Our hornet friends

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This morning, Sonny shares the experience of living with hornets in the eaves of the house, and what a valuable opportunity it turned out to be…


Look at the size of family we shared our home with last summer!

hornets net from a distance.resized IMG_1021.resizedThis beautiful nest was in the eaves – 6ft above our front door – and measured approximately 2.5ft across. Hornets are such misunderstood gentle giants… When first noticing the beginnings of this awe-inspiring structure, we had to consider carefully whether to stop them in their tracks and relocate the nest or adjust to them being a part of our family and allow the nest to grow… Something about the fact that they chose our home as shelter made me trust that they were not a threat and we have been proved right. Only at night were they a problem while returning to the nest – they’d somehow get confused by the light from the windows and  end up finding their way in. Occasionally I had one bumble into my face whilst out with a head torch on but generally they stayed out of our way if we stayed out of theirs.

My 12 year old daughter had the rare and wonderful opportunity of a clear view into the nest from her bedroom window and observed the development of things on a daily basis. The most pleasing thing she witnessed and described with great enthusiasm was the symbiotic relationship between the hornets and blue tits… “Mum, The Hornets and the Blue-Tits have this ‘thing’ going on!” The Hornets were bringing grubs out of the hive and leaving them for the Blue-Tits to collect and return to the branch opposite.

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How often are we blessed with close wild encounters such as these? Living at Steward Community Woodland enriches our lives in unimaginable ways… after 12 years of this weird, wild and wonderful way, I can honestly say I wouldn’t want it any other way than nature as family and community…


Remember, you can watch our film and read all about our project and the current situation over here at the crowdfunder page. For more about this part of the campaign to save our community and homes, read this blog post.

Thank you for your continuing interest and support – together, we can make an amazing breakthrough for low-impact living in the UK!

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