Work Day - 19th January
Wassail - 5 January 2013
Tree spotting with a two year old
Some photos from the workday on Saturday 19th January are here
Wassail - 5 January 2013
Our first event of 2013 was held on Saturday 5th January when we held a wassail. Some photos are here.
On autumnal Thursday mornings you will find Alice and me with our boots on in Pensford Field. Alice always begins her visit with a good look in the long grass for animal poo – there’s usually a good selection. Then she finds her way to the pond to look for frogs then to the willow circle to hop from one log to the next, faster and faster. Next we find the picture board showing the different leaves and the trees they belong to. We hunt in the wood nearby for each tree and compare real leaves with the pictures until we have a complete set – hawthorn, rowan, silver birch, oak. Finally we walk all around the field on the path, looking out for the bee hives, any rabbits, foxes, and now toadstools. We sit down on the log bench for a rest and a snack, watching the birds and the planes overhead. Next time we will search out leaves that are turning red, brown and yellow.
Frances Platt, Alice’s grandmother
Green Flag Award
For the past few months we have been very busy preparing for the big day in July when Pensford Field was to be judged for The Green Flag Award and everything looked beautiful on the day. It was a tense few weeks but finally we were told that we had been successful. Our success is largely due to local resident volunteers who join our once a month Saturday morning workday and we are really grateful to them. Our thanks also go to Simon Hawkins and his team from the Conservation Volunteers who have provided additional help.
Pensford Field is particularly grateful to Yvonne Kelleher from Parks and Open Spaces who provided not only extra assistance just when we needed it but some exciting new additions including a carved bench, a log table top and a bug hotel.
Recently we held a ceremony to raise the Green Flag which can be seen at the entrance to Pensford Field and here is a photo of all the people who came on the day.
We are again grateful to Richard Jeffries who has compiled this year's butterfly report and we are delighted that he is happy to continue next year. It can be viewed here .
Beekeeping at Pensford Field
This is our third year at Pensford Field and our knowledge of keeping bees increases with each season. Another beekeeper, Jill, has joined Linda and myself which has certainly made beekeeping easier!
We started this year with 2 colonies which had survived the winter months.The situation was looking good but then the late wet Spring affected bee colonies and foraging (when bees start collecting nectar for food) was impaired.It was certainly a challenging time for bee keepers not knowing also when swarming was going to happen. Swarming is when old queens exit the colony leaving new queens to take over the the hive.This is also when bee populations can decrease. Luckily, by feeding our colonies with sugar solution earlier in the season and careful swarm control, meant less disruption to the bees and consequently, our colonies have flourished and we now have 4 colonies at the Field. Many bee keepers have complained that it has been a poor year for honey production as a result of the wet weather earlier in the year, but we are pleased to say that our honey harvest is the best it has been!
We are now in the process of getting the bees strong enough to survive winter.The bees will stop foraging for nectar as the weather gets cooler and the pollen supplies reduce. Bee colonies can be badly affected by the Varroa mite at this time of year and care must be taken to eliminate the mite as much as possible to ensure bee health.Even though the colonies have honey stores to keep them going in Winter, we also feed the bees until the weather gets cold and the bees become dormant.
I would like to thank everyone involved with the Field and their continued support for the hives. We, as well as the bees, very much appreciate it!
Fiona, Linda and Jill
Perhaps this is the right time to highlight the generous contributions which we have received this year.
We are very grateful to Kew Village Market for a donation of £530 which will enable us to buy a Honda mower. (See photo)
We were successful in winning a grant of £1,500 from THAMES WATER to build a “new” pond and to provide a sustainable water supply. Much of this work has already been carried out and we hope to complete this project in the autumn.
Thanks are also due to the KEW FETE 2012 who gave us £400 to purchase a metal shed for our tools. We are in the process of identifying the most appropriate shed which we hope to install in the near future.
I should add that it is vital for us to have enough funds to meet the regular bills for water, electricity and insurance. That is why earlier this year we launched THE FRIENDS OF PENSFORD FIELD asking individuals to make a small contribution. There has been a heart warming response: to date we have raised just over £300. Thank you for your support.
A special thanks to Michael of North Road who donated £100.
If you would like to make a donation or become a Friend of Pensford Field, please fill in the form which you will find HERE.
Here is a photo of a Bryotropha terrella moth taken by Toby Barton.
More of Toby's photos from Pensford Field can be seen here
Recent School Visit
A few words (and pictures) from one of our local schools are here.
From a new Friend of Pensford Field
Here is a little letter of welcome written about Pensford field by a new Friend of Pensford Field.
Birds, Moths and Small Mammals with Dominic Couzens
A report, including some photos, of the Birds, Moths and Small Mammals event with Dominic Couzens is here
Some photos from the work day on Saturday 9th June are here
Night Sky pages
We are very grateful for the time and effort that Roy Singham has spent in kindly updating the Night Sky section which is has been updated to cover January and February. You can click on Night Sky at the top of the home page, or click here
There is a page entitled the Night Sky Now, which covers the current period. There is also a very informative section entitled Night Sky Facts. There are links on each page to easily pass back and forth between the two.