The Estate is coming alive as spring settles in. Suddenly butterflies are everywhere; over the last few weeks I have spotted Peacocks, Red Admirals, Small Coppers, a Brimstone, Speckled Woods and lots of Orange Tips. The swallows have returned at some of the farms and cottages on the Estate too, though I have yet to see them by the Mansion. I saw my first damselfly of the year a few weeks ago, a large red, always one of the first on the wing. A few days ago the Senior Park and Estate Warden heard a cuckoo calling somewhere near the woodland walk and the bluebells are in full bloom and looking fabulous - this year is proving to be a wonderful one for wild flowers with bulbs. New season, new life!
Recent work by the wardens has included repairs to the fence round the Greedy Pig, clearing away timber from windblown trees, stump removal and levelling of the ride through Repton's Wood for the education tractor and trailer, clearing vegetation around the perimeter fence line, control of docks on the river ground, some expert tree surgery on a tree across the river to allow last weekends Game On! canoeing activity, preparation of the camp ground, strimming, fence repairs for one of our tenant farmers and creating a new plantation in the sports area adjacent to the play field. Plus, of course, the usual daily and weekly jobs, event preparation and Easter activities. Phew!
We have also been using a new piece of kit to observe some of our lesser-seen wildlife. This chap posed beautifully for his night-time debut photoshoot!
I hope to catch footage of some other species over the coming months, so watch this space.