Today we joined the Dorset Wildlife Trust and visited one of their sites, a field in Corfe Mullen, about 20 minutes drive away. This was a traditional English farmer's field set out for growing hay which will be harvested in a couple of weeks before being put out for stock until February.
The field grows grass and wild flowers during the Spring and early summer and is a good spot for seeing orchids in the wild. Traditional hedging and ditching are used, though I doubt that the hay is cut by scythe.
We decided to visit all 42 sites in Dorset after seeing a field bought on the TV program "Homes under the hammer", which is a program about restoring derelict homes bought at auction. I don't really feel up to long car journeys this summer so we will make use of local nature resources over the next few months.
We have all been watching the murder trial at Winchester where today an Italian who murdered Heather Barnett was given Life imprisonment without parole. He lived just around the corner from us when the murder was committed 9 years ago; it is scarcely a quarter of a mile away. The murderer had a hair fetish; he used to cut hair from women he sat behind on buses. Bournemouth has been the venue for several famous murders, one of which was made into a play by Terence Rattigan
In our garden we have been visited by a jay all day. He has been flying in to take stale bread from a bird table. He comes so close he is almost tame with his bright blue wing feather standing out. Only thing is while he is here the blue tits have vanished next door. The blackbirds and wood pigeons don't mind him though.