Last winter we created a new hedgebank here on the farm as part of our Countryside Stewardshipcommitment. While locally sourced wildflower seed was sown into this fresh earth to help establish a grass, herb and flower mix of local genetics and native species, the first flush of opportunistic colonists of the bank are somewhat surprising and has left me scratching my head towork out where they've come from! Walking along the bank on a warm July afternoon, the blooms bob under the sheer weight of beesand flies feeding on the prolific nectar and pollen. This is a great sight and, in very practical terms,exactly the result we wanted. However the blooms are not delicate native hawksbeards; trefoils andscabious they are vigerous nonnative flowers typical of a headland seed mix. Blue tansy, Phacelia tenacetifolia is a North American plant which is commonly sold in gardencentres and agricultural seed supplies for nectarrich planting. It is currently drowning in a weightof bees, gorging themselves on the rich nectar held within. The current thought is that the earthused to create the bank had the seeds of this plant through the straw brought in for winter cattlebedding. This preloading of good quality dung certainly accounts for the subsequent strong growth! While I was checking recently I saw a tremendous sight. Perched on a stem in the bank was acarnivorous dung fly sucking a drone fly dry. At this time of year our lambs are really bothered byflies and so every time one is removed by a natural predator, Peter raises a toast! It might seem naively inconsequential to remove just the one, but if this predator/prey interation isbeing played out a thousand more times unseen, every few minutes, with buzzing patrols of housemartins and swallows joining suit, then the outcomes are far more signficant for the welfare of the livestock than is first appreciated.