More butterflies

Lots of whites flying in the wetter areas of the meadows today, and this Green Veined White was enjoying bramble flowers next to the Fauna path. Also spotted were Meadow Browns, a Gatekeeper preferring bindweed at the south end of the orchard, and Speckled Woods.



Dragonfly paradise in the reserve today with at least three species around Alder Pond, where we watched one pair dipping tails into the water laying eggs continually for ten minutes or so. In the orchard a Common Darter took a rest on a bench long enough to be photographed.

Common Darter

Common Darter

Wildflowers and (reported) owl sightings

Whilst preparing for the Ragwort Working Party yesterday morning a woman passing by told us that she had seen baby barn owls at dusk on the top of the shed stone wall. She said that they and their parents could be heard calling to each other in the trees. We looked and listened after the volunteer session last night but without result.

Newly observed flowers include teasels in the Orchard:


The first of our wildflower plugs in flower: greater bird’s foot trefoil:


And what I think is bloody crane’s bill in the Hay Meadow


Volunteering session Wednesday 27th July

Here is Jonathan’s email

Greetings All,

Here are three small but beautifully formed micro-nuggets of volunteering
news for your consideration.

First, there will be a volunteer session in Fairfield Orchard, Fauna and
Flora this Wednesday evening, July 27th, starting at 6.30pm or just as
soon as you can make it after 6.30pm.
The plan is to erect a barbed wire fence in a gap between the Hay Meadow
and Upper Sowerholme in order to keep the cows out of the latter after
haymaking. The task will need wellington boots and a keen sense of
If anyone fancies something slightly lighter there is the usual weeding
and clearing to do.

Second, you are cordially reminded that the Ragwort Working Party
continues to meet at the Shed on Wednesday mornings at 9.30am. It really

And third, consider this to be your advance notice that haymaking will be
on the first suitable three day period of August. Stand by your Inboxes
and watch out for last minute calls for assistance.

Best wishes,


Wildflower plot

The wild flower plot behind the Fauna Stones has been only a modest success. Goodness knows why the re-seeding in March has not been more successful. However, instances of the four annual plants in the mix have appeared (see below) which will set seed. It may be that the perennials in the mix will come in future years.

The annuals are:

Corn marigold


Common poppy


Corn camomile




Butterflies in the Orchard



The comma (above) and (below) what we think was a gatekeeper ( it was more orange than the photo suggests and than the meadow browns )  were both seen in the hedgerow on the southern side of the Orchard yesterday afternoon. Also present, were a skipper and large whites.