You might notice that the pools on the flood are looking quite low...don’t panic, this is only for a short time as staff and volunteers are undertaking the enjoyable task of walking out to the islands, getting stuck in the mud (and sometimes falling into it) to complete the annual management of brushcutting the long rank grass on the small islands. This is the best time of year to do this as the scrapes have naturally dried down enough to allow us to get across to them. We are trying to get the islands cut as quickly as possible so we can get water back onto the flood and we apologise in advance for any disturbance caused.
The topping is very nearly complete with just a few fields left to cut. All going well the bulls will be going back to their home farm leaving us with the females and calves. These are very easily mixed into a bigger herd and we can keep on top of the grazing in a more controlled regime.
Nick was very lucky last week to see the very scarce Maid of Kent beetle. He was casually checking the livestock when he happened to look down and see this beetle rooting around in a cow pat. These beetles look very much like bumble bees but obviously in the shape of a beetle. I have not seen one yet but am staying eagle eyed! I have also seen a couple of stunning Wasp Spiders out on the reserve. Wasp spiders are big yellow and black spiders that up until recently were only found in the South East of England, but have now started spreading. They favour unmanaged grassland, building large orb webs catching flying insects and grasshoppers.