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Friday, 1 July 2011

Wed 29th June 2011 - Newport CoE Primary School.

A new site for us at Newport CE Primary School, helping improve the grounds for the children. Our main task was to build a bog garden in an area which becomes very wet; this involved removing the turf, digging the soil out about a foot deep and putting in a membrane with a few holes for drainage. We then barrowed over some compost to mix with the original soil, and put it all back in the hole. Later in the year the children will be selecting the plants they want in the garden and planting it up. Other work involved cutting back the willow dome and making a start on creating a flower meadow in another area.

Carrie's Nature Lesson

A very common creature when we start digging - a leatherjacket - these are the larvae of the European Crane Fly (or Daddy Long Legs as they are commonly known). The adults hatch from pupae in late July and August and lay their eggs in the ground within 24 hours of hatching. The larvae hatch about 2 weeks later and start to feed on grass roots, which continues through winter and into spring. They stop feeding in May/June when they will pupate in the soil. In general, they stay underground in the day and move up to the turf leaves at night. They are very sensitive to drying and do not survive if they are dried out by the sun.

Many thanks to Carrie for the editorial and photographs this week.

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