Page 11 - june mag
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Aylesham
            Wildlife Corner                                     have been missing from a lot of gardens for a while, this could be due to
                                                                many things, but lost of nesting and feeding sites due to the destruction
                                                                of trees and hedgerows has played a big part. We used to be told to stop
                                               By Angela Bell
                                                                feeding birds in the spring but for some birds the food we leave out is a
        Another group of wildlife which we take for granted are birds. They   life line. Guidance now is to feed all year round
       are the backing track to all the seasons of the year, but most of all in
       spring and summer as we hopefully have the weather to enjoy our   So what should we feed birds? A lot of guidance can be found at the
       gardens. These creatures come in all shapes and sizes from the little   RSPB  website  www.rspb.org.uk,  but  here  are  a  few  things  to  get
       wren to the larger wood pigeon and beyond. Some of us with gardens   started.
       closer to the countryside maybe witness to a bird of prey or even an    1.   Bird seed mixtures
       elusi                                    ve owl.            2.   Sunflower seeds, peanuts and Nyjer seeds (goldfinches love
                                                                these)
                                                                   3.   Fat based bird cakes, balls and bars
                                                                   4.   Mealworms, both fresh and dried
                                                                   5.   Dog and cat foods – good in dry weather when worms are
                                                                beyond a birds’ reach

                                                                  Now things to avoid using:
                                                                       Cooking fat is bad for birds as it can also be a breeding
                                                                ground for bacteria and high levels of salt could be harmful.
                                                                       Polyunsaturated  margarines/vegetable  oils  –  Birds  need
        By far the most common to visit our gardens are the sparrows and   high levels of saturated fat such as suet/lard. Soft fats will not give them
       starlings, although both have suffered of late from illnesses that did see   what they need.
       their numbers fall. Thankfully, these numbers are increasing again and   Both of these things which is bad for feathers as they can be easily
       providing food and water sources especially when the weather is dry   smeared destroying the waterproofing and insulation qualities.
       two ways we can all help our feather friends.
        Having a bird table or free standing feeder can bring lots of different   By experimenting with different food types I have been able to attract
       species to your garden. There is a design for any garden from specialist   sparrows,  starlings  and  the  normal  crew  but  also  blue  tits  and
       feeders which allow the birds to either perch or hold onto, to special   goldfinches. Considering all the destruction and building work around
       designs in all shapes and sizes even some especially designed to stop   Aylesham I have been surprised. Children will love trying to identify
       squirrels from gaining an easy meal.                     what birds you have attracted and using the RSPB website they can find
                                                                lots of information. So what birds have you managed to get in your
        Encouraging the more fussy eaters may take time, patience and a   garden?
       little research. Blue, Coal and Great tits, Goldfinches, Bull finches etc.


                                                    The Green Howards in Normandy 2019


                                                The Kent Branch of the Green Howards Association (based in Aylesham),
                                                went to Normandy in France to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of D-Day on
                                                the 6th of June. This was a dual celebration as the new Normandy Memorial
                                                statue was also to be dedicated. The statue will be the centrepiece of the
                                                Memorial site which will take a further 2 years to complete, the government
                                                have allocated £20 million to this long-awaited project. The names of 22,000
                                                men who perished on D-Day will be engraved on the pillars. The site is at
                                                Vers-sur-Mer just in from Gold Beach.
                                                We very nearly didn`t make it, the community minibus suffered a mechanical
                                                breakdown which rendered it unavailable, so full marks to CMW Vehicle Hire
                                                of Dover who pulled out all the stops to provide us with a minibus at the very
                                                last minute.
       We were unable to attend the televised ceremony which was only for VIP`s and invited guests, security was strictly enforced,
       but as soon as they had departed we were able to check out the site and take photographs of the statue.
       For the rest of the week we enjoyed the rest of the celebrations, visiting Pegasus Bridge where paratroopers landed by glider
       behind enemy lines and captured the bridge, also Sainte-Mere-Eglise where a paratrooper unfortunately ended up hanging
       from the church steeple, an effigy of this is still in place. Everywhere was full of visitors from all of Europe, the United States and
       Canada.
       Sunday 9th was the highlight of our visit, we attended a ceremony with a band and march past at our Regimental Memorial in
       the village of Crepon, a few miles inland from Gold Beach followed by a service and 2 minutes silence. This village was
       liberated by the 6th Battalion the Green Howards and was where Company Sergeant Major Stanley Hollis was awarded the
       only Victoria Cross won on D-Day for destroying a machine gun post and taking a large number of prisoners single-handed.
       Afterwards the Mayor and the villagers welcomed us to the village hall for drinks and refreshments, we have a long-standing
       friendly relationship with this village. The journey back to our hotel in Caen was
       rather noisy, with everyone in full voice.
       So ended another very enjoyable trip. We hope to return in a couple of years to see
       the completed Memorial which looks to be very impressive. Thanks are also due to
       the Community Project for their assistance with the cost of the trip.
       The photographs show Branch members at the statue, and an impression of how
       the finished site will look.
       Colin Inett.
       www.aadcn.co.uk                                      9                              editor@aadcn.co.uk
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