CROW (Conserve Reading on Wednesdays)
Wednesday, 25th June 2014
Hosehill Nature Reserve, Theale ~ Wildflower survey and meadow maintenance
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.
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.
Plants are counted within metre squares at various points in the two areas.
Look no abacus but reference books are always at hand in case of any doubt regarding a species.
Pyramidal Orchid starting to flower.
Yellow Rattle seedpods and yes, they rattle!
Yellow Rattle in flower.
A stitchwort (probably Lesser Stitchwort).
Birdsfoot-trefoil also known as Bacon and Eggs. By the way, nice nails!
Common Spotted Orchid
A soldier beetle (known to some of us as a 'blood sucker') on Creeping Thistle.
Common Blue Damselfly and stitchwort.
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.
John inspects progress.
Job complete and the lake can once more be seen.
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