Stinking Willie and Marefart

Ragwort has many common names; in fact some, like stinking willie and marefart, are downright vulgar. Both refer to the plant's unpleasant smell. Another set of names, staggerwort, stammerwort and sleepy-dose, are about to its toxicity.  Then there is felon weed, swine grass and our personal favourites: scrog and weeby. To go with its unsavoury nicknames, Ragwort... Continue Reading →

By DKG: "A few photos from a stroll last night, unfortunately the cloud closed in and even a few spots of the wet stuff, very dull and dismal. The Bluebells are situated in the copse  in Brunt's Field; a lovely display this year after the haloing last year. There is no sign of the green... Continue Reading →

Invasion of the Spanish squills

Our native species of bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) is threatened by the spread of Spanish squill (Hyacinthoides hispanica), a similar species imported into our gardens from southern Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries. Our native bluebells are dark blue and fragrant, with flowers on just one side of the stem producing that characteristic droop; the... 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 →

Lesser Celandine

The lesser celandine (Ficaria verna) is the floral equivalent of the swallow, it appears around the same time and marks the coming of spring. In fact the word celandine comes from the Greek name for swallow: chelidon. One of its local names is spring messenger; others are brighteye, butter and cheese, frog's foot, golden guineas... Continue Reading →

Hazel Catkins

The hazel bushes in the park are flowering early this year. The catkins are already yellow with pollen; a sunny detail on a wet day. Each catkin is made up of many male flowers. In bud, in November and December, they are small and grey but they flower bright yellow in January and February. The... Continue Reading →

Planting Native Daffodils

Southwick Flower Show made a very generous donation of £150 to the Park's cause, for which we thank them. We used their gift for the purchase of a thousand native daffodil bulbs (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) which we planted, in October, around the edge of the woodland surrounding Village Green. It was hard work, it rained and... Continue Reading →

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