The end of the summer?

Our little valley is on a swallow and house martin migration route – from the local landmarks of Flounders Folly on the south western end of Wenlock Edge to Stokesay Castle and then on to the Malvern Hills I suspect.  At this time of year we get hundreds of these birds swirling over the garden and the wheat field next door (still not cut) picking up insects before they continue south. I get a huge amount of satisfaction from the fact that they can get food here – an area where no pesticides are used and the garden has many native plants that support a wide range of insects.  The network of native hedges all around us much also be an important factor.  Wonderful to see them wheeling around the house, but sad to see them go.

About wildlifegardening

Jenny Steel was a Plant Ecologist at Oxford University before becoming a writer. She has more than 20 years experience of writing about and teaching ecology, natural history and wildlife gardening. She is also a photographer, journalist and former plant nursery owner, and a lecturer and tutor in adult education. She has appeared on a variety of radio and television programmes including Gardener’s World with Alan Titchmarsh, and she presented a series of items on the BBC 2 gardening show, How Does Your Garden Grow. She has worked with and written for a variety of organisations including the Royal Horticultural Society, Natural England, Atropos, Ernest Charles, the Adult Residential Colleges Association (ARCA), Haiths, Usborne Books, Complete Gardens, Oxfordshire County Council, the charity Growing Native and several of the Wildlife Trusts. She is also the Garden Bird Guru for the wild bird food company JustAddBirds of which she was a co-founder. The Emmy Award winning film company Panache Productions are currently making a film about her wildlife garden in South Shropshire. She has written 10 books on wildlife gardening. Her website can be found at and her bird food company at
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