We knew we had a few large anthills lurking alongside the footpaths on Morte Point but were absolutely amazed at how many there actually were underneath the overgrown vegetation.
The bracken and brambles in particular were really taking over this site so a couple of days spent with strimmers and brushcutters exposing these beautiful and architectural structures was a real joy.
They are the home of the secretive yellow meadow ant which is a very house proud insect. The worker ants regularly remove stray grains of soil from the underground chambers and place them outside the exit holes and over time, the soil builds up to create the ant hill. Ant hill volume is directly related to age with a big hill possibly being hundreds of years old so who knows how old these ones are? I’d love to know!
The yellow meadow ant feeds on the honeydew from aphids, which they breed in their nests and then, during the winter, the aphids themselves are eaten.
We are hoping that the sheep will now be able to graze around the ant hills and keep the brambles under control so that we can enjoy the lumps and bumps even more. To see them in their glory, go on a sunny day when their shadows are cast on the ground, magic!