Saturday 12th June.
Saturday was the first day of our BioBlitz (or BioSkirmish as is my preferred name). We had arranged to meet a group of folk, many local, to show them around the cluster and explain what we are attempting to do, how we will attempt to do it and why we will probably get a lot wrong along the way.
I arrived half an hour early and managed to see the the cluster’s first common blue butterfly of the year. Sadly it didn’t reappear on our walk.
It was a lovely afternoon and after introductions and the mandatory ‘spiel’ (stating the bleedin’ obvious about watching what you are doing) we set off. Ragged robin was flowering. Oystercatchers called nearby, probably nesting so we quickly moved on. Yellow rattle and greater burnet were both noticed and were the first specimens to be ‘officially’ recorded for the cluster. Surprisingly there were some primrose still in flower.
Yellow rattle is an interesting plant. It is a ‘semi-parasite’ which feeds on grasses. it can reduce yield in a hay crop by 50%. It slows the growth rate of coarse grasses but that means that more wild flowers get a chance to flower. So if you want to cut down on your lawn mowing AND get more wildflowers in your lawn, get some yellow rattle sown. A win win situation if, like me, you hate grass cutting. A quick look here https://wildseed.co.uk/page/using-yellow-rattle-to-increase-species-diversity should tell you all you need to know.
I was too busy chatting to take any pix of the group and after a good walk and 3 hours of chat we parted.
Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and we got a nice thank you message later in the day from one of the group.
Thanks to everyone who came.