Ten lords a-leaping

On this, the tenth day of Christmas, here are the extraordinary flowers of lords-and-ladies, the wild arum (Arum maculatum), photographed in the reserve in April.

Pictures taken in the park by Suzanne Humphries

On the first 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 happened to Oak 5552?

Sometimes, healthy and mature trees shed large branches during the summer for no apparent reason. This is what is known as Summer Branch Drop Syndrome and it is what happened to Oak 5552 in August of this year.

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A beautiful photograph from Ian Bushell of the pollarded oak tree by the footbridge between Cornfield and Sleepers.

First frost

Last night brought the year’s first frost to many parts of the country.

Video: Timelapse of frost forming on European beech leaves ©Alastair MacEwen/naturepl.com
Header image: frosted leaves by DKG


Wikipedia defines bioturbation as the reworking of soils and sediments by animals or plants. Here is a video of a system with and without soil fauna such as earthworms, mites and isopods over a 15 week period: this is what is happening to the fallen leaves all over the reserve.


Prunella vulgaris goes by many common names – heal-all, woundwort, heart-of-the-earth, carpenter’s herb, brownwort or blue curls – but in these parts it’s best known as selfheal.

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