Monday, 27 April 2015

Sunshine continues...

Identifying weeds
Mr Fisher and his green-fingered class from Burnham Market Primary School spent a gloriously sunny day working extremely hard in the Walled Gardens. Two gigantic pumpkin pits were dug, ready for filling with lovely manure. The children will then attempt to grow some truly world record breaking pumpkins from seeds specially sourced by Dene, our Head of Parks and Gardens. As well as lots of important weeding, the pupils also riddled an enormous amount of top soil (two trailer loads!) which Dene took off to the soil steriliser. This will all be sterilised, to get rid of any unwanted pests or bacteria, and will then be used for potting on this year’s tomatoes.

After a well-earned lunch and drinks break, the children learnt about the newly planted vineyard, had a guided tour of the glasshouses to see the plants they will be using in the winning flower bed designs this year and collected, sniffed and sampled an array of delicious herbs from the herb garden.

Salts Hole saline lagoon overlooking the grazing marsh and reed bed
With yet more sunshine blazing down on Holkham, the guided walk on the nature reserve proved very popular and extremely rewarding. The beautiful Barn Owl that entertained us at the meeting point was a good omen as the birds and butterflies enjoyed entertaining us every step along the way. Temperatures have risen and been maintained sufficiently for Orange Tip, Holly Blue, Speckled Wood and Brimstone butterflies to all be on the wing, as well as a vibrant Cinnabar moth. Raptors were also out in numbers, with a single Red Kite, numerous Marsh Harriers and Buzzards and a determined Kestrel all seen.

The Spring migrants have also arrived in numbers, with multiple Chiff Chaff, Willow Warblers, Blackcap and Common Whitethroat all active and vocal. A Grasshopper Warbler was heard reeling loudly by the George Washington hide – but, as so often is the case, remained completely hidden from view. Another highlight was several of Holkham’s fantastic Spoonbills, seen keeping company with the Cormorants, Avocets and Shelduck. We finished the walk with a stroll along the beach, which looked as stunning as ever. For more information on our monthly Guided Walks please click here

Will Clennell, Education Coordinator

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