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I found a hornet nest this morning, in an old woodpecker’s oak tree hole. Hornets are beneficial insects. The main difference between wasps and hornets is their size. Hornets are larger than wasps, which is one of the main reasons why they scare some people; but hornets are really quite docile, shy creatures. Another difference is the colour. Wasps which are usually yellow and black, hornets are more orangey-red, although this does… Read More

Increasingly, people agree that bees are good for us and the environment and are indeed essential to our survival, but what about wasps and hornets, aren’t these useful too? Hornets are large wasps and, like bees, wasps pollinate plants and flowers as they feed on nectar. If we were to eradicate wasps it would cause more problems than it would solve. So, wasps do serve a useful purpose and despite being an… Read More

What’s the problem in letting ragwort grow unmolested in a field? Ragwort has gained a reputation, bordering on the extreme, as a killer of grazing animals. Is this reputation justified?  I think not! I’ve heard it said that ragwort will completely invade a field if left unchecked. Well…will it? Yes! In a field where the ground conditions are right, ragwort can flourish. I like ragwort! I like that ragwort is a top… Read More

Wilden Marsh is in the middle of its injurious and invasive plant growing season right now, and I’m yet again attempting to control their spread. I like to encourage as wide a range of vegetation as possible on the marsh that is advantageous to fauna and the Reserve, as long as the injurious and invasive plants can can be controlled  and the animals eating them are not being poisoned. It’s not the… Read More

My eight-year-old grandson sat beside me on the settee at home and, on watching Friday’s video, asked if Jill’s new bull calf could be named after him. So the calf’s name is now Sam-Bull Shetland. Later, a panicked Jill Shetland galloped through Hoo Brook Pasture gate and down the corridor, coming to a dead-stop at North Riverside Pasture gate. She had a quick look into the pasture before walking slowly back along the… Read More

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