Sunday 13 July 2014

Week 5: Flora, Fauna and Football

A workshop run by the Sussex Wildlife Trust for the South Downs volunteers on identification of chalk grassland plants and many other things besides from the hugely knowledgeable Graeme Lyons.

First a talk on the ecology of the South Downs and the different communities of plants that we're likely to find, then out into the fresh air and slowly developing sunshine for hands-on, practical plant identification.

Plenty to see just outside the barn in the ungrazed area with a wide variety of wildflowers, butterflies and insects buzzing around.

Venturing further afield we quickly came across some of the communities on grazed land, different heights, different species, different grazing livestock.

A lunch break on the side of the hill - in what shade there was

35 species identified - although that wasn't everything we saw, just those I'd made a note of.  Not to mention the butterflies and a pair of grey partridge who flew up from an area of arable land.

We also got to see an impressive display of pyramid orchids in the fields near to the woodland area, which is slowly being coppiced, rides created and additional planting in what was once a forestry plantation to create a greater diversity of plants and insects.

... and the football?

Well it also happened to be the World Cup Final that evening.  Not something I'd usually elect to watch but I'd been invited over to watch the game with friends and for food and nibbles.

Not having watched any of the other games, I had no particular affiliation with either team.  Good game though - even to a non-footballing observer.

Check out your local Wildlife Trust and see what courses they're running.  They offer a wide variety on diverse topics from arts and crafts to wildlife gardening.

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