Walking into an area of orchids reminds of the unique beauty around us amongst the ordinary. Our herb rich grazing still has too many rashes, but the diversity and rarity of species is very special.
And then the rarity pops up in the commonplace spaces just to surprise.
We are basking in some beautiful weather .. and watering all our newly planted wee trees and hedgerow plants !!
And these two were enjoying soaring on the thermals .. glad our lambs come inside in the evening for a little while yet, out of their way. One was spotted flying with a lamb in its talons not so far from here.
April 2017 and our lambing has started with a lovely 4 horned boy to one of our smashing older girls.
and continues with more adorable spottiness
from the Scottish Government
You may wish to note that the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) have published an updated Outbreak Assessment (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/avian-influenza-bird-flu-in-europe) regarding the ongoing Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N8 strain affecting the UK and Europe. Based on the latest evidence the UK risk assessment for a new incursion of AI virus via migratory wild birds has been reduced to “MEDIUM”. However, the risk of infection still being present in the UK, either circulating in non-migratory wild birds or present in the environment in some areas is still “HIGH”. The risk of an AI incursion into poultry or other captive birds remains at “LOW TO MEDIUM”, depending on premises biosecurity.
The Avian Influenza Prevention Zone declared on 22 February continues to apply across Scotland. The zone permits birds to be kept outside provided that enhanced biosecurity is in place. The current zone remains in place until 30 April and will be reviewed based on the latest evidence closer to that time.
The temporary suspension of gatherings of some species of birds (including all poultry) also remains in place.
Bird keepers in Scotland are reminded of the importance of excellent biosecurity and anyone who suspects an animal may be affected by a notifiable disease must report it to their local Animal Plant & Health Agency office. Contact details can be found at www.defra.gov.uk/ahvla-en/about-us/contact-us/field-services/
Wild bird surveillance
APHA surveillance for infection in resident wild birds is being increased. Members of the public should use the Defra helpline (Tel: 03459 33 55 77) to report findings of dead wild birds. In particular, any wild ducks, wild geese, swans, gulls or birds of prey and where more than five birds of any species are found dead in the same location. The threshold has been reduced so that any single wild waterfowl, including resident birds, will be collected for testing.
For more information please visit www.gov.scot/avianinfluenza.
You may wish to pass this alert on to your members as appropriate.
Exotic Diseases Branch
Animal Health and Welfare Division
0300 244 9804
After our most successful recent Forest Garden weekend we would like to host more, and Ludwig is willing !!
Mid May – End June 2017
Led by Ludwig Appeltans, Earth-ways
hosted by Kintaline Farm, Benderloch, Argyll PA37 1QS
Ludwig Appeltans, of Earth-Ways, has a variety of courses to share with us.
Please visit https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/7QH339C to identify the ones you are most interested in, AND THE DATES you can do – (this includes a repeat of the Forest Gardening weekend we have just had for all those who were unable to join us; as well as Sheet Mulching, Soils, Composting, Plant / Weed identification, Intros to Permaculture, to Design, to Community Gardens, as well as a 6 weekend Design Course.
There is also an option for a Herbal Workshop with Clare Holohan, to learn more of our natural species, and then understand more how to convert them into useful concoctions.
Forest gardening is a clever way to design a beautiful garden with the highest yields possible while requiring very little work. This is achieved by allowing the ecosystem to take care of the fertility, pestcontrol, digging and weeding.
The main human tasks are to harvest and enjoy the beauty.
This is possible because forest gardens are designed along the principles of how a natural forest thrives without much human intervention.
Permaculture is more complex involving the three main ethics of Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share .. and then there are layers of understanding to learn to reconnect ourselves with our environment, our communities, our productivity, and our sustainability.
PLEASE please feel very free to forward this information to anyone you think might be interested.
The costs will run on a sliding scale to enable and support all who want to join, while respecting the experience and work involved in leading and hosting the workshop.