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Fobney Island – 9 August 2015

On a hot sunny day Renée Grayer led a group of 22 on a walk to Fobney Island Meadows. Only the rarer plants are mentioned, the full species list is attached. We walked from Circuit Lane in Southcote, under the railway and over Holy Brook, where we saw Arrowhead, and then through the water meadows, where on our return we saw Bifid Hemp-nettle, to the River Kennet to access the Fobney Island western meadows from which the public is normally excluded.

“In November 2012, work on the Fobney Island Wetland Nature Reserve Project was completed alongside the River Kennet on the edge of Reading in Berkshire.  An area of low value rough grassland is now a new 5 hectare wetland nature reserve with riverine and floodplain habitats, pathways for public access and wildlife viewing hides. The land has been lowered to create wetland ponds and meadows that, at times of high river flow, will be in connection with the River Kennet to the south of the island. This has improved the site for birds, bats, fish, reptiles and amphibians; as well as creating a natural flood storage area. During the spring of 2012, new scrub planting, grass and wildflower seeding was completed. “

This year the meadows were much drier than normal so although the flora was rich and lush there did not seem to be much evidence of fauna. We were joined at Fobney Island by Renton Righelato who guided us around the wildlife sensitive areas. Rarer plants seen at Fobney Island were Sneezewort, Nodding Bur-marigold, Trifid Bur-marigold, Flowering-rush, Great Burnet, Pink Water-speedwell and Hybrid Water-speedwell. With a large web, nestling in some grass stems, was a Wasp Spider.

Unusual species printed in bold  
Scientific name English name Location
Plant species:  
Achillea millefolium Yarrow Water meadows
Achillea ptarmica Sneezewort Fobney Island
Alisma plantago-aquatica Water-plantain Fobney Island
Angelica sylvestris Wild Angelica Water meadows
Arctium minus Lesser Burdock Water meadows
Artemisia vulgaris Mugwort Water meadows
Bidens cernua Nodding Bur-marigold Fobney Island
Bidens tripartita Trifid Bur-marigold Fobney Island
Butomus umbellatus Flowering-rush Fobney Island
Carduus crispus Welted Thistle Water meadows
Centaurea nigra Common Knapweed Fobney Island
Daucus carota Wild Carrot Fobney Island
Dipsacus fullonum Teasel Fobney Island
Epilobium hirsutum Great Willowherb Meadows and Fobney
Eupatorium cannabinum Hemp-agrimony Meadows and Fobney
Filipendula ulmaria Meadowsweet Meadows and Fobney
Galeopsis bifida Bifid Hemp-nettle Water meadows
Gnaphalium uliginosum Marsh Cudweed Fobney Island
Heracleum sphondylium Hogweed Water meadows
Hypericum tetrapterum Square-stalked St John’s-wort Meadows and Fobney
Impatiens capensis Orange Balsam Water meadows
Impatiens glandulifera Indian Balsam Water meadows
Lotus pedunculatus Greater Bird’s-foot-trefoil Fobney Island
Lycopus europaeus Gipsywort Meadows and Fobney
Lysimachia vulgaris Yellow Loosestrife Water meadows
Lythrum salicaria Purple-loosestrife Meadows and Fobney
Malva sylvestris Common Mallow Water meadows
Melilotus alba White Melilot Fobney Island
Melilotus altissima Tall Melilot Fobney Island
Mentha aquatica Water Mint Meadows and Fobney
Myosotis scorpioides Water Forget-me-not Meadows and Fobney
Myosoton aquaticum Water Chickweed Meadows and Fobney
Nasturtium officinale Water-cress Water meadows
Nuphar lutea Yellow Water-lily Water meadows
Odontites vernus Red Bartsia Fobney Island
Oenanthe crocata Hemlock Water-dropwort Meadows and Fobney
Persicaria lapathifolia Pale Persicaria Fobney Island
Persicaria maculata Redshank Fobney Island
Phalaris arundinacea Reed Canary-grass Water meadows
Picris echioides Bristly Oxtongue Fobney Island
Pulicaria dysenterica Common Fleabane Meadows and Fobney
Ranunculus sceleratus Celery-leaved Buttercup Fobney Island
Rhinanthus minor Yellow-rattle Fobney Island
Rorippa palustris Marsh Yellow-cress Fobney Island
Rubus fruticosus agg. Bramble Water meadows
Rumex hydrolapathus Water Dock Fobney Island
Rumex maritimus Golden Dock Fobney Island
Sagittaria sagittifolia Arrowhead Meadows and Fobney
Sanguisorba officinalis Great Burnet Fobney Island
Scrophularia auriculata Water Figwort Water meadows
Senecio erucifolius Hoary Ragwort Fobney Island
Sonchus arvensis Perennial Sow-thistle Fobney Island
Sparganium emersum Unbranched Bur-reed Meadows and Fobney
Sparganium erectum Branched Bur-reed Meadows and Fobney
Stachys palustris Marsh Woundwort Meadows and Fobney
Symphytum x uplandicum Russian Comfrey Meadows and Fobney
Tripleurospermum inodorum Scentless Mayweed Fobney Island
Typha latifolia Bulrush Meadows and Fobney
Veronica beccabunga Brooklime Fobney Island
Veronica catenata Pink Water-speedwell Fobney Island
Veronica x lackschewitzii Hybrid Water-speedwell Fobney Island
Vicia cracca Tufted Vetch Fobney Island
Ardea cinerea Grey Heron Fobney Island
Falco tinnunculus Common Kestrel Meadows and Fobney
Aeshna grandis Brown Hawker Meadows and Fobney
Calopteris splendens Banded Demoiselle Water Meadows
Aglais io Peacock Fobney Island
Gonepteryx rhamni Brimstone Fobney Island
Thymelicus lineola Essex Skipper Fobney Island
Argiope bruennichi Wasp Spider Fobney Island