SWIFTS ARE RETURNING TO STRADBROKE!
It is lovely to see that spring is here. Look out for Stradbroke-born swifts, RETURNING FROM AFRICA, reeling around over Stradbroke in their screaming parties! They are looking for nests and will stay on the wing except to rear their young. To attract swifts, you need a ridge-tiled roof without netting at the edge. Or, erect a SWIFT BOX 15 ft high on your house (best east, west, north facing wall, but also in permanent shade on the south, if painted white) with a MIC playing swift calls to attract them. They are on the lookout for NESTING SITES from May to August. Go to Save our Suffolk Swifts on the internet (www.suffolkwildlifetrust.org) for tips, links and information. We are hoping to get a speaker about swifts this summer in Stradbroke—look for posters around the village later in the year.
SEW SUNFLOWERS AND LAVENDER SAY RSPB
The Royal Society for Protection of Birds has launched a “nature on your doorstep” campaign (type Nature on your Doorstep on your web browser bar). The Society wants Brits to reverse the serious decline of previously common garden species, including starlings, hedgehogs, bumblebees and flying insects, all reduced by over half to 2/3 since 1950s. Let’s sew as many sunflowers, lavenders, poppies, foxgloves, marigolds this year as possible. Try this: keep some NETTLES for butterflies for May, June and July, when peacock, red admiral, small tortoiseshell and comma and lay eggs and the caterpillars chomp the leaves.
LET’S BRING WILD MEADOWS BACK IN BRITAIN
On a sunny day visit Stradbroke’s lovely, lush wild meadows circling the allotments--so many bees and butterflies among the flowers. Grow your own MINI MEADOWS by leaving areas of your lawn to grow unmown until late summer and be rewarded with drifts of clover and other meadow flowers plus bees like the grass flowers. Corners, or a shaped patch in the middle look good, even in a formal garden. Meadow flowers like poor, unfertilized soil. You can allow them to grow till seeding in August and then mow and tread in seeds for next year. Or plant plugs of meadow flowers. Alternatively, sprinkle meadow flower seeds in your borders among the other plants, in large pots or even seed trays. Children will love doing this. Enjoy the insect and bird activity!
Climate Change Group