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Barn Transformation Project

Episode 1

This is one of Gail's fab photos - I'm sure some of you can tell - and it's a good one to start with because helping pollinators and wildlife in general is at the heart of what we're trying to do with this project to transform the area around the barn.

So what have our trusty team of volunteers been doing?

Making a pond, that's what! Just a small one, 6m x 4m or about 24ft x 12ft in old money. Ok not that small. Very exciting and we're all learning how to do this together. It's going to take a while but now all the turf is off we've checked the edge is pretty level and are ready to make a beach for frogs - I kid you not! - and shelves for plants. Did you know frogs like to bask on a south facing pond beach in the morning?!

And most of the life of a wildlife pond take place in the shallows so we've planned for plenty of those. It allows all kinds of creatures including bees and hegehogs to take a drink and possibly go for a paddle.

We've also learned that because there won't be time to collect enough rainwater to fill the pond - so we'll have to use tap water - we need to leave it to stand for about a week before introducing plants so the chlorine evaporates.

While we were working it made us smile to see this backbird taking advantage of uncovered insects and worms and not at all bothered by us being around.

We've also been planting out last year's rocket and mini-kale and sowing veg seeds.

We've also planned for two wildflower areas which the bees will love and the first strawberry flower has appeared!

Here are more of Gail's lovely photos from around the barn.

We've been very lucky to have had nine dry and sunny days so far - keep your fingers crossed for the next nine!

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