The Birth of a Bee Hotel

by Three Hagges Wood Meadow in Bee Hotel, Community, Community Events, Insects, Pollinators 0

so many of our followers on Twitter have encouraged and supported us during the construction of the Bee Hotel at Three Hagges Wood Meadow, I would like to dedicate this blog to all of them. But most of all, I would like to dedicate it to the accomplished young ecologist Ryan Clark, @RyanClarkNature, who was there at the beginning, guiding me as to the bees’ special needs, inspiring me to greater things, and giving me hope for the future of all our conservation efforts.  If you’re reading this and ever get the chance to employ him, I hope you will cherish his considerable talents to the full. The Bee Hotel will provide a home – we hope – for all that […]

read more »

The Lessons of the Monarch

by Three Hagges Wood Meadow in Birds, Fauna (Animals), Flora (Plants), Insects, Mammals, Trees 2

in 2002/3 i worked on an innovative reference book entitled Plant, led by Janet Marinelli, then of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and botanic gardens throughout the world. Its basic premise was that gardeners might help conserve plants that were threatened with extinction in the wild by conserving them in cultivation, thereby reserving the possibility of future recovery projects.  Although positive in tone, among the book’s clear themes were the sadly recurrent ones of changes in land use, habitat loss and fragmentation as universal threats to biodiversity and frequent causes of species’ extinction. Plant and its lessons were foremost in my mind when we began to develop Three Hagges Wood. The […]

read more »

Preaching to the choir …

by Three Hagges Wood Meadow in Birds, Community, Education, Fauna (Animals), Flora (Plants), Grasses, Insects, Mammals, Management, Trees, Wildflowers 2

  in the early planning stages at Three Hagges Jubilee Wood in 2012, our prime concern was simply to avoid creating yet another plantation with a ground flora of nettles and brambles.  Two years down the line, this now seems achievable given careful planning and management.  Our initial costings indicate that it may be just possible within the existing Forestry Commission grant framework for new community woodlands, though we mustn’t overlook the cushion provided by a supportive landlord in Charlie Forbes Adam, the owner of Escrick Park Estate.  Not least of which is a 35-year lease at a peppercorn rent, with permissive access dawn-to-dusk year round. though our initial objectives are worthy, in the light of […]

read more »

Everything is Connected

by Three Hagges Wood Meadow in Birds, Fauna (Animals), Flora (Plants), Insects, Trees, Wildflowers 0

  it has been on my mind for some time now, to try to draw attention to the extraordinary benefits to wildlife of creating a whole ecosystem as opposed to merely planting trees. In the fullness of time, we intend to create a resource that lays out the specific benefits of every species that we have planted at Three Hagges Wood.  I do know that all the plants we have chosen will be good for something: as a nectar source; a larval food source, a berry bearing food source, a place to rear young or simply a hotel. Of course, the logical way to do this is in ABC order, but every time I start, I get side-tracked into […]

read more »

Three Hagges Wood, the story so far ….

by Three Hagges Wood Meadow in Fauna (Animals), Flora (Plants), Grasses, Insects, Management, Meadows, Trees, Wildflowers 0

  Why exactly are we trying to create an ecosystem at Three Hagges Wood? The end of the year is always a time of review and preview for me.  And though I’ve always been a bit of deadline girl, so much has happened at Three Hagges Wood this year, I’ve been provoked to begin early if I’m to assimilate it all. When first we set out to create a Jubilee Wood, one of the simplest objectives was to avoid making a plantation with an understorey of brambles and nettles.  It was clear from the outset that careful management was key to this.  Then, like Topsy, objectives grew and grew, until eventually our ambitions encompassed the creation of an […]

read more »

A Meadow, it’s just grass, right?

by Three Hagges Wood Meadow in Fauna (Animals), Flora (Plants), Grasses, Insects, Management, Meadows, Wildflowers 2

  No, actually, it absolutely is not just grass.  Such is my current obsession with meadows that I wake most mornings with lyrical words concerning them on my lips. The lyrics run like this.   “To be sure, a meadow is thing of beauty, joy and wonder”. And “our meadow this summer was all those things”. But it’s much, much more than that. So let’s clarify. What is a meadow? We’ re all familiar with Nigel Dunnett’s glorious Olympic Park meadows of 2012. Their beauty and romance captivated and lifted the spirits. They make an extraordinarily rich nectar source for bees and butterflies, are eminently suited to garden, urban and suburban environments and as a starting point for […]

read more »

Drinks in the Meadow Anyone?

by Three Hagges Wood Meadow in Birds, Community Events, Fauna (Animals), Flora (Plants), Grasses, Insects, Management, Meadows, Weed control, Wildflowers 0

  for months, we have been looking obsessively for noxious weeds and worrying whether any disastrous thing would happen to the meadow before it managed to flower, reassuring each other continuously that it would be alright on the night.  Despite having in my mind’s eye a hopeful and pretty picture of our meadow’s first year, I wasn’t fully prepared for the truly joyous spectacle of our meadow in full bloom.  It really has surpassed anything I could have imagined, and now we are breathless for all the best reasons. And a big part of this has been due to our guests’ reactions when we took Drinks in the Meadow on the 15th of August.  We have been […]

read more »

Attacking the Nettles

by Three Hagges Wood Meadow in Birds, Flora (Plants), Grasses, Insects, Mammals, Trees, Weed control, Wildflowers 0

  some major threads of thought on the development of Three Hagges Wood have emerged during our dormant winter months. The first was prompted by a constructively critical review of the last blog, The Burden of Weeds, which included comments regarding the wildlife value of nettles, thistles and brambles. The second was provoked by an excellent Radio 4 programme on 12th February 2013, Costing the Earth, with Tom Heap, entitled When Nettles Attack.  It examined the increasing problem that native invasives present to biodiversity and drew on the work of, amongst others, Dr Lindsay Maskell at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. They include, of course, the usual suspects: nettles, thistles and brambles, the big three. Something of a dichotomy […]

read more »