All posts by timh

Current plant life

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.

Latest News

Thanks to Mark Hockey for some more brilliant pictures – check out the gallery. We have a work group organised again for this Saturday – 13th September, 2014. Anyone is most welcome to join us. We meet in the lay-by by the car wash on Countances Way at 09:30.

Purple Hairstreak

phWe are pleased to report there have been several Purple Hairstreak sightings of late. Now is a good time to spot the elusive creatures, who spend most of their time living amongst the branches of oak trees. The warm summers evenings are ideal for spotting them flitting amongst the leaves although getting a photo is not easy. There is more than one oak tree on the site so if you’re interested why not pop down on a warm and sunny evening and take a look. 6:30pm onwards is a good time.

oaktreeleavesI hasten to add the butterfly photo is not one of ours but we are working on that! You only tend to see them from a distance but if you see butterflies in the oak trees, at that time, it is more than likely this is what they are. We saw some tonight in an oak tree in the Northern corner of the North Lawn:

Site map

Bottle digging problems

Bottle digging continues at the Nature Reserve and proves to be a thorny issue. The latest dig was in a discrete area, but leaving broken glass and rubbish exposed is not something you want to encourage on a Local Nature Reserve. The photos here don’t really do it justice, but it would be interesting to hear other people’s opinions on this pastime.

I can see why some of these areas have been dug and some of the finds may be interesting but it is a bit disrespectful to the volunteers, who have worked hard for the site to be awarded Local Nature Reserve status, to be confronted with this.