2G3S Wandlebury walk 19th March

From the Information boards beyond the car park our small group walked along the outer ring in bright sunlight.  There was a small tree with glorious white blossom which looked like a Blackthorn but on closure inspection was the earlier flowering Cherry Plum distinguished by the green new shoots.  The Box trees were full of bees gathering yellow pollen, evident on their pollen baskets.  Although the flowers are inconspicuous being small and green they provide a useful early harvest for the bees.  We continued towards the Ely viewpoint and could see the cathedral in the distance.  On the way we passed the 2-storey bird hide with many small birds on the bird feeders, mainly Blue Tits.  The long horn cattle were grazing in the field – this prevents the meadow flowers from being swamped by vigorous grasses.  Various birds were heard singing, including the wheezy sound of Greenfinches.  There were also good stretches of laid hedges and also coppiced woodland, traditional management techniques that are now recognised to improve biodiversity.  Near the end of our walk we looked at the dipping pond which is populated by newts.

John O’Boyle

(Please note the next nature walk along the Bury Farm track will be on Saturday 23 April, not 19 April as originally published.  The plan is to meet at Stapleford Granary at 2 pm.  As usual stout footwear is advised.  The walk will be at attendees’ own risk.)