So May, June and July this year have been the wettest since rainfall records began
The July working party had a mass of damp rank vegetation to contend with. The bracken
and brambles had grown even more since we wrote our July notes. But it is only by
repeated cutting and raking off that we can hope to get the bracken and bramble areas
back to flower-filled grass.
One plant that seems to have done well this year is Slender St John’s-wort. In past
years we have seen its yellow flowers only on West Common but this year there were
several plants on Middle Common. It is one of the few flowers preferring acid soils
that we have left on the Common.
The usual butterfly species have been around but in rather low numbers. The newly
emerged Peacock butterflies are looking splendid as they bask in the sunshine. Last
year we mentioned that a Purple Emperor butterfly was found dead in the Dunstable
Downs car park. This year one was seen alive in the Zoo. Does this mean that we have
a colony in our area? If so, it would be the only one known in Bedfordshire. It
is a difficult butterfly to see as it spends most of its time up in the woodland