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Thursday 16 July 2009

Wed 15th July 2009 - Brading Down.

Our second visit in as many weeks to Brading Down helping the Rangers, but this week near the end by the Reservoir and overlooking the Roman Villa, on an exceptionally breezy day. This week’s tasks were clearing yet more ragwort which is now in flower so much easier to spot, although the amount collected is much less than previous years, so obviously our constant clearance is proving very successful. We also cleared the footpath at the base of the Down, which had become impassable in places due to encroachment by small trees, ivy and brambles.

Carrie’s Nature Lesson

This week’s mystery wild plant is Weld (Reseda Luteola) found in waste places and scrubby areas, from the edges of cultivated fields to railway sidings. It has long narrow spikes of small, unscented green-yellow flowers that alternate up the stem, and the wavy lance-shaped leaves are arranged in a rosette at the base of the plant. Weld produces its fruit in erect, oblong, warty capsules and also resembles wild mignonette, which is less than half the height of this stately plant; both species are pollinated by bees. Although native in some parts of the country, its range has been greatly extended by cultivation since it produces an excellent yellow dye, and until quite recently was grown commercially. A local name is dyer’s rocket.
The text and pictures all supplied by Carrie.......many thanks!

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