Kingcombe is BUZZING!

Bee on flower at Kingcombe © Cat Bolado 

Steve tells us what's going on at Kingcombe, how the wildlife garden is coming along and what's coming up at the Kingcombe centre for the rest of the summer holidays!

We have all been very busy at Kingcombe in support of the Get Dorset buzzing Campaign which has fitted so well into the development plans we have in place for the centre. In particular our wonderful team of volunteers have been meeting each Friday planning and planting our own small Wildlife Friendly Garden at the centre. The team have concentrated on a planting scheme this year which includes annual and perennial plants that benefit our pollinators.

We are as a team constantly learning and lucky to have regular advice from our tutors that have been leading are courses here. For instance if you want to attract the wonderful hummingbird moth to your garden we have found out from John Bebbington our macro photography expert that you should plant plenty of Red Valerium which is a herbaceous perennial attracting females who lay their eggs specifically on this plant.

John and David Brown our butterfly and moth expert always tell us that Kingcombe is a hot spot for pollinators and this year so far we have seen fantastic numbers and varieties of moths and butterflies, the exception being lower than normal numbers of Marsh Fritillary on the reserve this year which may be due to the cold and sometimes wet Spring we had. In fact the cold Spring weather has impacted on our plans to introduce the native black bee to Kingcombe as part of our orchard restoration project in partnership with castle cameras. We were hoping to receive a new queen and her new brood of workers by June or early July but mother nature decided that it was simply not a good time to have plenty of new queens and brood. We will of course continue with our plans and have the top bar beehive ready to receive our new bees in Spring 2020.

Now that we are in a period of warm settled weather our wildlife garden is looking fantastic and is a mass of colour and scent. We are looking forward to showing guests around the garden and demonstrating how simple steps can make a positive difference to our pollinators and give you season long colour. The open day takes place on Friday 16th August from 10am to 4pm and includes a delicious cream tea in our tea room. You can book tickets by calling the centre on 01300 320 684 and tickets for adults cost £10. The garden is accessible for wheelchair users.

The GDB roadshow will be here with us next week and in September we welcome David Metcalff who is exhibiting his wonderful sculptures including some new Bee sculptures in support of the GDB campaign. Further details about this and all our remaining courses can be found on our website or visit us on our new Kingcombe Facebook page.