The Government has decided to allow the emergency use of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on sugar beet in England in 2021, despite objections from conservationists. The decision, in response to pressure from England’s farmers, will permit the treatment of sugar beet seed to combat beet yellows virus, which is spread by multiple species of aphids.Continue reading “Neonicotinoids”
There are 2,300 species associated with oak, 320 of which are found only on oaks. Here is a gallery of wildlife photographed in the park’s oaks.
Header picture: Oak Bridge by DKG
In February of 2014, the Friends of Southwick Country Park planted an orchard: thirty eight heritage apple trees of fourteen different varieties, in the southern end of the park. They have really beautiful names:Continue reading “Heritage orchard”
On the tenth day of Christmas, here are the extraordinary flowers of lords-and-ladies, the wild arum (Arum maculatum), photographed in the park during April’s lockdown.
Pictures taken in the park by Suzanne Humphries
Milkmaids is one of the many common names of Cardamine pratensis, a spring-flowering plant that loves our damp meadows and stream edges. In Wiltshire we know it more often as lady’s smock or, because it flowers when the cuckoo returns to Britain, as cuckoo flower.Continue reading “Eight maids a-milking”
… a review of 2020’s species list
by Ian BushellContinue reading “On the sixth day of Christmas”
my true love sent to me
a partridge in a pear tree. The park’s partridges are Perdix perdix, the grey partridge, not the pretty little North American plumed partridge, Perdix plumifera, sitting in our Christmas card’s pear tree. Neither does the park actually have any pear trees: cherries, plums, sloes, apples and pedants aplenty but no pears at all. Nevertheless…
Christmas greetings from the Friends of Southwick Country Park.
What would Christmas be without mistletoe? There is only one species of mistletoe native to Britain, Viscum album, but there is none growing in the park. We would love to see it established here but we are not sure how we would go about it.Continue reading
Today is the day after the shortest day: the year has turned.Continue reading “Solstice”
Here are five things you may not have known about the ivy in your Christmas wreath.Continue reading “Ivy”
Over the years the Friends of Southwick Country Park have planted many holly whips in the hedges around the park’s fields.Continue reading “Holly”
Many of the evergreen plants in the park have traditionally been used in the celebration of winter festivals. As the days grew ever shorter and colder, winter must have been a frightening and dangerous time for the early human cultures of northern Europe.Continue reading “Winter festivals”
Clive Knight has sent us pictures of the beautiful scarlet seeds of Iris foetidissima growing in our woods.Continue reading
It had been assumed that a warming climate would lead to a longer growing season for our deciduous trees, followed by a later autumnal leaf-fall. However, research has indicated that this might not be so.Continue reading
The park’s oak trees have produced more acorns this year than any of us can ever remember. These periodic bumper harvests are called mast years.Continue reading
This year the park’s spindle trees have produced a bumper crop of poisonous, bright pink berries.
Disease resistant elm
We have precious elm saplings, resistant to Dutch elm disease, that will need to be planted out in the park soon.Continue reading
There are silk button galls on the underside of oak leaves all over the park.Continue reading “Silk button galls”
Salix is the genus name of willow, trees known and cultivated for millennia for their medicinal properties.Continue reading “Salix”
More about oak galls
Yesterday’s post about oak apples prompted questions. Here is more information about some of the oak gall wasps that induce oak trees into producing such strange growths.Continue reading
More about our oaks.Continue reading “Oak gall ink”
A whip is a slender, unbranched shoot or plant. This term is used in forestry to refer to unbranched young tree seedlings of approximately 0.5-1.0 m (1 ft 7 in-3 ft 3 in) in height and 2–3 years old, that have been grown for planting out.