ECONET   Conservation Volunteers, Reading, Berkshire
Conservation of the Natural Environment
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CROW (Conserve Reading on Wednesdays)
Wednesday, 11th June 2014
Fobney Island Wetland Nature Reserve ~ Path clearance

Path being cleared

It was not only the vegetation that was blocking the path on the south side of the river but also trees brought down by the winter's gales.

Path being cleared

Path being cleared

Elsewhere it was bramble and nettle that needed our attention.

Path being cleared

Caterpillars

While nettle may not be everyone's favourite plant, a brood of Peacock butterfly caterpillars are enjoying a feast.

Caterpillars

Nettles are a food plants of both the peacock and .....

Caterpillars

..... small tortoiseshell butterfly caterpillar.

Balsam pulling

By the end of the morning the path was clear but as we made our way back to have lunch on the Island we noticed some Himalayan balsam growing, as ever, amongst the nettles.

Balsam pulling

Cathy practises her war dance to obliterate whatever thoughts the balsam may have had about continuing to grow.

Planted trees

After lunch we went for a tour of inspection around the Island to see how well the trees planted by The Conservation Volunteers during the autumn were doing. Given most of the site had been under water for much of the winter, the trees were in good shape with remarkably few losses.

Walking through nettles

While wearing a short sleeved top may be more comfortable on a warm day, it's not always ideal when working in nettles and the like.

Walking through nettles

Common blue damselflies were much in evidence. That above is a male .....

Walking through nettles

..... while here are both male and female .....

Damselflies

..... and finally a pair mating.

Damselflies

Also to be seen were banded demoiselle, .....

Damselflies

..... both females.

Bumblebee

A wide variety of bees and other insects were to be found around the site.

Bumblebee

Bee

Bee

Bug

An assortment of other insects were also to be found around the Island.

Bugs

Bugs

Bugs

Eighteen spotted ladybird. Correction: It's a Harlequin ladybird. Sorry!

Bugs

A bush cricket.

Bugs

Possibly a mint leaf beetle transforms this dock leaf into lace. Actually it's a Gastrophysa viridula or Green Dock beetle.

Swans

All the while the swans swim serenely on the lake.

Balsam pulling

Later we headed along the towpath of the Kennet Canal where we waded shoulder deep into nettles to remove more balsam.

Balsam pulling

Balsam pulling

Hannah seems very happy, she may not be so enthusiastic by the end of the summer.

Our thanks to all who joined us: Peter, Mike, Marcus, John, Hannah, Chris, Cathy, Bob, Barry and Alan.

Created: Sunday, 15th June 2014
Photographs: Hannah Graves, John Lerpiniere, Mike Kempton