holly blue, large white and orange tip

Butterfly count

Ian Bushell walking round the park with our Countryside Officer, Ali Rasey, spotted a large white, a male brimstone, two male orange tips, a speckled wood, a small tortoiseshell and a holly blue. That is four more species for our spotter’s list

small tortoiseshell. speckled wood, brimstone

Ivy flowers

The park’s ivy flowers between September and November; each plant’s flowering season is quite short but a succession of plants flowers all through the autumn. The flowers are small, green and yellow, and so insignificant-looking that many people don’t realise that that they are flowers at all.

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Jerusalem artichoke

A message from Ian:

May be of interest to you:   Jerusalem Artichoke, Helianthus tuberosus, identified by Lindsay Moore [County Recorder Flora].  Ali and I found it along the stream near the bridge at the bottom of the Blackthorn Tunnel.  I’ve added it to the Census.  Unusual, probably from some bird dropping seed. 

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Wasps

By this end of the summer, the workers in a wasp nest will probably have finished raising and feeding the new queen larvae. The larvae have spun caps over their cells and begun the process of pupation. This indicates a change for the nest.

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Weeds

The Weed Act of 1959 requires landowners and occupiers to control the spread of five species of injurious weeds: ragwort, creeping thistle, spear thistle, common dock and curled dock. The Weed Act’s purpose was to increase the productivity of arable land and to protect livestock at a time, post WWII, when self sufficiency seemed at lot more important than ecology.

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Creeping thistle

Like ragwort, creeping thistle (Cirsium arvense) is classed as an injurious weed by the Weed Act of 1959. Our hedges and edges are full of it: beautiful, pollen-rich, heavily scented flowers, buzzing with invertebrates, followed by seed heads elevated on stems sturdy enough to support seed-eating birds. Gorgeous.

 

Photographs by DKG

A closer look at insects

On Wednesday, DKG and his macro lens took a close look at some of the park’s invertebrate inhabitants.

Click on any picture to enlarge it.

 

click here for more insects

Meadow browns

A message from Ian B on Tuesday of last week:

Had a walk around the park this afternoon and did a bit of a butterfly transect.  The park is  looking good. I saw 3  speckled woods, 7  small skippers and 43  meadow browns – the latter were in perfect condition as though they had  just hatched – the majority of the meadow browns were in Village Green.”

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Ring barking

Ring barking or girdling can kill a tree. It happens when the tree’s bark is removed right the way round its trunk. Accidental girdling may be the result of a carelessly used strimmer, or over-tight wires and ties; it might be mammals gnawing on the bark or, in the case of deer, rubbing their antlers against it.

Continue reading “Ring barking”

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