A busy day of path cutting and planning for the “New normal”, more accurately looking at what we can safely do and exploring new possibilities for education when site visits are more difficult.
Access to the reserve is now improving, the car park on the south side of Ellingham Drove is now open during the normal hours 09:00-16:30, seven days a week. The Education Centre, bird hides and toilets remain closed. The circular routes have been laid out as one-way, with signage, this makes social distancing easier as do the step-asides, which will make it easier to pass people. Cycling is not permitted in any case, but I would also urge that running is not really appropriate as it does not make it easy to access the step-asides in time to avoid getting too close. These measures will remain in place even if the social distancing is reduced to 1m, a sour paths are typically only 1.5m wide at most.
Some paths, such as that between Ivy Lake and Rockford Lake are too narrow to allow more than one or two passing points along their entire length and I would urge that people consider carefully if they should be using these.
Most of my wildlife encounters happened once I had returned home. In the mini-meadow the crow garlic heads are opening.
They are remarkably similar, at a glance, to the unopened flower heads of wild carrot. There were a couple of meadow brown catching a few late rays of sunshine, as was this female, low down in the grass.
During the spring I made a bee hotel with I hung on the front wall of the house. Although it has not attracted lots of bees, there has been a wide variety of species. The mason bees have mostly sealed their holes, but now there are leaf-cutter bees.
Where there are nests there are parasites, such as this rather intimidating looking wasp Gateruption jaculator.