Three butterflies photographed in the reserve this weekend: a female orange tip by Sarah Gould, a speckled wood sent in by Clive Knight and the header picture, a peacock by Mike.

We love to get your photographs of the reserve, please send them in to friendsofscp@outlook.com. If you are using a camera phone, make sure that the pictures are not automatically reduced in size when you share them; we need all the pixels we can get.


Grasses are flowering plants; they have all the same bits and pieces as a buttercup or a dandelion. The difference is that they are wind pollinated so they have not adapted their structure to meet the needs of insect pollinators; they have no scent, no nectaries, no colours or ultra-violet sign posts and no petals to make landing platforms.

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Hawthorn blossom

The reserve’s hawthorns are in bloom and well worth a visit.

Header image taken in the reserve by Ian Bushell

Tree planting

We have been making what might seem to our followers like a great fuss about the planting of just a very few disease resistant elm trees. Here are parts of a post from March 2020, which explain what disease our precious saplings are resistant to, and why we are so eager to get them established in the hedge between Cornfield and Sleepers.

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Most UK butterflies spend the winter as caterpillars or pupae but there are five species that overwinter in their adult form: brimstone, comma, peacock, small tortoiseshell and red admiral, all of them present in the reserve.

All these photographs were taken in the reserve.

Bird flu

Bird flu, like any other flu, comes in different strains, most of which cause few or no symptoms in infected birds. But since October 2021 a very virulent strain of H5N1 has swept around the world causing serious disease and many, many fatalities among both farmed and wild bird populations.

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Badger playtime

This is the time of year when badgers bring their cubs out of the sett for the first time. The weather is warmer and the cubs are now three or four months. This pair (male and female) entice their cubs out to be groomed and to play.


Did you know that all domesticated pigeons and doves are descended from a single species: Columba livia, the rock dove?

No? Neither did we. But all those rollers, racers and dovecote occupants with fluffy feet. curly feathers and fan-tails are domesticated versions of the one species. And, apparently, the process of domestication began more than 10,000 years ago.

Header Image: rock dove (CC0) pixabay.com

Bluebell time

Header image by DKG; all the photographs were taken in the reserve

Disease resistant elms

Progress report

by Ian Bushell

On April 10th we checked the fifteen Dutch Elm Disease Resistant trees, donated by Peter Shallcross and Frank Crosier, that we had planted in April 2021.

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Before you drag the pressure washer out of its winter hibernation, let’s talk about the ecological importance of the moss growing between your patio pavers.

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Puddle Corner

by Clive Knight

Phil, Frank, Peter White and I have started to clear the grass that has overgrown the edges of the path that cuts out the flooded bit by Puddle Corner. We were surprised to see how far the grass has encroached onto the path. We estimated that clearing both sides has opened up the path by around 80-90cm. We haven’t reached half way but hope to finish next week.

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April, come he will…

Has any body heard a cuckoo yet?

The rhyme is a traditional nursery rhyme

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