Walking round the reserve the other day I was struck by the silence. The songbirds that have filled the reserve with song for the past four months have fallen silent as they enter their summer recess. They will start up again in the autumn as they seek to establish territories ahead of the next breeding season.

There was still the occasional coo of a wood pigeon and the caw of the young corbies, and, as I passed under the lime trees, the buzz of thousands of bees and flies. The lime trees flower in July and are a favourite source of pollen and honey dew for the insects.

It’s surprising just how many wild flowers there are once you start looking. In the space of 10 minutes I found foxgloves, lady’s bedstraw, yarrow, meadow sweet, trefoil and harebells, vetch and buttercups. There were creeping thistles, spear thistles, nettles, hogweed and ragwort, so important for birds and insects. And of course, there were grasses, rashes and bracken which is two metres tall in places.

Your never alone on the reserve at this time of year - I was accompanied by a cloud of flies that seemed intent on landing on my face! Luckily, a bracken frond makes a good fly swoosh!

One or two jobs continue through the summer - the meadows have been cut for a second time and we are in the process of clearing the cuttings. They will probably need a third cut in late September.

The local dyker, Mickie Waugh, is rebuilding the roadside dyke at the top of the hill.

Some of the tree tubes are still getting blocked with weeds and we are clearing them when we see them. Luckily most of the trees have grown beyond the tubes and have their heads above the bracken, so can now look after themselves.

Harebells

Harebells

Meadow sweet

Meadow sweet

Yarrow

Yarrow

lady’s bedstraw

lady’s bedstraw