Hannah Bourne-Taylor who lives in Enstone organised this truly fabulous event at the Village Hall. Anyone who missed this family friendly event really missed a treat. There was so much to learn about our local plants, trees and wildlife. Hannah has made a page on her website ‘Resources’ where we can find out useful tips about local wildlife and how we can help – what sort of plants to grow, how to get a swift nest box and information on hedgehog highways.
Chris Mason of Cherwell Swifts enthusiastically explained how lucky we are to have swifts nesting in Venvell and Litchfield Close, Enstone and what we can do to ensure these valuable birds continue to find suitable nesting places high up in the eves of buildings. Swifts are very clean and even take their droppings from the nest. If you know of a suitable place where more nesting boxes can be put, then please get in contact with him via www.cherwell-swifts.org.
Hannah read a very moving extract from her new book Fledgling, which is for sale in all good bookshops and online and went viral after being featured in the national Guardian newspaper and described her watching swifts returning to their nesting places in Enstone after flying all the way to Africa and back to Enstone without landing or stopping once.
Craig Blackwell showed us the Bee Friendly Garden which has just been created in front of the Parish Hall. It’s full of flowering plants which will provide nectar and pollen for the bees throughout the summer. You could also get the benefit of these beautiful flowers in your own garden by looking at the helpful explanation board which names the plants and shows the seven main species of bumble bees in our gardens. These small plants will grow and make a beautiful border and are available from Applegarth Garden Centre in Chipping Norton for very reasonable prices.
We also heard from Louise Spicer from the Farmland Bird Aid Network about the value of feeding farmland birds during the winter to prevent them from starving as their populations are in grave decline. 1 in 4 British birds are threatened with national extinction including farmland birds like Yellowhammers, and swifts, sparrows and starlings.
Teenage friends from Hedgehog Friendly Street gave us an enchanting video and ran a quiz, through which we learned to much about hedgehogs. Did you know that they are intolerant of milk and meal worms so you should only give them water and hedgehog fleas don’t harm anything else but the poor hedgehogs. That even putting a shallow dish of water in your garden can help them through the summer and if you see one ‘sunbathing’ take it to the hedgehog rescue centre in Minister Lovell immediately. To find out more about hedgehogs and how to build hedgehog highways go to Hannah’s website.
Enstone Eco had a stall and we talked to local people to find out what they would like us to focus on. These include planting a tree for the Jubilee and sharing local owners real life experience of owning electric vehicles.
Let’s look forward to another Everyday Wild event sometime. Ian Cave, Enstone Eco.