Bugs, diversity and a temporary shelter!
We visited our land this weekend and had a fantastic time! Our plan was to record some of the bio-diversity on the land and to build a shelter that we had read about in Mike Abbotts 'Living Wood' book.
Click on the pictures to see some of them a bit bigger.
We had everything we needed except straight soft wood poles and bolts to fix the A-frames together. Instead of using the bolts we just lashed the poles together. We used birch poles from our mixed coppice, which did the job well (although we will definitely replace the two ridge poles with STRAIGHT and SMOOTH poles!!).
We would use soft wood if we were going to drive around with the shelter, as the birch is a bit too heavy to carry around too much.
The shelter is really easy to put up and take down. It is quite big, but we plan to work under it and cook under it and when it warms up a bit sleep under it, so it suits us fine. If anyone wants to know about prices and where I sourced stuff just ask!
Bio-diversity, well, this place is just incredible. It is abundant in all the things you would expect, although with proper management could be even more so!
Beech leaves are at their most beautiful at this time of year. Mind you, beech trees in autumn are amazing too!
This beetle below was in the woodland (oak) down near to the river. It's a carrion beetle - Oiceoptoma thoracica. It doesn't feed on carrion itself but scoffs the larvae of the insects that do feed on the carrion. There is an awesome bug site that is called Garden Safari.
Someone from the It's Not Easy Being Green forum kindly found out what the beetle was and pointed me in the direction of this beetle!
The bug below was HUGE! About the size of my thumb. Incredible! It was in the River Meadow being a bit fat and not really moving very much. It's called an Oil Beetle (meloe violaceus), this is a picture of a large adult female who is probably full of hundreds of eggs ready to lay in a little burrow she'll dig. One day the eggs will hatch into little maggots that will climb up on to a flower head and wait for a female solitary ground nesting bee to come and feed. They hop onto the bee and she takes them down and into her burrow. There it feeds on the bees egg and pollen store and ultimately emerges to feed on things like lesser celandine and buttercup.