An abundance of Orchids have been spotted at the Ben Rhydding reserve today (see the featured picture of a Marsh Orchid). They are also flowering at the Sun Lane reserve where we were lucky to spot several Brimstone butterflies and a Comma this morning. The Brimstone’s seemed to be thriving among the Alder Buckthorn trees; the food plant for their larvae. Sun Lane currently has an abundance of Birdsfoot Trefoil, which is good news for a possible Common Blue revival. We will be keeping our fingers crossed for this year.
One of our aims at the Ben Rhydding reserve has been to try and promote a wider variety of native plants for birds and insects and we have already planted many plug plants and spread wildflower seed in a coppiced area of Hawthorn. We are happy to report that, after a long period of little plant life, the latter has sprung into life with new flowers making the most of the extra light now available to them. In a bid to try and understand what sort of plants the reserve would support, Steve Peel, of Natural England and a regular volunteer with us, has also analysed a series of soil samples for us. We were most grateful for his efforts since the information will be very valuable in our continued efforts to enhance the site’s biodiversity.