Meadow creation, West End apiary

From this to this? That’s the dream!

The weather was kind, the company convivial and it was good to see old friends and new faces alike. Thank you once again to everyone who came along; we hope you enjoyed it!

Jane pitched up with the rotavator which weighed a tonne (she’s obviously much stronger than she looks!) and shifts were taken using the heavy machine which was pretty hard-going. Phil organised the fuel and Richard the fence posts and stakes and Richard and Robin brought the seeds.

Stephen gets stuck-in with the rotavator

Thanks too to those who remembered to bring tools like forks and spades. Luckily, Denise and Phil’s well-appointed shed is close to hand for those forgotten bits and pieces.

John arrived like the cavalry with much appreciated refreshments including chocolate biscuits; thank you John!

I think I must be psychic; I have a very strong feeling those two are talking about bees!

Robin was there and Dawn and Colin. It was nice to see Richard R. and Nick and Linda and new member Ritchie too. I’m sorry we don’t have photos, although there’s one of Richard’s Back!

Richard S and Jane. It look like these two are just mucking about!

New member Zara got on with stripping-out grass, picking-up stones and clearing the ground. Others trampled down the soil after it was rotavated.

35,000 pre-chitted seeds were scattered (it still wasn’t enough) and lovingly trampled in.

Linda looking cool in cap and shades

I think Louise was part of the trample team but I’m not sure, she may be doing a rain dance!

Then there was watering to do. Although, ‘April showers’ seem to have finally kicked-in which is always useful for a newly-planted meadow and for nectar-flow!

Catherine with watering cans. Hosepipes not allowed!

And in case you missed the meadow creation, here are Directions for next time we go to West End. We’ve also got this nifty little sign (courtesy of Richard) and there’s also one at Swanmore in case of emergencies. You just call 999 and say ‘saints belong awake’ and they’ll either send an ambulance to exactly the right spot or men in white coats to cart you away!

What3Words is a free way-finding app. It really is very handy! I don’t why I bothered learning to read a map; all those wasted years as a boy scout.

Update

By the beginning of July, the meadow was already flourishing. The wet May and continued unsettled weather in June may not have been good news for our bees but it certainly helped to get the meadow established.

We’ll have to wait until next year to get the full effect but already we can see our efforts have been worthwhile.

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