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Nature Notes:  July 2008
Compiled by Pat and Charles

The hay on East and Middle Commons has not been cut yet (1st July) and the grasses glow with a pinkish-brown haze in the sunshine. Although the recent warm and windy weather has dried the ground surface the earlier rains have encouraged a great surge in growth of plants, mostly it seems of the less welcome ones, bracken, brambles, coarse grasses and cleavers.  Rosebay Willowherb is just coming into flower and Knapweed will soon follow.  We don’t usually see poppies on the Common because they are easily out-competed by other plants and need disturbed ground to flourish. There are a few poppies making a splash of scarlet on the verge of Kensworth Road near the junction with Byslips Road.  Nearby there is a large plant of Common Mallow with attractive purplish flowers.  Along the concrete road look for the yellow flowers of Meadow Vetchling, Creeping Cinquefoil and Bird’s-foot Trefoil. We haven’t spotted any Bee Orchids on the Common this year.  Do let us know if you have seen any. So far it has been another poor year for butterflies.  All the usual species are flying but in very small numbers.  Exceptions are Ringlet and Speckled Wood which seem to benefit from damp conditions.

 

 

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The Chilterns, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - website:

Common Mallow

Meadow Vetchling

June 2008

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