First Cut Silage
Grass swards are now being cut for silage. Growth has been good in recent weeks where there has been moisture and the quality and quantity of the silage should be excellent especially given the fine warm weather. Protein levels should be high where there is a high clover content. Whether there will be much regrowth unless we have some rain is a different question. As one field of grass was cut last week, a neighbour and I watched fourteen red kites soaring above, presumably hoping some leverets or other potential prey had been killed or maimed by the mower.
One of the consequences of the recent exceptionally warm dry weather has been a big increase in wild fires. In Wales, for example, the fire service has reported a 24% increase in grass fires in the past eight weeks. Last week there was a huge wild fire in Wareham Forest, it is thought caused by a portable barbecue. There has been a devastating impact on wildlife in affected areas.
National Trust Wildlife
The National Trust has reported that wildlife is flourishing on its properties in the absence of visitors. Raptors, warblers, badgers, otters, even orcas have been seen in greater numbers than usual. Peregrine falcons are nesting in the ruins of Corfe Castle and cuckoos heard in areas where they have not been heard in decades.
Pick for Britain
There has been a surge of people and organisations joining the campaign to get British people to help with the harvest of our fruit and vegetables. The Prince of Wales has called for an army of people to help out to ensure that produce does not rot in the fields for lack of labour. Defra Secretary of State, George Eustice, speaking at one of the daily Downing Street press conferences last week drew attention to his department’s Pick for Britain website. Now Waitrose and ITV have collaborated in a television advertisement to promote the website.