Beautiful Scrub (not the bath type!)

June 24, 2020

So, what did I mean by scrub?  Scrub land is the messy stuff that most people want to clear up.  It is untamed long grass, nettles and brambles which provide a huge habitats for an amazing amount of mammals, birds and insects. 

I recently read a blog, where the writer had squashed a load of ladybird Larva thinking they were some horrible poisonous pest… before she knew what they were.  She then felt very guilty after googling them and from then on lived by the mantra… NO ACTION WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE  

And, even after going through this, think to yourself, is it really that dangerous? and can I move it rather than kill it, or can  move myself… 

 

Soooooo many things rely on our nettles, brambles, wild flowers and long grasses, so it is hugely important that we all keep part of our gardens wild to accommodate this life (and encourage our communities to do the same, in their gardens and in shared spaces)

Stinging nettles support more than 40 kinds of insects… their spines offer protection from grazing predators (its stops them being eaten!), their leaves and seeds are very nutritious (for humans too!) and they provide early food for ladybirds, their larva and a shelter for their pupae. Aphids love nettles too and these are eaten by blue tits and other woodland birds… a wonderful food chain! 

 

In late summer the huge quantity of seeds produced are food for many seed-eating birds, such as house sparrows, chaffinches, and bullfinches.

Nettles are also a magnet for other insect-eaters like hedgehogs, shrews, frogs and toads, at all times of year.

 

The caterpillars of these butterflies/moths are common on nettles… 

Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral and Comma., The Scarlet Tiger, The Snout, The Silver Y, The Mother of Pearl and The Small Magpie Moth.

 

Nettles and Brambles also have some great uses for us.. blackberries, cordage and a whole host of nutritional benefits too (see the nettle blog )

 You can make all sorts of things out of cordage made from a whole host of plants... why not have a go this week... 

 

Please do send me your pictures

Diana

 

 

Resources and links:

http://www.wildlifeinsight.com/british-caterpillar-galleries/british-moth-caterpillar-galleries/

http://www.wildlifeinsight.com/british-caterpillar-galleries/british-butterfly-caterpillar-galleries/

http://ww2.rspb.org.uk/our-work/rspb-news/news/315846-stinging-nettles-benefit-garden-wildlife

 

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