Despite the announcement on Wiltshire Council's website and in the Wiltshire Times, the Traffic Regulation Order notices that have gone up in the car park do not mean that parking charges will be introduced at Southwick Country Park. They are part of the formal consultation process that the county has to complete in order to... Continue Reading →

Marathon Man

Frank Lamerton, Friend of Southwick Country Park, ran the London Marathon last weekend in 4 hours 19 minutes and 14 seconds. Out of the 174 runners over the age of seventy, he came 13th.  It was the hottest London Marathon on record and Frank came in somewhere around number 13,500 among 41,000 finishers. He said,... Continue Reading →

The slow worm survey produced a young grass snake, probably one of last year's hatchlings. It was tucked under a  survey mat in Brunts Field, in the warm and dry. It vanished fairly fast after we lifted the mat, but not before DKG took its picture. . Photograph: DKG More reptiles:

Comma

Sunday morning, in the sunshine, Ian found and photographed this beautiful, newly emerged comma butterfly on Village Green. Commas hibernate in bark crevices and the hollows of trees, where they are perfectly camouflaged by the pattern on their underwings. They emerge in the spring to feed on early nectar sources: blackthorn and willow catkins. The... Continue Reading →

"This was the scene I was greeted with in Sleepers this morning, they kindly left their carrier bag so I was able to clear up and get to a bin." DKG    

Words and pictures by DKG. .  .   . I arrived at the owl location very early yesterday morning still hoping to get some decent photos of the barn owls hunting but once again neither Brenda or Barney was seen: quite possibly sitting on eggs? Whilst hidden under the camo net I heard something approaching: Clive... Continue Reading →

Slow worm survey

The Friends,  on a wet and squelchy day last week, prepared to survey the park's slow worm population. Here is DKG's report:     "Mats were cut and numbered for the slow worm survey with 40 mats laid in 4 areas (10 per area). These will be monitored in the coming weeks once we have... Continue Reading →

Blackthorn

Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) is the earliest of our native flowering trees.  In late February it is very distinctive: masses of creamy white blossom on bare black branches. Now, in April, the small nondescript leaves are opening and the plant becomes just one of the many spiny and spiked elements in our hedgerows. In the autumn,... Continue Reading →

Chiffchaffs migrate to the Mediterranean and West Africa for the winter, though an increasing number over-winter here. When they return, their song is one of the first signs of spring. Click to listen to the chiffchaff's song.

Reasons to Scoop Poop: No 1

TOXOCARIASIS: Children get toxocariasis when they are infected with the eggs of roundworms (Toxocara canis) from the faeces of dogs. The infection happens when the child gets soil or sand contaminated with faeces into its mouth. Once the eggs are inside the child's digestive tract, they move into the bowel where they hatch into larvae.... Continue Reading →

Sunday Morning in the Park

BY IAN B. Pleasant saunter with Pat and all the hounds this morning round Southwick Country Park.  The long tailed tit’s nest is now finished with a cladding of lichen.     Two reports: a little egret at the pond and a barn owl hunting on Lambrok Meadow but we didn't see either. We looked for the... Continue Reading →

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