An excellent drawing by Jonah, who has noticed that the flowers of native bluebells grow on only one side of the stem; there are seedlings growing next to the parent plant. The dragonfly is probably an emperor dragonfly, one of the few species that becomes a full adult in April when the bluebells are flowering.... Continue Reading →

Ichneumon wasp

This is an ichneumon wasp feeding on clog weed near Lambrok Stream. There are more than 2,500 species of ichneumonids in the UK; it is believed they make up 10%  of all our insect species. It takes an expert to identify any except the most obvious. This one looks like Alomya semiflava  but the time... Continue Reading →


The Friends of Southwick Country Park will be manning a stall at Hope Nature Centre's Summer Fete on Sunday 20th May, which will begin at 12.00am We will be trying to raise awareness and volunteers, and inform people about the park, its wildlife, keepers and its users. There will be a book stall as well.... Continue Reading →

Blue Tits Delay Nesting

For the last two years, a pair of blue tits has nested in a hole in an oak tree in one of the  copses at the southern end of the park. There, they successfully raised broods of chicks under the watchful eye of DKG's camera. Oak trees are a favourite haunt of nesting blue tits.... Continue Reading →

Camping is NOT allowed in Southwick Country Park.   Wiltshire Council

Getting in touch…

We were told, a couple of days after the event, of two large and aggressive dogs, without collars, apparently unattended, running around in the park. This, coupled with the damage done to four of our trees last week, made us worry that park users might not have the right information to report such things as... Continue Reading →

Ring barking

Ring barking or girdling can kill a tree. It happens when the tree's bark is removed right the way round its trunk. Accidental girdling may be the result of a carelessly used strimmer, or over-tight wires and ties; it might be mammals gnawing on the bark or, in the case of deer, rubbing their antlers... Continue Reading →

DKG heard this year's first cuckoo in the park on Sunday morning.

Vandalism fatally damages SCP trees

The vandals are back. Last night we got this message from DKG: "Just returned from a walk around the park with Chris S. Unfortunately the vandals are back. Four trees have been ring barked in the copse in Village Green, the same area where we had trouble last year. If it was children they knew... Continue Reading →

Stinking Willie and Marefart

Ragwort has many common names; in fact some, like stinking willie and marefart, are downright vulgar. Both refer to the plant's unpleasant smell. Another set of names, staggerwort, stammerwort and sleepy-dose, are about to its toxicity.  Then there is felon weed, swine grass and our personal favourites: scrog and weeby. To go with its unsavoury nicknames, Ragwort... Continue Reading →

By DKG: "A few photos from a stroll last night, unfortunately the cloud closed in and even a few spots of the wet stuff, very dull and dismal. The Bluebells are situated in the copse  in Brunt's Field; a lovely display this year after the haloing last year. There is no sign of the green... Continue Reading →

Reasons to scoop poop: no. 3

Most bio-degradable poo bags are not really bio-degradable; they are photo-degradable. In UV light their long molecular chains break down and they become lots of little pieces of plastic. If you wrap perfectly biodegradable dog faeces in non-biodegradable plastic and hang it in a tree, it either hangs there for years, is collected by a... Continue Reading →

Invasion of the Spanish squills

Our native species of bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) is threatened by the spread of Spanish squill (Hyacinthoides hispanica), a similar species imported into our gardens from southern Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries. Our native bluebells are dark blue and fragrant, with flowers on just one side of the stem producing that characteristic droop; the... Continue Reading →

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