paths and dug out the stream to reduce flooding over the track. With the motorscythe machine safely tucked away, we gathered up the hay and forked it onto the baby tractor trailer. Removing the hay reduces the meadow nutrients, aborting woodland succession and promoting wildflowers.
Laura and I kept the troops entertained by unearthing wildlife with toads, an army of frogs, and a couple of female smooth newts. The wet meadow and surrounding soggy woodland with fallen brash make good amphibian habitat. Also a Roesel’s bush-cricket turned up, which is always nice to see, with it’s distinctive lime green ‘U-shape’ on the pronotum behind it’s head.