27.07.2021. TRENCH MEADOWS
This was my first visit with The Wildlife Field Group and it soon became apparent I was in the company of some people with very specific expert knowledge. There were seven of us in total and fortunately the weather was much cooler than it had been the previous week, but still sunny enough to bring out the butterflies.
Trench Meadows is a site of unimproved species rich, lowland grassland and was designated a SSSI due to its species rich neutral grassland. The meadows also have areas of acid grassland and wet flushes.
It was lovely to see groups of Harebells still flowering, and several of the group were delighted to see Betony and Great Burnet flowering together- a particular favourite combination for several members of the group.
In the wet flushes there were several rush and sedge species that gave people a chance to exercise their identification skills!
I decided I must get a magnifier for future visits, as people started to analyse the minute detail of plant parts to help identify a particular subspecies.
Meadowsweet, common knapweed, marsh thistle, tormentil and ragged Robin all looked stunning with the colours within the meadows and Devil's Bit Scabious looks ready to open in the next week or so.
The unexpected find of the day was a Dark Green Fritillary butterfly, not usually found in the area! Other Lepidoptera seen included Gatekeeper, Meadow brown, Small skipper, Antler Moth and the Six Spot Burnet moth. I regretted not bringing my binoculars along as some of these were fast movers.
The meadows were full of life and I was thinking what a great mindfulness activity to take the time to just sit and watch the creatures in the grass.