Sales, Marketing,Property Development And Hotel Management (4 Images)

Being manager of The Wilden Marsh Insect Hotel is not a feet up on the desk, telling others what to do, and waiting for the salary cheque and retirement sort of job. For a start, there isn’t a desk, nor people to order about, or a salary cheque at the end of the month. However, being manager requires that I maintain the hotel in good order, keep the residents happy, attract passing trade, and do whatever else is necessary to increase profitability and expand the customer base. I also need to keep an eye on demand and decide whether to expand the North Pond Hotel, or build additional business units elsewhere on the site. The job is pretty easy in spring, summer and early autumn as residents don’t like being disturbed. In winter I have to attend to maintenance and carry out necessary improvements without disturbing the overwintering guests, most of whom sleep until spring. Winter is also the best time to build new insect hotels.

Take today for instance! I have been busy looking towards the future and installing 100 new rooms with south-facing vistas at North Pond Insect Hotel. My target customers for these new rooms are solitary bees.

There are around 240 species of solitary bee living in the UK, and the task here is to attract a few to lay their eggs in the 8mm diameter tunnels I have drilled for them. The holes are drilled slightly upwards to prevent rain water flooding them. The new rooms/cells are now ready and waiting to impress passing trade when the new season starts.

So, if you are interested in a job with no pay or promotion prospects, this is one way to set yourself on a new career path to insect hotel management. Good luck!

img_8575-2-16 img_8578-2-16 img_8586-2-16 img_8588-2-16


A Selfie With Waynetta

The herd appeared to be back to normal this afternoon, following yesterday’s shenanigans. I’d like to think this image shows Waynetta apologising for yesterday’s madness, but it doesn’t! She is licking the wax from my cotton jacket with that sandpaper-like tongue of hers. I’m not at all keen on being licked by cattle, the rasp of their tongues on my skin is akin to the screech of fingernails being drawn over the surface of a blackboard to me – it makes my flesh creep.

I was asked again today about what happens to the marsh cattle when the temperature drops below freezing. People get worried when they see the cattle out in freezing temperatures, or being soaked with freezing rain. The Shetland and Belted Galloway cattle living all year round on Wilden Marsh can withstand temperatures down to around -40 degrees Centigrade, as long as they have enough to eat, and they have water shedding coats. So we don’t need to worry about the marsh cattle being outside in Kidderminster’s winter weather.

I wouldn’t be worried about the cattle feeling cold until I see foxes and deer shivering.


Demonic Cattle

The cattle were possessed by demons today.

They danced, bucked, skipped, mooed, bellowed, fought each other, charged me en masse, ran in all directions like idiots, dug holes in the ground, and when not doing all this they were at my heel making general nuisances of themselves. If you don’t believe me, checkout the video below.

I didn’t start filming until after their proper maniacal moments. They wouldn’t leave me alone, so I gave up and left them to it.

Log Pile Habitats

Log pile habitats are essential to thousands of invertebrate species, fungi, lichen, birds and bats, not to mention all the other things that live, shelter and hide in, between and under the logs, such as: small land based mammals, molluscs, reptiles, frogs, toads, newts, beetles, and many other species of bug and creepy crawly. 

All creatures living in and around log pile habitats play a part in helping the wood decay, its return to the mother earth and providing nutrients for future generations.

I try to make sure there are plenty of log pile habitats, standing dead wood, and brash piles strategically placed around Wilden Marsh to help increase diversity. Obviously, there is a limit to number of decaying wood piles an area can justifiably support; at some point they will get in the way, and too much of anything is best avoided.


Log pile habitats in the Tenant Farmer’s Field Corridor at sunset.