In response to the nationwide alert with regards to the Chalara dieback of Ash trees we have had the all clear from the Forestry Commission on samples sent away in November 2012. This is great news for the site, however the concerns are that this disease could still be an issue for the future, so we urge people to clean their walking boots used in other woodland areas before using our own woodland walk.
Another new bird species for the site was recorded in December, this being a Goosander flying over the site towards the Yarm area and presumably heading for the River tees. (This is the 74th bird species for the site). Goosanders feed mainly on fish with 12,000 breeding pairs currently recorded in the UK.
In January the garden team had the annual clean out of all the 41 nest boxes on site ready for the new nesting season. We are hoping to increase the 90% occupancy from last year.
Thanks to Pat Webb and Sheila Brunstrom for conducting the annual RSPB garden bird watch on site. An impressive 24 species were recorded in the hour, including Jays and Tree Creepers. Since then Pat has spotted a male Redpoll on her bird feeders, and Sheila 4 Siskin (both only the second time recorded on site).
Rumours from residents suggest the moorhens have already started nesting on the pond, this time selecting a site under the viewing platform. Please let myself or the garden team know if you notice any other points of interest.
Numerous monthly garden workshops are being held by the garden team this year including new additions such as flower arranging and wildlife walks. To book your place, please see reception or the garden team.
Finally I would like to wish a warm welcome to Audra Hunt our new Recreation guide; she is very keen to meet all residents and make a positive impact at Middleton Hall.
Head of Operations