Logan’s Meadow reserve is having a major make over. The most noticeable work is the pollarding of the Willows along the river bank. It can look a little extreme at first but this essential work has to happen every now and then in a willow’s life cycle if they are growing an area with a high foot-fall.

The trees had become dangerous with many shedding large limbs. The area beneath the trees is well used by the public therefore the risk became too great. The job involved pollarding all the trees at the same time  because they have all grown together as a single unit which means leaving some trees for another year would just make those left exposed and vulnerable to wind throw and further failure. The contractors are working sensitively, preserving many potential bat roosts sites, creating safe deadwood and keeping lower limbs to act as a screen and aid the tree’s regrowth, which should be rapid and with increased vigor.

Other clearance work happening at Logan’s is as a response to increased anti-social activity at the site. There has been a drive to open up large sections and create more light. As well as making the site feel safer it also is a chance to increase the biodiversity of plant life as extra light equals more opportunity for different species to find favorable conditions.

Also more young trees are due to be planted in some of the newly created spaces which will hopefully give a more varied structure to the wooded areas.

If you would like further information about the work please email: parks@cambridge.gov.uk

A lovely morning was had in the October sunshine with local company Sentec. They are an enthusiastic group of co-workers committed to making Logan’s Meadow reserve a more bio diverse habitat. There are several sessions planned over the autumn where employees from the company will be given time away from their desks to help out on the reserve. It was great to see how much they enjoyed the work and also the interest and love they had for their local nature reserve.

This beautiful Herald moth ( Scoliopteryx libatrix) was spotted under some undergrowth at Paradise nature reserve, perhaps not totally surprising seeing as the larvae feed on willow (Salix ) and poplar (Populus). Both plentiful in and around the reserve. This moth is a member of the family Noctuidae and overwinters as an adult. It can therefore be one of the last moth species to be seen before winter and then one of the first to be spotted in the spring. They have also been recorded overwintering together in groups, if a good hibernation site is found with suitable conditions they will sensibly share!

It’s always worth having a look under leaves, especially at this time of year. This little cluster of Birch Shield bug eggs were found under an oak leaf. Looking at them under a microscope revealed their very amusing markings.

Moth enthusiasts meet regularly at Logan’s Meadow reserve in Chesterton to monitor what moth species are around especially since the new reed bed was planted on the site. Happily a Webb’s Wainscott moth was trapped (and released unharmed!) at this month’s session. It is particularly exciting to find this moth here as nationally it’s conservation status is rare. The moth’s larvae feed internally in the stems of mainly Yellow Flag Iris ( Iris pseudacorus) and Reed Mace ( Typha spp. ).

If  you are interested in getting involved with the Moth surveying please email: Parks@cambridge.gov.uk