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Basildon Park walk Friday 15th July 2011

6 walkers in addition, departing 10.30am and finished at 12.45.
Weather warm with some cloud, a little wind.

We followed the well worn path visiting the top wood, hidden valley and back across the parkland via the Mulberry tree.
Good numbers of butterflies – large white, Marbled White, Red Admiral, Meadow brown (many) Gatekeeper and Speckled Wood in the wood. Also Moths, Garden Tiger – in Hidden Valley and Large Emerald (photo below) on track out of wood after Hidden Valley. The parkland has been mown to clear thistles and this, along with the wind meant no butterflies in the open park areas.

Large quantities of raspberries to eat. Mulberries nearly ready – for Chris next week!! No Spotted orchids now in flower but there is one Pyramid in full bloom on the North facing bank near the seat in the Hidden Valley.

Occasional BlackCap and Chiff Chaff singing in wood. Sparrow Hawk yickering regularly in top wood. No Swallows in the fields!! Sighted three Muntjac in the morning prior to walk.

The blackberries have almosty finished flowering. This may effect the displays of butterflies on the woodland rides over the coming weeks.

Summer flowering plants are now coming into full bloom. The Hidden Valley looks really good. Wild Parsnip will have many insects over the coming weeks.

Good crops of Beech Nut and seeds on Hornbeam. Hazel have good crops – no squirrels. Only one of the two Walnut trees by the entrance gate has nuts! Excellent displays of seed heads on the Wayfarer and Guilder Rose but the Spindleberry crop is patchy.

A good walk with positive feedback.

Fred Taylor