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Looking after the site during lockdown

Meet Nick Conway, Museum’s Site Manager

Tasked with looking after the Museum’s grounds, safety and security, Nick has been at the Museum since 1997. He and his two-man team, Steve and Piotr, take on a myriad of jobs to keep the Museum in tiptop condition. During these testing times, they have been busier than ever and have the privileged position of seeing the wildlife and landscape come into its own. Below is an update from Nick, letting us know what he and his team have been up to over the past few weeks:

“The site has almost totally transformed from its winter state into full springtime. The hedges, trees and everything is now green. The birds are nesting and the bird song is wonderful to hear. The Buzzards are regularly flying over the Museum and calling to each other high up in the skies, but the Red Kites are a rarer sight at the moment.

“The pond continues to see an abundance of bird life and the coming of new life. A moor hen has made a nest just under the balcony of the café and there were two chicks hatched last Wednesday which were happily swimming around the pond edge in the sunshine, until I try to photograph them when they dart straight back under the decking!

“There is a coot building a nest on the lake edge by the shop wall, but no eggs as yet. The pond itself is teeming with tadpoles.

“We have been watering seeds in the gardens that were planted just before lockdown and have been mowing the paths and some grass areas within the gardens for Carlotta, our Museum Head Gardener. “With the wet weather at the beginning of the year, and the recent wonderful sunshine, we have been trying to level and seedthe areas in the fields which were damaged by the awful weather that we had at the end of 2019. We have gone from one extreme of regular wet weather, to this recent long dry spell (during April); we could really do with some more rain to help the seeds establish. The area behind Court Barn has been repaired with a grid material which was seeded and is now really starting to come on well, which will help support the field and prevent further damage from our temperamental British weather.”