Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #45 Bramble or Blackberry

Another plant that really needs little introduction. So competitive and successful is it that, useful though it is, like it’s relative the blackthorn, bramble needs to be constantly kept in check to prevent it completely taking over. There is no end to the wildlife that finds a use for brambles. On the recent meadow walk, […]

Wildlife Trust Survey at Northampton Park

This last Sunday the local Wildlife Trust’s ecological surveying group visited the Hills and Hollows in order to monitor the grassland and see how it’s getting along; whether there are changes taking place and so on. It was a very busy, but most interesting and enjoyable day.

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #44 Musk or Nodding Thistle

This deliciously sweet-scented pink-purple flower is the Musk Thistle. It is extremely popular for its nectar with a range of pollinating insects such as butterflies and bumblebees – one can be seen here in the photo, sheltering from this morning’s light shower of rain. Larvae of the Sword-Grass and Frosted Orange moths feed on the […]

Bradlaugh Fields in the Northamptonshire Natural History Society Newsletter

In a combined meeting on Sunday 14th June over thirty NNHS Botanical Section members and various local friends of Bradlaugh Fields came to hear the University of Northampton’s Professor of Biodiversity Jeff Ollerton give us an insight into bees, flowers, pollination and the natural history of the Quarry Field and the unfortunately mis-named Scrub Field […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #43 Fumitory

With its delicate, pale green lacy foliage and pink and purple tubular flowers (close-up here), Fumitory resembles the related ornamental Bleeding Heart plant seen in gardens.  It has been used by herbalists, and the flowers can give a yellow dye for wool. Fumitory is very much a plant of disturbed ground and you’ll often see […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #42 Stinging Nettle

Nettles are so closely associated in many people’s minds with wildlife that there’s now even a book called “No Nettles Required: the Truth about Wildlife Gardening” reassuring us that there are plenty of ways to be eco-friendly without needing to cover our gardens with stingers! Nevertheless, the common nettle is a very useful plant. In […]

Skipper Butterfly

Skippers are one of my favourite butterflies. Something jaunty about the way they hold their wings, reminds me of origami; all at different angles. This one looked very bright golden-orange flying about in the sun today, and basking in the grass next to the path. Apparently Small Skippers and Essex Skippers are very hard to […]

Bradlaugh Fields June Meadows’ Walk

The fields were alive today as over thirty Northamptonshire Naturalists and Friends of Bradlaugh Fields came to hear Professor Jeff Ollerton from the University of Northampton give us an insight into bees, flowers, pollination and the natural history of the Quarry Field and ‘Scrub’ Field Wildlife Trust Reserve. We found out that plants, despite their […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #41 Red Campion

Having said on the pink campion entry that I hadn’t seen any red campion at Bradlaugh, there is at least one patch, on the very edge near Fulford Drive, as shown in the picture above. The flowers, to me, are not really red, but a dark pink, and they are of two kinds, as they […]