Wood Ants produce formic acid, which can be sprayed at prey, predators and humans too, long trousers, cycle clips and a hat are needed to get up close. Birds can encourage Wood Ants to spray the acid on their feathers to help control parasites.
No pollinators = No Sloes for Sloe Gin.
109 species of insect are associated with Blackthorn , including the rare Black Hair Streak Butterfly. As an early native flowering hedgerow plant, Blackthorn provides valuable nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinators. The foliage which appears after the flowers is food for many moth caterpillars. Birds, including Nightingales and Blackbirds nest within the thorny dense thickets and as part of the food web, eat the caterpillars and other insects on the leaves. Birds also feast on the sloe berries in the Autumn.
Chaenomeles are an early nectar and pollen source. Fruits may be eaten by birds in the Autumn and left to become a shrubby tangle could make a decent protective nesting site.