This late in the year, there are few butterflies about but there is always a speckled wood (Pararge aegeriais) somewhere. Here is one on hawthorn berries photographed in September 2019 by DKG.Continue reading “Speckled wood”
Hawthorn berries, startlingly red and so numerous that they weigh down the trees, are an indication that the summer is finally over. This year, why not try making haw ketchup.Continue reading “Haw ketchup”
Connecting with nature
by David Feather
I wonder how many problems get solved, as visitors to the park have the chance to think more clearly, away from the pressures of modern life. Even if we do not solve problems, there is a growing body of research that has proven without a doubt that connecting with nature can improve our mental health.Continue reading
This Bank Holiday Monday, how many of you will have a plastic bottle of water somewhere in your back pack? I know I will: a well-used plastic water bottle, refilled from the tap many times but, nevertheless, a plastic bottle made originally to serve the bottled water industry.Continue reading “Bottled water”
The Friends have planted hundreds of trees in the reserve over the years but a new study has concluded that we should be planting our trees without plastic tree guards. Research has shown that there are significant carbon emissions from the manufacture of plastic guards, they are not always collected after use and, left in the environment, they break down into damaging microplastics.Continue reading “Plastic free park”
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.Read on:
By Ian BushellContinue reading
Ian Bushell conducted a Butterfly Transect in the reserve at the weekend.
The transect route in the park samples its habitat types and management units. Butterflies are recorded in a band five metres wide along the transect. Transect walks are undertaken between 10.45am and 3.45pm and only when weather conditions are suitable for butterfly activity.
Here are the results.Continue reading “Butterfly transect”
More about oak galls
This strange object is a knopper gall on an oak tree, photographed in the reserve yesterday by Ian Bushell. At this time of year, our many oak trees are sporting a whole variety of galls.Continue reading
Message from Tree Officer Rich Murphy:
I’m not sure if the quality of the picture will be much good but I found some dead man’s fingers in the copse in Simpson’ Field – I don’t know if they are on the list for known fungi within the park.
Thank you, Rich; and no, they are not on our list of known fungi in the reserve.Continue reading “Dead man’s fingers”
Debbie Cronnie has sent pictures of the young kestrel family that is learning to hunt in our fields at the reserve.
Thank you Debbie.
Header image by Clive Knight
Wednesday Work Party
Not a bad morning, not overly sunny but at least there was no rain.Continue reading
The white-letter hairstreak, so named because the white lines on its underwing form a W, is the emblem of the Wiltshire Branch of Butterfly Conservation and is the focus of a project to return this butterfly to our countryside.Continue reading
Why has this been such a good year for orchids?
This year, we have identified five species of native orchids in the reserve. Two of them, the common spotted orchid and the broad leaved helleborine, are old friends, but bee orchids, pyramidal orchids and southern marsh orchids also appeared for the first time in the reserve’s fields.
What makes a good year for native orchids? Here are five possible factors to take into consideration.
An astonishing video of European hornets in flight.
Video by nature photographer, Lothar Lenz, published by Caters Clips.
Towards the end of July, a second brood holly blue butterfly (Celastrina argiolus) was spotted in the reserve and photographed by Clive Knight.Continue reading “Holly Blue”
There is a hardware problem which we hope is being fixed. In the meantime, while we are learning to operate a WordPress site from a smartphone, here is a gallery of pictures taken in the reserve by the late, great DKG.
These are the flowers of Typha latifolia, the common bulrush, growing vigorously along Lambrok Stream.Read on:
Devil’s coach horse
A Devil’s coach horse (Ocypus olens) was found and identified in Kestrel Field yesterday by Sarah Gould. Ocypus olens is a swiftly-moving ground beetle species and this one was moving so swiftly that Sarah was unable to get anything more than a blurred, but perfectly identifiable, picture which we sent to Ian for confirmation. This is a new species for the reserve’s comprehensive listsContinue reading
Red bartsia in Lambrok Meadow by the stream near where there is a ford across into the Church Lane field.Continue reading “A parasitic plant”
Picture of the week
A beautiful small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) feeding on ragwort, photographed yesterday in the reserve by Clive Knight.
There are six species of social wasp that are native to Britain and this is a good time of year to identify them.Continue reading “Wasp time”