Read about the life and work of the Attingham Wardens

Attingham Park is a National Trust property comprising of an 18th Century mansion set in a Repton landscape; the Park and wider Estate includes a deer park, walled garden, several miles of the rivers Severn and Tern, extensive farmland and woodlands.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Goodbyes, floods and flying things

Goodbye Jo, Rachel and Charley!
Summer has arrived and our three Harper Adams students have come to the end of their 10-month placement, heading back to university to finish their degrees. It's going to be a very empty office next week! We wish them all the best of luck and thanks on behalf of everyone at Attingham for their hard work over the year.

The winds earlier in the week caused us a few tree casualties with several trees needing felling after dropping branches and showing signs of stress. The river is also in flood, unusual for this time of year, meaning that we have had to postpone this Sunday's walk to the River Severn as the path under Tern Bridge is completely impassable. Instead, we'll be taking a stroll along the Tern and the permissive path to look at the wildlife along it. Until the river level drops we have closed off the Tern picnic area.

The last few days have been glorious sunshine and the Estate is buzzing with life. The first fawns have been born in the deer park, the blackbirds nesting in the shed are trying out their wings and getting ready to fly, and there are damselflies and dragonflies patrolling the ponds and river waters.
A broad-bodied chaser rests on a bit of rush on the ponds edge

Next week we will be putting up a fence around one of our ponds to protect it from grazing cattle - the grazing will help the surrounding wildflower meadow but we don't want them eating off the vegetation on the pond edge that insects such as dragonflies need to emerge from and rest on. The picture below is of a newly emerged damselfly - it has crawled out of it's final larval skin, leaving the exuviae below, and is resting as liquids are pumped into it's wings to harden them. In a few hours it will develop its colours and be ready to take flight for the first time. It is a vulnerable time for these insects as they cannot move away from predators. Hopefully this one made it after I left it!