I was in Abney yesterday and found a mining bee hole with it's little volcano entrance. As I squatted and waited patiently for the bee to return for a photo an interesting sequence developed.
First a bee came along, appeared confused and went away again, possible because I'd interfered with the ivy above the nest and or there was a big lump of me that wasn't there…
This little beauty is called Cossonus linearis and it only lives in rotting willows and poplars. This means it needs old trees that have a lot of dead wood that is at just the right stage of decay. The maggot like larva live in and eat the rotting wood. The Abney Veteran Tree Project has been working to preserve Abney's most wildlife valuable…
Added by Russell Miller on March 28, 2011 at 14:30 — No Comments
This amazing old ash tree in Abney is standing on one leg. The whole of its north side has rotted away from beneath it, probably because a fire was set against it around 20 years ago. The tree still stands only because it is sheltered from wind by Abney's woodland and because it has had its crown reduced to decrease its 'sail area'.
Added by Russell Miller on March 20, 2011 at 14:30 — No Comments
The plan to leave long grass around the new orchards is paying off for insects. Every time I weed in one of the orchards I discover lots of great creepy crawlies. Identifying them all is quite challenging but fortunately most are fairly common species and I'm even beginning to get my eye in a bit. Here's a selection from the recent orchard care day on South Millfields last weekend (16 Jan).
Added by Russell Miller on January 21, 2011 at 14:30 — No Comments
2010 was a year of contrasts and contradictions as regards biodiversity in Hackney. Whilst amazing progress was made towards a long overdue Hackney Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP), the reality on the ground was far less positive. Small, incremental improvements continue to be made by voluntary groups and dedicated individuals, and there were even a few …
Added by Russell Miller on December 30, 2010 at 14:30 — No Comments
Two significant achievements merit wider appreciation. First the mad plan to create cricket pitches on the North Marsh meadow (part of a designated nature reserve of London wide importance) has finally been seen off. After numerous meetings and considerable pressure Hackney Marshes User Group and HEN succeeded in defeating John Wade's ambition to extend the existing 50Ha of sports grassland. Cricket on the marshes will be great but why we need 3 full size pitches just at the moment we…
Added by Russell Miller on June 14, 2010 at 15:00 — No Comments
The season's winter work began in earnest this weekend with dedicated environmental do gooders doing good in Wick Wood and on Hackney Downs. On Sat a hard core of HMUG veterans built a stylish 'S' shaped 50m dead hedge in a clearing in the woods. Plenty more sustainable housing for wood mice, wrens, mini beasts and fungi. A lovely mild sunny morning made the work much more like play. Then today TMs were out on the Downs planting hornbeam and native black poplars and filling in gaps in a…
Added by Russell Miller on December 6, 2009 at 15:00 — No Comments
Aside from the orgy of residential development grabbing land and destroying trees in Hackney there is now a huge rush to build sports facilities over large areas of park land including SINC (Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation) land of ecological significance.
Hackney Marshes - large sports building on south of mainb marsh, sports hub on north of main marsh, 3 cricket ptiches on main marhs (destroying Hackney'smost valauble meadow and…
Added by Russell Miller on August 12, 2009 at 15:00 — No Comments