2.06.2020 East Keswick Marshes and Frank Shires Field

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Wed, 3rd Jun 2020, 11:41am

My mission today was to visit two small reserves managed by the East Keswick Wildlife Trust namely East Keswick Marshes and Frank Shires Field both on magnesium limestone. I had considered a walk around Ox Close wood but with exceedingly high temperatures at midday I decided to leave a visit for a cooler day. The East Keswick Marshes is an area of marsh, wet pasture, old hedgerow and woodland. There are two ponds very much diminished in size due to prevailing drought conditions. I arrived early in the morning when the sun was shining and took the path through the reserve. There are two areas of wet meadow the one being recently fenced off for grazing from animals. The meadow has not been grazed for over twenty years.The meadows were carpeted with meadow buttercups, ragged robin, bistort, meadow sweet, forgetmenot and a full array of grasses. Lining the ponds were the leaves of marsh marigold, yellow flag iris. Hedgerows of hawthorn, elder, guelder rose and dog rose lined the path. In the grass verges were spear thistle, red campion, and hedge woundwort. The plants of the woodland had faded namely wild garlic, bluebell, lords and ladies and jack by the hedge. There were fleeting sightings of birds however the butterflies would undoubtedly make an appearance later in the day. 

I was hopeful of seeing thistle broomrape in Frank Shires field however despite searching for it through binoculars I failed to see any spikes although there were attractive displays of meadow cranesbill in flower.Two butterflies green veined white and speckled wood flew past. It was a short but enjoyable visit . Bees made visits in April 2013 and May 2017.

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