13 Jun 2014
It’s been all about lorries and big lifters going through the park this week. The first (and most exciting) reason for all this is that our new adventure playground is starting to arrive!
It’s been all about lorries and big lifters going through the park this week. The first (and most exciting) reason for all this is that our new adventure playground is starting to arrive! Most of the pieces have been pre-assembled and were carefully transported down our fairly narrow paths to the new site by the Pheasantry. There’s still more to come, but it should all have turned up by the end of today and will be installed during the next couple of weeks.
We know the new play equipment looks very, very tempting but please don’t start playing on it (or letting your children play on it) before it’s properly installed. We don’t want any accidents happening to your kids, or to our playground…
If you’re visiting at the weekend you’ll notice another fairly big bit of heavy lifting has finally happened. The white portacabin (or ‘tin tent’) is no more! We moved the last few bits of furniture up to the new office last week, and the cabin has now gone back to the hire company (I was hoping to get a picture of it disappearing down the driveway but what with all the lorries going in and out delivering the playground, I never even saw it go!). The car park suddenly feels much more spacious, it’s freed up several more disabled parking bays, and it’s great to see the new path and the entrance way as they were meant to been seen.
The warm sun over the weekend has bought out this year’s first batch of spectacular, multi-coloured damselflies. The larvae of damsel and dragonflies live in water for anything up to seven years before emerging to have just a few weeks as the winged, flying adults we recognise. The smaller, narrow bodied damselflies usually appear in June, and we’ve already seen Common Blue Damselflies (pitured left), several varieties of Blue-Tailed Damselflies and a Large Red Damselfly. The wild flower meadow or the path at the dam end of the lake seem to be the best damselfly spots at the moment but I suspect they’ll be all around the lake edge fairly soon.
It’s well worth making the walk up to the dam at the moment as the flower meadow on the lake shore is still absolutely full of Marsh Orchids. They’re getting a little bit overshadowed by the flowering Meadowsweet and plantains but look closely and you’ll see hundreds of purple blobs in amongst the other wild flowers.
If you’re interested in finding out more about wild plants and flowers then there are still a few spaces left on our Wild Food and Campfire Cooking course on Saturday. You’ll get to explore the park with a hugely experienced bushcraft expert and learn to identify a range of plants and flowers growing in the park which we can use for food or medicine. You’ll then come back to o our woodland area to make a campfire and use what you’ve collected to make yourself an amazing wild late lunch. To book drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org and then meet at the new Visitor Centre at 10am.
Unfortunately we’ve had a few more dog-related incidents at Haddo recently, including some snapping or jumping up at staff and visitors, and one being made to fetch a toy from the lake just a few feet from a very distressed and angry Mute Swan trying to protect its cygnets. Any of these incidents could easily have ended up with severe injuries to people, wildlife or the dogs themselves. Dogs are completely welcome at Haddo but they need to be under close control (or on a lead) at all times, and must not be allowed to chase the wildlife (including the ducks and geese at the pond) or cause distress to other visitors. Even big, friendly dogs can be a concern if they jump up at people who are small, frail or unsteady on their feet. It’s worth remembering that allowing your dog to be out of control, injure someone, or even make someone worried that they might be injured or attacked can lead to up to a £5,000 fine and the dog being taken away.
There’s some good advice on when and where your dog should be on a lead here- Scottish Outdoor Access Code for Dog Owners. I know most dog walkers at Haddo are extremely responsible and it’s such a shame that a few people could ruin the reputation of the dog walkers who use the park.