Category Archives: Wildlife

Highlights of the week

Lots of butterflies out in the sun. On Tuesday we saw a gatekeeper at ‘Thistle Corner’ on the Pony Wood path, commas, a peacock, and lots of whites as we progressed round the wood; speckled woods in the Orchard; small skippers in West Field and the Hay Meadow, plus meadow browns of course. We also saw a smallish dragonfly in the woodland extension, too distant to identify, and the marmalade hoverfly photographed below. A jay was squeaking like a monkey in the wood.

Today more gatekeepers at Thistle Corner, plus the one photographed below in the hedge between Big Meadow and School Pond. A greenfinch was calling noisily near the gates between Big Meadow and Grammar School Field.

IMG_2205 IMG_2217

Mystery Giant Orange Caterpillars

Mandy Bannon sent this message by email:

Mike took this photograph of a writhing  bundle of big orange caterpillars – yesterday  ( July 11th) on Pony Wood – Aldcliffe Rd path. It was about 5 yards down from the bend where the bench is (on Flora field side of the path).  If you zoom in, you’ll see above the caterpillar masse is a fine cobwebby structure that they appeared to be leaving.

Do you know what they might be?


20200711_140033 (1)

Toad and fumitory



Purple Ramping Fumitory

Purple Ramping Fumitory

Walking along the Long Pads footpath this afternoon and spotted Mr Toad.

Last year we discovered the rather rare plant Purple ramping Fumitory on our land. I marked the spot and took a look this afternoon. There it was!

Exciting Sighting

From Mandy:

Yesterday (Sunday June 14th) Mike was surprised by a male(?) roe deer (with small antlers) running towards him down the Pony Wood Path (Mike was at the Longpads gate). The deer veered away from him as soon as he saw Mike and jumped over the fence , running across Flora Field.  This was at 2.45pm!  It’s good to know the path is being used by a variety of wildlife!

And from me a song thrush , swallows and house martins in Flora Field and a tortoiseshell butterfly, a wasps nest and numerous yellow ladybirds on the beetle bank.