Biodiversity Project News – July 2020

July …..   Although the Project site has had to look after itself more than usual this year, volunteers have helped to keep the paths clear and to control some areas where particular plants would quickly dominate if left to their own devices. The meadow is beginning to put on a good show now. The dominant species are the white corn chamomile and yellow corn marigold but some more poppies and cornflowers have been added this year to boost the range of colour.  Please do visit and enjoy this display whilst it’s at its best!

In contrast, the woodland is looking darker now as the tree canopy becomes full and the white cow parsley gives way to more nettles and goosegrass. These changing light levels explain why so many of the woodland flowers appear early in the year when more sunlight can penetrate and insect pollinators can access them more easily.

In the wet meadow the dominant plant is great willowherb but look carefully around the edges and you will find the curious water figwort, tufted vetch and perhaps ragged robin, which looks rather like a small version of red campion with shredded petals.  At the pondside, clumps of yellow flag iris are now giving way to the tall spires of purple loosestrife and the area near the bridge has a good display of comfrey and meadowsweet with fleabane to follow.

The rough meadow between the pond and green is looking very good now with a particularly wide range of plants. This diversity of flowering plants attracts many insect pollinators, not limited to bees and butterflies but also flower and soldier beetles, hoverflies, a host of different fly species and moths by night.  If you take a leisurely walk and examine the flowerheads you will quickly build up a large tally of species – there is no need to identify them all to appreciate just what a variety is to be found.  This epitomises what the site is all about of course – enjoy!                                                                           Tim Baldwin





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