Our woods and hedges are full of greater stitchwort (Stellaria holostea), a fragile plant that avoids the sunlight if it can and leans on the foliage around it for support.
Our suggestion that we set up a Park Watch along the lines of a Neighbourhood Watch brought in a double handful of volunteers, all of them regular park users. They said that they wanted to help or that they hated to see the park spoiled in any way; nearly all said the park is a special place for them.Continue reading “Park Watch update”
Whirligig beetles are actually a whole family (Gyrinidae) of water beetles: almost 700 different species globally, most of them very much alike and extremely difficult to tell apart. We have no idea what particular species live in the pond above the wooden bridge but all the Gyridinae share some fascinating features.Read on for details and a short video
Dog of the week, Coco, who has trained Joyce to pick up not just for himself, but sometimes for other less fortunate dogs whose humans have failed them. Well done Coco for your altruism – and a gold star for Joyce, dog owner of the week.
This is black sedge (Carex nigra), also known as common sedge. It grows along the Lambrok tributary either in the shallow water or on the bank and there is a bed of it in the woods just past the wooden bridge.Continue reading
Yesterday, there were pond skaters (Gerris lacustris) on the little pond under the wooden bridge.Continue reading “Pond skaters”
We cleared the stream by the wooden bridge; it had clogged up and we feared the little pond was becoming stagnant and would threaten the wildlife there that needs running water.Continue reading “Wednesday work party”
These are the flowers of an oak tree. Oaks are monoecious; they have male flowers and female flowers on the same tree.Continue reading “Oak flowers”
Germander speedwell (Veronica Chamaedrys) in the hedge in Brunts Field.
Pictures by Suzanne Humphries
Last year’s acorn crop was poor and we expected that our resident jays (Garrulus glandarius) would chase away any winter incomers migrating from northern Europe. Jays are very territorial, defending what they consider their oak tree and all their caches of its acorns.Continue reading “The park’s jays”
There was a frost on Saturday night.Continue reading “Late frost”
Squirrels are true omnivores, they eat anything. This one is browsing either on the male flowers of an oak tree or on the new leaf buds. To eat either, the squirrel bites off the whole tuft of new leaves and all the flowers, and when it has eaten the tastiest pieces it throws the rest on the ground.Continue reading “Squirrel in the oak flowers”
The vandalism in the park began earlier this year than last but at least it began with the destruction of infrastructure rather than with the killing of trees, as it did last year.
A walk around the park at sunrise with DKGClick here to open the gallery
As well as local names for the species that live in and visit the park, we use scientific names. It looks a bit geeky but there is a reason.Continue reading “Scientific names”
Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) are the commonest of our wildflowers. They grow everywhere: between our paving stones, in flowerbeds, lawns and roadside verges, and straight up through the tarmac of a well-maintained driveway.Continue reading “A closer look at weeds: part 3”
Regular readers may have noticed the addition of grey boxes titled Conservation Status at the end of posts about our flora and fauna and beneath the pictures on the sidebar.Continue reading “Conservation status”
Picker uppers out for a run: Mandy and Stanley wearing matching outfits and helping us keep our park poop-free. Thank you!
The meadow pipit (Anthus pratensis) is the default pipit. In the UK there are, besides meadow pipits, tree pipits, water pipits and rock pipits all very much alike.Continue reading “Meadow pipit”
By Patrick Jones
I’ve just been looking through the Tree Survey for the Country Park before passing it on to the committee and was amazed by the sheer number of specimen trees. I could not resist breaking it down. I don’t know if this has been done but the following are my (possibly inaccurate) figures.Continue reading “More about our notable trees”
Wiltshire keeps a record of all the notable trees on all county-owned land. Each tree’s species, approximate age and its grid reference are written down; it is given a number and its photograph is taken.Continue reading “Notable trees”
Clearing trees from the new plantations and the areas affected by Ash Die-back has brought spring sunlight to the woodland floor for the first time in years.Continue reading