Hay Meadow Survey (Saturday 27th May, 10am)

Graeme Skelcher will do the first survey of the Hay Meadow at 10am on Saturday 27th May.

Volunteers are welcome to join him, including accompanied children. Meet on the Fauna path at the gates into the Hay Meadow, just by the corner of Carr House Meadow at the Cromwell Rd end.


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)

Flowers in the Stubble

On our routine monthly inspection yesterday we (Oliver and Glenys) found quite a number of flourishing plants among the Flora Fields stubble, which had been sown in the arable crop last spring. Some flowers were visible in July when the crop was high, but they seem to have been given a new lease of life by the crop removal at harvest time. They are fairly clearly visible from the footpaths, in two strips paralleling respectively the Canal boundary and the Long Pads boundary. We identified Corn Marigold and Cornflower quite easily but were unsure of the other two – possibly varieties of Chamomile? Can anyone identify these (apologies for photo quality!) ?


IMG_0974 IMG_0980


IMG_0973 IMG_0972

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