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Thursday, 27 June 2013

Wed 26th June 2013 - Brading Downs.

This week we continued with the GG war on non-native invasive species....this time the enemy was RAGWORT...! The team seem to be doing an awful lot of PPP (Pesky Plant Pulling) recently but, judging by the reduced amounts of ragwort we managed to collect, we seem to be winning (ever hopeful). Brading Down ragwort pulling has been going on for many years now - perhaps it is because we are a little earlier this year or the season is later (due to cold spring) but the trailer was only half full this time, normally it would be full to the top. The session was very well attended which when you consider the weather was sunny & warm plus the wonderful views from up there, isn't a real surprise!
Well done to all those who came along and don't worry, the back ache fades after just a few days.....

Carrie's Nature Lesson.

This week's find was Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus Corniculatus), a long lived perennial producing clusters of yellow and red flowers on 10 to 30 cm stems especially in June and July, but some flowering continues until September. The plant is very common throughout the British Isles and is found mainly in grassy and waste places, often in limestone pastures but also on some heaths and scrublands, and prefers dry and infertile sites.  The plant is a food plant for the larvae of the Common Blue, other Blues, the Clouded Yellow butterfly and the Burnet Moth.   It is also amongst the preferred nectar sources for the Dingy Skipper, Lulworth Skipper, Grizzled Skipper, Small Blue, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary, and Pearl Bordered Fritillary.  It is also loved by bees who pollinate it.

Many thanks to Carrie for the Nature Lesson and Mark for the photographs this week. Hopefully, we have a GG Blog first.....moving pictures. If (and it is a BIG if) I have got it right, then you should be able to see a quick scan of the worksite at the top of Mark's selection....fingers crossed....!
P.S. Mark informs me that our first session at Brading Down was in June 2004 - so 10 years of back breaking work so far.

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