Wiltshire Council has finally opened a consultation portal on the proposed changes to the draft Wiltshire Housing Site Allocation Plan. The consultation period will last for six weeks; it began on Thursday, 27th September and will end on Friday, 9th of November.
Pictures, by DKG, of Tuesday’s misty morning. Click any picture to open the gallery.
There are hundreds of species of crane fly in this country and almost all of them go by the name of daddy long legs. The differences between species can be microscopically small but we think this specimen is either a common European crane fly (Tipula paludosa) or a marsh crane fly, (T. oleracea).
There are several families of magpies in the park. This year’s crop are, as yet, short-tailed, loud- mouthed and clumsy, hanging out in gangs and still learning to fly properly. But, despite their dramatic black and white beauty, their reputation is poor.
Elena Aschiopoaiei sent us this beautiful picture of an acorn in the rain.
Oak trees produce thousands of acorns every year. Somebody has worked out that an oak tree can produce ten million acorns over its lifetime. In a good year, they carpet the ground under the tree.
I am on your mailing list and during the summer I visit the park with my husband and dog a minimum of 5 days a week. Sometimes every day. Not sure what will happen during the winter as days get shorter and work gets in the way.
The summer is over, the nights are drawing in and DKG has sent pictures of sycamore seeds among red leaves.
Click on any picture to enlarge it.
From SCP’s Countryside Officer, Ali Rasey to FoSCP member Ian B, 17/09/2018, 18:15
This is a picture of a bracket fungus on an oak tree in the park. The mycelium, which is the main part of the fungus, is growing invisibly inside the tree. This beautiful outgrowth is the fruiting body, part of the fungus’s reproductive system.
Four people and a springer spaniel called Buddy came to last Sunday’s ragwort pulling work party. This was really discouraging.
Inkcaps are a group of fungi with gills that liquefy as they mature and drip an inky black liquid that, in the past, was frequently used to make ink.
The bench by the decorated bridge has been damaged and will probably have to be replaced. One of the supports has been snapped right off. There is no sign of rot in the wood; it must have taken considerable force to achieve. A bench like this one, and its installation, costs £500.
A roe deer doe, early on Sunday morning, photographed by DKG who said:
“A lovely morning in the park this Sunday. A few photos taken of three Roe Deer spotted near the footpath leading from Studley Green; unable to get closer just in case I spooked them.”
Don’t forget our ragwort pulling party tomorrow, Sunday 9th. We are meeting in the car park at 10.00am and working until midday. Bring gloves.
An email today from a reader:
I came across this lovely specimen yesterday whilst out walking my dogs. Sunbathing on the bench opposite the stream (it was, not me!). Can you tell me what it is?
The latest update:
The Inspector has returned one of the documents of the WHSAP submission with the requirement that it be put forward for public consultation.
By this end of the summer, the workers in a wasp nest will probably have finished raising and feeding the new queen larvae. The larvae have spun caps over their cells and begun the process of pupation. This indicates a change for the nest.
We need your help.
Our farmer has cut down a lot of the summer’s ragwort in the park’s three big fields but there is more that will have to be pulled by hand. If we are to avoid the regular use of herbicides in the park, we have to accept that pulling ragwort by hand will become an annual chore. We need lots of volunteers.
Frank Lamerton, long-time Friend of the park and regular work party volunteer, is Southwick Country Park’s parkrunner of the year.
Twelve year old photographer, Neave Duggan, has sent us pictures taken in the park of a male red tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) feeding on creeping thistle flowers.
We apologise for wrongly identifying this little bird. We thought it was a blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) but our expert has identified it as a marsh tit (Poecile palustris). This is the first sighting of a marsh tit in the park: a new name for our species lists.
A dot moth (Melanchra persicariae) caterpillar on a spindle tree, seen and photographed by DKG while the FoSCP volunteers cleared the undergrowth around the young trees at the top of Sheep Field. Spindle is not recorded as one of this caterpillar’s food plants, but sallow is, and hazel, nettles, docks and several other species growing in that plantation and its understorey.
This from David Feather:
“My wife and I have learnt that Marilyn Maundrell has recently died. She was an enthusiastic Friend of Southwick Country Park for many years. She brightened up many of our events and meetings with her cheery manner and was a great ambassador for the Country Park. She was only defeated by difficulties with walking which eventually took her into Wingfield Nursing Home, where she died on August 19th. People will remember her smile. It was infectious.
Her funeral will take place at 12.15 on Monday 10 September at Semington Crematorium.”