The day of the Darwin mistletoe workshop (see blog 13th Feb) . So off to north Kent/south London first thing.
We start off with my mistletoe briefing – in Down House. Which is nice – ‘cos we’re in one of Darwin’s own rooms… So I feel obliged to quote, at appropriate moments, from Origin of Species.
This is my version of the press picture – the group may look a bit worried (click to enlarge) but there is a lot of mistletoe being handled… and it can make people nervous…
But we’re soon at work – starting at Great Pucklands field (where Darwin did his earthworm studies – click here for more info on Down House geography ). Here we plant mistletoe on hawthorn…
Every planting gets labelled, and some get a chicken-wire guard to deter seed-eating birds.
Here we plant on hawthorn, maple and whitebeam. The dominant tree is hazel, complete with dormouse boxes, but this isn’t a suitable host.
A good mistletoe day. Certainly Judy John (Bromley’s ‘Darwin at Downe’ World Heritage Site Officer) seems happy enough!