William Wheats Garden Centre….. and haven for wildlife!
A few weeks ago, I met a Twitter contact, Ben Dolan, who is a trainee ringer. We went up onto Cannock Chase to see if we could net some nightjars. Unfortunately, although they showed, we did not catch any. Ben told me about a great garden centre where he had set up a feeding station and was ringing the visitors. He told me about the great nature area that had been set up that was enjoyed by both the public and schools.
Check out there website by clicking the picture below.
Today, I nipped out to see it as it is not too far from me. I met Ben there and he gave me a guided tour. Wow! What a super site! A lovely garden centre with a huge collection of pools outside and great areas planted for wildlife, as well as some small wooded copses and fields. It is a super site and Ben has set up a small feeding station which has an impressive collection of visitors!
We even found a swallow nest in a small outbuilding that Ben wants to open up a little next year, specifically to encourage swallows. As we crept in, the female came off of the nest and virtually flew straight into my face! On investigating the nest, we found that there were eggs in it! Surely these will never fledge in time to migrate, which is sad. They must be a second, or possibly third, brood.
Ben is running a ringing demonstration at the garden centre on the 14th September, weather permitting. It will run from about 10am- midday. If you live around this area, it would well be worth a visit. I will be travelling to Sheffield Uni with my daughter, so won’t be able to make it, sadly.
Thanks to Ben for showing me around though and hopefully I will be able to join him on a ringing session there in the near future.