Organiser: Peter Shallcross
Re-scheduled from 2020
When we regretfully had to cancel this visit last year, Martin Green told Peter Shallcross:-
“We have just had an unprecedented number of raptors on the farm & adjacent this weekend. My neighbours cut an adjacent field for silage last week and since it has been a focal point for feeding - a few hundred corvids at least 7 red kites & 10 buzzards and a marsh harrier - not bad! My friend James Phillips visited and recorded these species around the pond and woodland planting: The highlights were Emperor dragonfly, Azure and Large Red damselfly, Small blue, Common blue, Green hairstreak, Large skipper butterflies, Burnet companion moth plus singing Lesser Whitethroat in the woodland scrub and a pair of Corn bunting and a pair of Yellowhammer on territory around the pond.
Other highlights on neighbouring fields were grey partridge on territory calling, 3 pairs of Yellowhammer, a flock of 16 Corn bunting plus 4 pairs on territory, 1 pair of Linnets, 6 singing Skylark and 2 Brown hair with at least 3-4 Red kite over the nearby woodlands towards Wimborne St Giles.”
So maybe it was much like that again this year. Susie Blundell sent this wonderfully atmospheric photo, adding, 'We had a lovely field trip hosted by Martin Green. I took this picture by Martin’s latest pond which he is hoping will be an attraction for Turtle Doves. Lots of wild flowers, a glorious sunset, a museum visit and a starry night - it was perfect.'
Martin is a great wildlife enthusiast and he’s also a keen archaeologist, with a great deal to share. The landscape here is rich in prehistoric features – the Dorset cursus (a huge linear earthwork that runs for 10 km/6¼ miles and dates from roughly 4,000 years ago) crosses the farm. A cross-section has been excavated so you can see just what it used to look like.
There’s a long barrow and several round barrows visible on the slopes, while the Roman road known as the Ackling Dyke also passes through it on its way from Badbury Rings to Old Sarum. Again, where it crosses the road nearby a cross-section has been exposed showing its construction.
On top of that, excavations have found shafts that were filled-in as far back as 10,000 years ago, and the remains of ditches and enclosures dating from 4,500 to 2,800 years ago. This was the ideal opportunity to hear all about the excavations and discoveries and to visit Martin and Karen’s private museum.
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Photo: Avocets (Izzy Fry)
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