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Dorchester on Thame and Isis – 18th August 2010

Introduction to Dorchester Abbey
Introduction to Dorchester Abbey

Thirty-two members and friends (probably a record number for a Wednesday walk) met at Bridge End in Dorchester for a gentle walk beside the River Thame and the River Thames and through the nearby water meadows, now being actively conserved and improved by the local community.  The walk started after an engrossing visit to Dorchester Abbey.  Ken Thomas, the ever interesting but not always optimistic leader stated that “there is not much natural history in August” so many of the party set about proving him wrong, with little difficulty.

The hamlet of Overy sounds as if it ought to be very fertile and it proved to be so.  The water plants beside the Thame were in excellent condition and a nearby ditch had Trifid Bur-marigold, Water Plantain as well as the ever-delightful Water Forget-me-not.  A damp cornfield had a rich supply of arable weeds: members were struck by the unexpectedly pleasant aroma from Creeping Thistles, which were a good source of insect observations including a number of Small Copper butterflies.  The Thames-side path was less productive but colour was provided by Purple Loosestrife and the first Michaelmas Daisies.

A few of us explored Bridge End Meadow and found the rare Greater Dodder and Flowering Rush, surely one of our most beautiful wild flowers.  Lunch in the Fleur-de Lys completed a very pleasant morning.

Text by Chris Bucke

Hoverfly on  Corn Sow Thistle
Hoverfly on Corn Sow Thistle
Creeping Thistle Gall
Creeping Thistle Gall
Hoverfly on Trifid Bur-Marigold
Hoverfly on Trifid Bur-Marigold



Angelica Angelica archangelica
Birdsfoot Trefoil Lotus corniculatus
Black Bindweed Fallopia convolvulus
Trifid Bur-Marigold Bidens tripartata
Bur-reed Sparganium erectum
Comfrey Symphytum officinale
Common fleabane Pulicaria dysenterica
Common Water Plantain Alisma plantago-aquatica
Corn Sow Thistle Sonchus arvensis
CreepingThistle Cirsium arvense
Fat Hen Chenopodium album
Fool’s Parsley Aethusa cynapium
Flowering Rush Butomus umbellatus
Fumitory sp. Fumaria
Goatsbeard Tragopogon porrifolius
Greater Dodder Cuscuta europaea
Great Hairy Willowherb Epinobium hirsutum
Gypsywort Lycopus europaeus
Hogweed Heracleum sphondylium
Lady’s Bedstraw Galium verum
Lucerne Medicago sativa
Marsh Woundwort Stachys palustris
Meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria
Purple Loosestrife Lythrum salicaria
Redshank (Redleg?) Persicaria maculosa
Silverweed Potentilla anserina
Sun Spurge Euphorbia helioscopia
Tansy Tanacetum vulgare
Teasel Dipsacis fullonium
Water Forget-me-not Myosotis palustris
Water Mint Mentha aquatica
Wild (Prickly) Lettuce Lactuca virosa
Yarrow Achillea millefolium
Yellow Loosestrife Lysimachia punctata
Yellow Rattle Rhinanthus minor
Yellow Water Lily Nuphar lutea
Great Crested Grebe with young