July in the Meadows. Part 1.

Trail camera

We thought that the Sparrowhawk had been using this gate to lie in wait for her victims and now we see that she has. I find this bird completely terrifying. Those eyes.

WordPress has been out of action for the past few days. My hope was that, if I did nothing other than fret about it and curse myself that I had no back up arranged for the blog, it would eventually correct itself and this is indeed what has happened today. However, it has made me realise that I do need to back this blog up because I would hate to lose the last three years worth of precious details of what has been going on here. When a tech-savvy young person next visits, I will see if I can get this done.

This means that I have built up a bit of a backlog and so this is Part One of the Meadows in July.

We have started the cutting of the meadows for this year. There is an area at the top of the second meadow that has a concentration of Creeping Thistle which is now out in flower and we want to avoid it going to seed. So this is the section we have started with.


A lot of Creeping Thistle in this part
Some of it has started to go to seed

Creeping Thistle is an injurious weed and we have a responsibility to avoid it spreading to other people’s land.



The Creeping Thistle flower is popular with the insects and so in a way it was a shame to remove it but we haven’t got it all out by any means. Here is some here with mating Marbles Whites:




This the only bit of the meadows we are going to cut until September.

We have been watching from afar the animals of the night come to the peanuts at dusk – the interactions between the foxes and the badgers are very interesting. The foxes come first:

Trail camera

Then, before long an adult badger comes in fast and forcefully, like a black-and-white bowling ball, and the foxes scatter in all directions.

Trail camera

However, the younger badgers come in without the attitude and happily share the peanuts with the foxes:

Trail camera

The badgers continue to use our stacked reeds as bedding which we find very funny:

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Finally for Part 1, we have a new flower that we haven’t seen here before. This is Betony (Stachys officinalis):


The Romans used Betony to cure 47 different illnesses and is still today used by herbalists for headaches. This plant is a lover of acid soil and, we understand from the Kent County plant recorder who lives nearby, has not previously been recorded in this chalky alkaline tetrad before.

So that is that for Part 1…..part 2 will follow shortly…




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