Warden’s Blog March 2022.

23rd March 2022

The aftermath of Storm Eunice is still continuing. Although we didn’t lose too many trees directly, quite a few trees that were obviously damaged by the storm have subsequently come down or have had to be made safe. I imagine we should expect a few more windy days as we go through the equinox, so probably more tree work to come. Other than that, we have finished cutting now as Spring and the nesting season get underway.

Beautiful spring day on Rusthall Common.

We still have some tidying up to do near Hungershall  Park where we have just cleared the holly scrub, as well as up at Mt Ephraim where we cleared the steep bank but then it is on to infrastructure works for the next few months. Now that we are getting past the risk of hard frosts, we will be carrying out repairs to the surface of Fir Tree car park and there are various damaged anti-parking posts that need to be replaced. I am also hoping to be able to carry out restoration work on the system of drainage ditches and culverts on both Commons. When we do get rain these days, it seems to come in large amounts and all at once and it is easy for the drains to get overwhelmed if not properly maintained.

New clearance by Hungershall Park.

We will be starting on the cutting of our amenity grass areas in the next couple of weeks. We have finally cleared the big tree that fell over the grass next to Brighton Lake, all we have to do now is flatten the huge numbers of mole hills in the area and we will be ready to go.

Spring is in full flow now; our resident, over-wintering birds have already started claiming the best nest sites and the first of the Summer visitors have started to arrive, I have been hearing Chiffchaffs in the last few days. Bumblebees have been in evidence for a while now and I have started to see a few overwintered butterflies in the last week. Today was particularly warm and I saw my first Brimstone butterflies on the wing; what an incredibly vivid colour they are. They are always the first of the butterfly species to emerge each year, it will be the Orange-tips next. The primroses are starting to flower and I saw a few violets out today. It’s a great time of year and nature does not care what else is happening in the world, it just gets on with it. Enjoy.

Crocuses on the Common.

Steve Budden