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July Delights: Wildlife Watching and Eco Gardening as the Sun (hopefully) Shines!

Summer in Enstone offers a wonderful opportunity to explore the local wildlife. If you are looking for a peaceful way to spend a summer afternoon, our beautiful parish is full of fascinating flora and fauna waiting to be discovered. Here’s your guide to the local wildlife you can observe this summer, along with some handy tips for identifying species and the best spots in the parish for wildlife watching.

Looking for Local Wildlife

Enstone is home to a variety of bird species, from the vibrant goldfinch to the striking red kite. Early mornings and late afternoons are the best times to spot these feathered friends.

Summer is the perfect time to observe the buzzing activity of bees and butterflies. Keep an eye out for the painted lady and red admiral butterflies fluttering around wildflowers. Bees, including bumblebees and honeybees, are frequent visitors to our gardens and meadows.

You might be lucky enough to spot hedgehogs, foxes, or even a roe deer. Dusk and dawn are the best times to see these shy creatures. Look for signs such as tracks or droppings to know if they’ve been around.

Best Places for Wildlife Watching in Enstone

  • Bee Friendly Garden - Just inside the Parish Hall car park gates on your left, this spot is a haven for bees and butterflies.

  • River Glyme: Along the riverbanks, you might spot water birds, banded damselfly, and other water insects - especially on the footpath which goes between the lake in Cleveley and then past Drystone Hill House, as it crosses the stream.

  • St Kenelm’s Churchyard: A peaceful spot with a variety of wildflowers and insects. Don’t forget to bring your wildflower guide and bingo card to make it even more fun!

Why not combine wildlife watching with a picnic? St Kenelm’s Church have a fantastic board displaying of all of the local flora, and our fun bingo card on our website is a family-friendly way to explore nature in the village. Share your sightings with us by sending your photos to!

Sustainable Gardening Tips for Summer

Gardening in the summer can be incredibly rewarding, especially when you adopt eco-friendly practices that benefit both your garden and the environment. Here are some sustainable gardening tips to keep your garden thriving and green this summer.

Water Conservation

  • Water your plants early in the morning or late in the evening to reduce evaporation and ensure that more water reaches the roots. By watering in the morning, the plants have time to dry out and creates a less ideal environment for the slugs, which emerge at dusk.

  • Mulching around your plants helps retain moisture, reducing the need for frequent watering. The mulch will also suppress weeds and prevent them from taking water and nutrients from your plants. Water the plants before adding a mulch and do not add mulch up against the stem of the plant.

  • When watering, water well so the water penetrate deep in the ground. In this way less frequent watering is needed as the roots will search deeper into the soil for water and not just the surface layer. This will give more resilient plants when the summer heat sets in.

  • Install a water butt or place buckets in your garden to collect rainwater which you can use to water your garden. Multiple water butts can be connected from one down pipe if there is capacity and space for more.

Natural Pest Control

  • Ladybirds and their larvae, spiders, and other insects are natural predators of common garden pests. Ways of encouraging natural predators: plants with pollen, nectar, fruit and berries, wood piles, compost heaps, leaving some leaf litter in garden, a pond or water. A saucer of water can be a birdbath or drinking pond for insects. If a pool/tub of water is used make sure there is at least one shallow end for small insects and birds to stand and for larger predators like hedgehogs to exit the water.

  • Planting flowers like marigolds and daisies can attract helpful insects. Single flowers are generally better than hybrids with double flowers, where access to nectar and pollen is limited.

  • Regularly inspect your plants and hand-pick pests like aphids and caterpillars. Caterpillar eggs will often be laid on the underside of leaves. On study plants pests, like aphids can be sprayed off with a hosepipe. The internet is also full of recipes for homemade organic sprays which can be made up with herbs, tomato, garlic, hot peppers or soaps and more.

Planting Native Species

  • Native plants are better adapted to the local climate and soil, require less water, and provide food and habitat for local wildlife. Right plant in the right place means you are working with the environment and not against it.

  • A variety of plants can attract a wider range of beneficial insects and birds to your garden, creating a balanced ecosystem.

July Events

Don't forget - our Explore Heythrop Park: Grounds Walk and Fundraiser with tea, coffee and cakes is on in July. RSVP here!

Happy summer, Enstone!

"When you see the bees, the butterflies and the birds, you know it's going to be a good day"

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