Peacock

Remember all those peacock caterpillar netsts? They have metamorphosed into a shiny new generation of adult peacock butterflies.

Metal detectors

Wiltshire Council policy on metal detecting

Wiltshire Council does not allow metal detecting by the public on land it owns for the following reasons:

  • Much of the countryside owned by Wiltshire Council is let to third parties, usually for agriculture
  • Were metal detecting/digging by permit allowed in public open spaces it may encourage non-permit holders to detect or dig
  • The council could be left with diggings and unfilled hollows making it unsafe for livestock, farm machinery and, if on public open space, the public
  • There could be damage to sites and features of interest, including archaeology, vegetation and wildlife habitats.

Perforate St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) also known as common St John’s wort.

Header picture taken by Clive Knight, others by Suzanne Humphries

Newt-counting

It is now two years since the Friends of Southwick Country Park took issue with Wiltshire’s Housing Site Allocation Plan. Despite our best efforts the sites surrounding the park and Lambrok Stream, at Church Lane (H2.4), Upper Studley (H2.5) and Southwick Court (H2.6) were selected, last year, for future development.

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Just a reminder that quad bikes are not allowed in the park. They are a danger to walkers, particularly children, and to dogs and the park’s wildlife; if you see people driving quad bikes, please report them to the police.
AND if you can get a picture, without in any way endangering yourself, that would really help

Somewhere between fifty and sixty teenagers gathered in the park, under the Loan Oak, yesterday evening to celebrate somebody’s fifteenth birthday. It’s hard to imagine how such an event could not have ended badly.

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A marmalade hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus) feeding on the nectar of a bramble flower. This is a new species for our lists, despite its ubiquity.

The marmalade fly gets its name from its colour, and its thin cut/thick cut dark stripes, just like marmalade.

A marbled white (Melanargia galathea) on creeping thistle flowers, photographed in the park yesterday by Julie Newblé. If you look carefully, there are at least three common red soldier beetles hidden in the picture.

Thanks Julie.

We apologise to the Village Green Vandals. After a closer examination, we are beginning to think that the goat willow trees in Sleepers Field were actually stripped of their bark by squirrels.

Who is doing this?

We have been sent pictures this afternoon of newly damaged goat willow trees in Sleepers Field. Who is doing this?

Who is it spending their lockdown time climbing into our trees with a sharp blade? If you know anything about this, please report it.

UPDATE: On closer inspection this looks as if it may be squirrel damage. We apologise to the Village Green Vandals for jumping to conclusions. We have sent the photographs to our Tree Officer.


Our email address is friedsofscp@outlook.com
PCSO Mat Till’s email address is Matthew.Till@wiltshire.pnn.police.uk.
Mat is a member of Community Policing Team 1, which can be contacted on 101 ext 36337 or on 07471029309.


The year’s best common spotted orchid, photographed last week by Ian Bushell.

Ian Bushell has sent in a picture of a pair of large red damselflies photographed in the park today, the penultimate day of National Insect Week.

Day 6 of National Insect Week

This is a fig gall, found on an elm leaf in the hedge between Sleepers and Cornfield. It is caused by Tetraneura ulmi, an elm-grass root aphid with a very complicated life cycle.

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