Ashridge Wood – 27th June 2009

On Saturday 27th June, Malcolm Storey led a field trip to Ashridge Woods near Beedon, by kind permission of the George Palmer Trust. The walk started from a lay-by near the A34, just to the north of Beedon and then went eastwards along a track through arable fields. Large numbers of Narrow-bordered 5-Spot Burnet moths were seen on the knapweed flowers in the field margins. Alsike Clover, Musk Mallow and Hedgerow Cranesbill were all found in the corner of one of the fields. Annual plants identified in another field included Dwarf Spurge, Small Toadflax, Round-leaved Fluellen and Scarlet Pimpernel. The path then went through a grassy area where Marbled White butterflies, Pyramidal Orchids and Upright Hedge-parsley were seen. Spiked Star-of-Bethlehem was growing in good numbers in Ashridge Wood, although it was thought that the clearing was rather overgrown, compared with former visits. Large numbers of Peacock caterpillars were feeding on webs on the nettles and it was good to see a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly. Narrow-leaved Everlasting-pea was another speciality of the wood. Fox-and-cubs and Wild Pansy were spotted on the walk back to the cars.

Plants

Soft Brome  Bromus hordeaceus

Black-bindweed  Fallopia convolvulus

Perforate St John’s-wort  Hypericum perforatum

Hairy St John’s-wort  Hypericum hirsutum

Musk-mallow  Malva moschata

Wild Pansy  Viola tricolor

Wild Mignonette  Reseda lutea

Scarlet Pimpernel  Anagallis arvensis

Harsh Downy-rose  Rosa tormentosa

Dewberry  Rubus caesius

Agrimony  Agrimonia eupatoria

Common Restharrow  Ononis repens

Alsike Clover  Trifolium hybridum

Narrow-leaved Everlasting-pea  Lathyrus sylvestris

Dwarf Spurge  Euphorbia exigua

Hedgerow Crane’s-bill  Geranium pyrenaicum

Upright Hedge-parsley  Torilis japonica

Rough Chervil  Chaerophyllum temulum

Hemlock  Conium maculatum

Fool’s Parsley  Aethusa cynapium

Wild Parsnip  Pastinaca sativa

Common Centaury  Centaurium erythraea

Field Forget-me-not  Myosotis arvensis

Small Toadflax  Chaenorhinum minus

Round-leaved Fluellen  Kickxia spuria

Red Bartsia  Odontites vernus

Common Broomrape  Orobanche minor

Hedge Bedstraw  Gallium mollugo

Nodding Thistle  Carduus nutans

Goat’s-beard  Tragopogon pratensis

Fox-and-cubs  Pilosella aurantiaca

Spiked Star-of-Bethlehem  Ornithogalum pyrenaicum

Pyramidal Orchid  Anacamptis pyramidalis

Lichens

Lecanora chlarotera

Lecidella elaeochromma

Parmotrema perlatum (of note, as only at low-pollution sites)

Physcia aipola (specimen with distinctly pruinose apothecia)

Physcia tenella

Punctelia subrudecta

Xanthoria parietina

All of these were on branches of ash trees (Fraxinus excelsior) within the wood.

Insects

7-spot Ladybird

Harlequin Ladybird

Large Skipper

Common Blue

Painted Lady

Small Tortoiseshell

Peacock caterpillars

Comma

Marbled White

Meadow Brown

Ringlet

A web of Spindle Ermine caterpillars

Crambus lathionellus

Chrysoteuchia culmella

Udea olivalis

Narrow-bordered 5-Spot Burnet

Yellow Shell

Cinnabar

Large Yellow Underwing

Common Wainscot

Straw Dot

Snout

Birds

Whitethroat

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