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Friends of Studham Common

Nature Notes:  September 2009
By Pat and Charles

Thank you to Pam and John for standing in so ably for us last month.

After the hay cut on Middle Common there were fewer flowers for us to see there when we walked round on the 30th. On East Common the flowers of Cat’s Ear and Autumn Hawkbit made a haze of yellow blended with some Red and White Clover and a few Meadow Buttercups.

Many of the flowers beside the concrete road on East Common were over but the yellow flowers of Imperforate St John’s-wort showed bright on the edge of the scrub. Earlier on, the flowers of Knapweed and Creeping Thistle would have provided a good supply of nectar for butterflies and other insects. The fluffy seed heads of Creeping Thistle were gleaming white in the sunshine. Farmers and gardeners see this plant as a pernicious weed but the seeds are food for goldfinches in the autumn. One plant of Agrimony still had some yellow flowers. Its seeds, like those of the Burdock nearby, are equipped with tiny hooks that allow them to be dispersed on animal’s fur - and on our clothes!

John Hanna reports that there have been some good mushrooms and blackberries on the Common. Great to hear that people still gather the natural harvest there rather than always buying from the supermarkets. He also watched buzzards and red kites hunting over Middle Common as the hay was cut and turned.

 

 

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

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Burdock

 

Agrimony Seeds

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