Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Conservation of meadows
We held a Wildlife Trust site visit on Sunday 10th July which was a great success. The weather was warm and dry and 16 members arrived to explore the plants and insect life. No sooner had I said that I knew that the Great Green Bush Cricket was usually found in the field and one appeared on cue for photographs.
The photographs shown here are a common sights in our meadow: Marbled White butterfly, Common Ragwort and Bee Orchid , this latter now finished flowering and hence difficult to spot. Examples were found showing the seed pods well developed hopefully to provide a good population next year.
Two groups were led around the paths kept mown to reduce the impact of random walking except for occasional inspections of particular plants. Dr Anne Bebbington led the exploration to identify flowering plants and John Bebbington FRPS led a group looking for insects of which there were many. Including day flying moths.Almost every time we do such an inspection we find new species.
Well over 100 plant species, large and small have been found in the 4 acres including 15 grasses.
Following the visit we agreed that the site was worthy of an annual visit by our Botany Group to carry out a formal transect survey probly each June. This would use a fixed and permanent line on the long axis of the field with a half metre square examind at fixed locations along the line. The records would be kept for comparison from year to year. A long term project!
Because the Bee Orchid photo is out of focus here are two Pyramidal orchids of which there are many still in flower in the meadow.