A typical April day with frequent heavy showers did not deter the many eager participants on this walk led by our President, Jan Haseler. 28 members and 2 small grandchildren met at 2.30pm with their raingear and wellingtons on and set off for a walk around this BBOWT Reserve, their appetites whetted by the Presidential address given last October.
The first sighting was a flock of linnets, about 70 in number, swirling over the arable field. yellow archangel and ramsoms were in flower in the strip of woodland next to the River Pang. Two of the copses in the new part of the reserve were visited and these were carpeted with spring flowers, including primroses, violets, wood anemones and bluebells. A ring of old bullace trees (a type of plum) around the remains of the old cottage were just coming into flower.
Cowslips and barren strawberry were in flower in the drier parts of Corner Field, while marsh marigold and water avens were found in the wetter parts. The leaves of silverweed, betony and great burnet were identified.
On the way back through the original part of the reserve, the group inspected the area in Park Wood where volunteers have been coppicing recently. The flowers and regrowth of the coppice stools were compared in the sections which were worked on in the previous 3 winters. Wood spurge was flourishing and the lady’s smock plants were much bigger than the specimens in the meadow. The scent of mint was strong in the wetter sections.
The early purple orchids were just coming into flower. The main ride through Park Wood has recently been widened to let in more sunshine for the woodland butterflies. On the bank of the Pang were large bitter-cress and alexanders.