Busy for Beetles in the Hills and Hollows

Here’s a pair of Common Red Soldier Beetles busy making baby beetles amongst the flowers of the Hills and Hollows at Bradlaugh Fields. No wonder there’s so many of them! They are especiallly fond of hanging out on Thistle and, as here, Umbellifer flowers, the ones in the photo belonging to the Upright Hedge Parsley […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #60 Field Bindweed or Devil’s Garters

If this lovely candy-striped flower belonged to a less successful plant it would probably be a garden favourite, as quite a number of its close relatives, such as Morning Glory, already are. Field Bindweed, however, can grow and compete well in most places, and against most other plants, although it’s not as large and aggressive […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #59 Lesser or Black Knapweed

At this time of year the Hills and Hollows are a golden sea of dry grass with flecks of colourful flowers. Here, in a view towards Spinney Hill, are two vigorous plants of Lesser Knapweed nearly 3 feet high. From a distance looking very like its cousins the Thistles, with purple tufts of flowers which […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #58 Upright Hedge Parsley

An unassuming plant, Upright Hedge Parsley is like a smaller, slenderer and later flowering version of the Cow Parsley we saw back in May. It has rough stems and the leaves and spiky seed heads often turn purplish, (not to be confused with the smooth purple spotted stems of the related Hemlock). The white, umbrella-like […]

Early August Wildlife Trust Conservation Work Days at Bradlaugh Fields

There are two Wildlife Trust work days coming up in August. They are listed in their latest task sheet (PDF here) to be found on the appropriate page of their website. Please read the information about work-days (what to wear, bring with you etc) on the task sheet if you’ve not been on a WT […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #57 Rayless Mayweed or Pineapple-weed

This hardy little plant is another wayside wanderer. Pineappleweed was first cultivated in Britain in 1784, according to the entry in the Online Atlas of British and Irish Flora, but within a hundred years it naturalised in the wild and has become completely at home. The flower-heads, and to a lesser extent the soft and […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #56 Selfheal, Allheal or Prunella

Like its relatives such as Ground Ivy or Deadnettles, pretty purple-flowerd All-heal attracts a range of bees and other insects whose tongues are the right length to reach into its flowers’ elegant throats. The Mint family also has very interesting biochemistry and many species manufacture a great variety of substances which can be made use […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #55 the Harebell

The Harebell for stainless azure hue, Claims to be worn by none but who are true These delicate bell-shaped flowers seem to dance joyfully above their surrounding dry, nutrient-poor grassland habitat. By flowering time the little leaves have almost withered away. If you are very lucky also, you may see an insect unique to Bellflowers […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #54 Dyer’s Rocket, Greenweed or Weld

Rocket is an appropriate name for this plant, which shoots up from a low rosette of shiny green leaves in early Spring to a greenish-yellow flower-spike as much as 6 feet tall by its June or July flowering time; as seen pioneering here on the newly excavated Blisworth limestone next to Holton’s Lane ancient hedgerow […]

Pollinator Awareness Week – 13th – 19th July 2015

Originally posted on Jeff Ollerton's Biodiversity Blog:
Next week has been designated Pollinator Awareness Week¬†(PAW) by Defra and there are events and profile-raising activities going on all over the country. The motivation behind¬†the PAW is (quote) “to bring attention to the essential needs of pollinators and the simple actions that we can all take…