Yesterday, while surveying pollinator networks in the reserve, Ian Bushell discovered a colony of bright pink pyramidal orchids (Anacamptis pyramidalis), an important new species for the reserve.

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Every year there is quiet competition among Friends and Followers to see who can send in the first picture of the reserve’s common spotted orchids. This year the winner is Gill Newbury: well done, Gill!

More about Invasive Species Week

Invasive non-native species are one of the top five causes of biodiversity loss worldwide. Here in the UK they harm the environment, threaten some of our rarest species and cost our economy over £1.8 billion a year.

Read on to find out how you can help

More wildlife watching

by Simon Knight

The park is really coming to life now, with the grasses growing, trees in leaf and the fields dotted with yellow as buttercups start to bloom. My visits haven’t been as frequent as I would have liked, which makes me value the time I have spent in the park even more. 

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Red dead nettle

This is a red dead nettle (Lamium purpureum), the commonest of weeds. It flowers for most of the year in untidy vegetable plots, roadside verges and, in this case, nature reserve car parks. Nobody gives it a second glance but its flowers, hidden among its topmost purple leaves, are extraordinarily beautiful.

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Simon Knight has sent us pictures of bluebells and says that this weekend, they will be at their best. Come and see.

Primrose surprise

In 2019, SSE cleared the trees and understorey from beneath their power lines where they crossed the park. It made a bit of a mess, particularly in the area of the blackthorn tunnel, but there have been advantages, too.

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Double flowers

If you are planting your flower beds and hanging baskets this weekend, keep our dwindling population of pollinators in mind and please don’t plant double flowers.

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