Heath and Hedges

Tuesday, July 5th 2016

With it being a Tuesday it was our volunteer day, the job of pulling birch , gorse and willow off the heath enabled most of us to work together. It was a fairly warm with the damp weather from the previous night having us swatting horse flies from bare arms. The one in the picture below was taken after its feast on my arm.

There are about 4,500 species of Tabanidae, or horse flies in the world. The female like the one in the photo is identified from the male by the fact that it is biting me, and the wide eyes, the males have close set eyes like a house fly and the do not bite.


The endless pulling using tree poppers , brute strength and loppers cleared a fair bit of the heath, however the pioneering birch will need some more work.

Folk trimmed up the beech hedge that lines the road, while others attacked the bracken in other locations around the reserve, or strimmed the ever lush path edges.

As well as some assistance from younger volunteers

Whilst moving around the heath it gave us time to observe this male Ringlet Butterfly, as you can see the open wings are devoid of the ringlets seen on the underside , however the female does have this upper wing markings.

This grasshopper gave me the run around as I tried to photograph it

, but eventually it showed itself as a Common Green Grasshopper

Other things of interest from the heath was Slender St Johns Wort

and a Large Skipper Butterfly

Thank you to all the volunteers for their hard work with all the jobs today.


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