On a rather damp morning 6 of us met at the end of Coach Road by the bridge over Loadpit beck. As we entered the field the shorter grass, shimmering wetly from the previous night’s rain, soaked our feet. We paused to look around, the first thing to catch our eye were several spectacular patches of misty blue Harebells on a higher dryer slope. The whole area was a picture, with a variety of brownish seeding grasses swaying in the breeze, greener flushes with water running down, splashes of yellow and purple seasonal flora, a beautiful area set against the darker backdrop of Ancient semi natural woodland on the land above.
Our thanks to Joan who then led the walk around the meadow pointing out many species of interest including; Great Burnet, St Johnswort sp, Ragged Robin, Common & Marsh Ragwort, Birdsfoot Trefoil, Cinquefoil, Selfheal, Lesser Stichtwort, Meadow Sweet, Zig Zag Clover
Alas we were too late for the Orchids, but reports from earlier in the month talked of the Common Spotted being in abundance throughout the site. However the Knapweed was plentiful, flowering with stunning colour as was the Betony, their very brilliance making them stars of the show as they contrasted with the sunshine yellow of the Ragworts.
John found several moths including Antler, Silver Y, Agriphila straminella (all those grass moths!), Eucosma hohenwartiana which feeds on common Knapweed and the star of the show Agapeta zoegana a bright yellow moth, photos in gallery.
As the morning warmed up we started to see more butterflies including, Skipper, Gatekeeper, Small copper, Green veined white, Meadow brown
In an area of shorter dryer grass and leaf litter a mushroom with white gills was identified as a member of the deadly poisonous amanita family - The Blusher Amanita rubescens.
Our thanks also go to Alice for all her work organising what proved to be an interesting, informative and enjoyable morning, a rare chance these days to meet some of the group even though social distancing had to be observed.