ECONET   Conservation Volunteers, Reading, Berkshire
Conservation of the Natural Environment
Home About Us Programme Links Photo's Contacts

CROW (Conserve Reading on Wednesdays)
Wednesday, 25th June 2014
Hosehill Nature Reserve, Theale ~ Wildflower survey and meadow maintenance

Wildflower meadow

CROW's annual visit to Hosehill to count plants in the meadow and on the butterfly bank to provide an indication of the success or otherwise of the site's management.

Wildflower meadow

We were fortunate in having chosen a sunny day for the task. The seedpods seen here are those of Yellow Rattle, a parasitic plant that can significantly reduce the growth of grass allowing the flowers to flourish.

Metre square

Plants are counted within metre squares at various points in the two areas.

Volunteers counting

Look no abacus but reference books are always at hand in case of any doubt regarding a species.

Wildflower

Pyramidal Orchid starting to flower.

Wildflower

Yellow Rattle seedpods and yes, they rattle!

Wildflower

Yellow Rattle in flower.

Wildflower

White Clover

Wildflower

A stitchwort (probably Lesser Stitchwort).

Wildflower

Cinquefoil

Wildflower

Hogweed

Wildflower

A cranesbill.

Wildflower

Birdsfoot-trefoil also known as Bacon and Eggs. By the way, nice nails!

Wildflower

Crosswort

Wildflower

Pyramidal Orchid

Wildflower

Bee Orchid

Wildflower

Common Spotted Orchid

Wildflower

Self-heal

Wildflower

Ox-eye Daisy

Wildflower

Red Clover

Wildflower

A soldier beetle (known to some of us as a 'blood sucker') on Creeping Thistle.

Wildflower

Common Blue Damselfly and stitchwort.

Wildflower

Ragged Robin

Wildflower

Grass Vetchling

Wildflower

Meadow Cranesbill

Wildflower

Tufted Vetch.

Volunteer clears scrub

In addition to counting plants, part of the group will often undertake some maintenance work on meadow such as controlling the Dock or Hemlock Water Dropwort which tend to thrive there. This year however it was decided to clear an area of shrub at the lake's edge where there had once been orchids. Some orchids remained nearby and it was hoped they might re-establish themselves.

Volunteers clears scrub

John inspects progress.

Area cleared of scrub

Job complete and the lake can once more be seen.

Goose

Our thanks to the volunteers who joined us to today to help with the plant transects and also the scrub clearance, Cathy, Hannah, John, Marcus, both Mike's, Peter, Trish and Alan.

Created: Friday, 18th July 2014
Photographs: Hannah Graves, Mike Kempton