Highs and Lows
The past couple of weeks in the park have brought me some wonderful highs and unfortunately, some truly depressing lows. I will get the lows out of the way first, as I want to end on a positive note.
I have spent a great deal of time in the park over the past year and I have witnessed how the park gets used as a whole. What I have observed is that many people don’t actually see the park, they just use the park. As a result, many things happen that do not even fall in line with the Countryside Code. When it comes to not obeying the Countryside Code, the council is partly to blame as there are no signs in the park that mention the Countryside Code. But this is something that with input from the Friends, is currently being worked on. However, given how long people have been using the park the way they have, I doubt the Countryside Code will be religiously adhered to, even with signage present.
The government’s Countryside Code; the fishing line we removed from Village Green woods.
What has depressed me the most as an observer of park activity? It is the recent activity by the silly people who wrapped fishing line around trees in Village Green. Clive and I spent almost half an hour removing the fishing line, which gives you an idea of how much there was. I brought the fishing line home and burned it so that there was no way it could cause harm to animals if it arrived at a landfill.
With regards to the fishing line, a special mention must go to Julie Newblé. As you will have read in a previous post, Julie alerted us to the fishing line. I remember the first time I saw Julie in the park during the first lockdown, she was collecting litter with her daughter. How amazing is that?! When I meet people that genuinely have the best interest of the park at heart, it gives me more confidence about the future of the park and its wildlife. Thank you Julie!
A Painted Lady and a wasp spider with her web’s zig-zag stabilimentum.
The highs for me, as usual (apart from knowing that there are people that really do care about the park) have been the wildlife. Recently I got to see my first ever Painted Lady, and what a stunning butterfly that is! I was shocked by how beautiful it was even with its wings closed. Often butterflies can be quite dull with their wings closed, but not the Painted Lady. I was on even more of a high when I was able to get a few shots of it as if fed on thistles in Village Green. It was interesting to see that the Large Skippers didn’t seem too fond of the Painted Lady and for several seconds it was getting mobbed by four Large skippers.
So far, I have found just three female Wasp Spiders, all of them in Village Green. Each one was small, maybe only a third of their adult size. This makes them even more difficult to spot at ground level in the grass, and with each spider I noticed its web first, with the zigzag section (stabilimentum) of the web standing out the most. I am truly fascinated by the park’s Wasp Spiders, and I hope to photograph some larger specimens over the coming weeks.