Reclaiming the land

I recently wrote of trip to Skelton Grange Conservation Centre, which is just down the road from me. I had been aware of the centre for some time but unable to picture its location in view of what else I know to be in the vicinity. Namely, the centre is on an industrial estate.

Anyway, we got the chance to have a second visit yesterday evening, to do an amphibian survey. Prior to our last visit to Old Sleningford Farm, I had been unsure if my daughter would appreciate looking for amphibians in ponds after dark, but she was quite taken with the toads on Easter Sunday. And sure enough it was an uplifting experience for us both.

We saw quite a few newts (I had never seen one before) as well as the occasional frog, toad and tadpole. We also got to eat some chocolate frog at the end of the evening.

I wasn’t able to get any photos of the amphibious creatures but as we approached the first pond, as dusk descended upon us, I noticed some flowers that I immediately thought were marigolds. When I looked more closely I saw the petals were a different shape but the leader of the survey must have been reading my mind as he explained that they were water marigold.

water marigolds by the big pond

Talking of flowers, when we arrived at the centre the first thing that greeted us was a lavender bush. I was surprised to see it had flowers but then, why wouldn’t a flower have flowers?

lavender in flower

Back home, my land was reclaimed from the British Coal Board nearly twenty years ago, so it’s no surprise that to look at my garden now it doesn’t look like I live close to the pithead. At the same time, it is no wonder the garden needs some extra tender loving care. Which might finally come in the form of bokashi tea!

a tinkling of bokashi tea

I had read that a bokashi bin would start producing liquid after one to two weeks. So, after a week I eagerly attempted to drain the bin for ‘tea’. Each time, nope, nothing came out, not even a drop.

However, last night when I should have been getting myself into bed, I decided to have a quick go at the bokashi bin. I turned the tap (with bottle at the ready) and…… drip, drip, drip.

It will apparently only keep for a day, so I’m off to do some watering now :-!

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About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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15 Responses to Reclaiming the land

  1. Lovely thank you for sharing Helen

  2. I didn’t know the liquid only kept for a day .. Whoops!

  3. drofmit4108 says:

    Helen.. the Water Marigold, I think, is in fact Marsh Marigold [Calutha palustris]….
    Water Marigold is an American waterplant… looks different with very finely-divided, hair-like leaves, too!

    And your “lavender bush” is a Rosemary… and should be in flower now…
    so no wonder you were surprised to see a lavender in flower now… [mid-summer for that!]…
    enjoy newts… they are wonderful!!

    • Helen says:

      I’m not really up on flower names – I guess that’s because there are so many to learn 😉

      • drofmit4108 says:

        Nor am I…
        I use field guides…
        we have a tower of shelves…
        FULL of guides that go out on trips…
        or lie open ready for use…
        and others by our computers….
        and, now we are in France….
        we’ve got the same guides in French!
        You absorb the names into the brain over time….
        50-odd years of time in my case!!
        But, we both have another problem now…
        the French name for something often is more easily remembered than the Anglais!!
        Errr, HELP!!!

        • Helen says:

          The French name is fine by me! I’ve got French and English swirling round in my head all the time….

          Anyway, enjoy your trips 🙂

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