Gorse is now flowering well throughout the park. This plant manages to bear flowers throughout the year, it has been recorded in flower during every month, but is at it’s best during early spring. Smaller bird life regularly nest in Gorse shrubs as it can provide shelter and protection due to the spiky branches. Look out for pollinating insects visiting the shrub as the flowers explode showering the pollinator with pollen, an active means to assist pollination.
Coltsfoot is now in full flower throughout the damp areas, though this spring this habitat applies to almost all of the park as it is fully saturated everywhere! A brilliant small yellow solitary flower born on erect purplish scaled stems it provides an early pollen source for bees and other insects. Watch for the distinct ‘clocks’ of the seed heads later and the round heart-shaped leaves as they appear after the flowers. This plant was formally used in herbal remedies to treat coughs and asthma.
General – look out for the first Hawthorn and Wild-rose leaves appearing this month they are already out in surrounding more sheltered local habitats. Whilst walking around the site enjoy the Lichens, a much neglected group, consisting of a fungus growing in close association (symbiosis) with an alga, a complex process especially the reproductive methods.
The Common Frog chorus is in full swing at the lower lagoons with masses of spawn already present, hopefully the upper lagoons will follow shortly.
Please be extremely careful around the lagoons, especially if children present, as we have had a great deal of rainfall this spring and the water levels are high and the banks very slippery.
Keep a look out for Herons and Egrets as they will be building up breeding reserves by feeding on the Frogs and the ducks will also be devouring the spawn.
Butterflies should be appearing very soon, though this is very temperature dependent, look out for the early ones which have hibernated over the winter – Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Red Admiral.
We will be commencing the butterfly surveys in the first week of April and if you would like to assist please contact us. It is an important part of the park management to record species for comparative purposes and as indicators of the state of the habitats. No experience is required just enthusiasm!
Good news the Lapwings are back on the park and hopefully will nest again within the Solar Farm, they are shy birds, easily disturbed and this site really does protect them from dogs etc. Four Buzzards have been recorded flying around during the last few days as well as Skylarks singing. Our Long-tailed Tits appear to have separated from their flocks and are pairing up for nesting. Robins, Blackbirds and Song Thrush are all claiming territories throughout.
Rabbits are still present in numbers throughout though not so easily observed at this time. Brown Hare has been recorded in the central grassland, though unfortunately it was being chased by a uncontrolled dog, This will really inhibit any breeding by this species in the park!
This is an ideal time to observe animal/bird tracks trails and signs look for Badger, Fox, Brown Hare, Heron, Coot, Moorhen, Ducks, Muntjac and Roe Deer, Rabbits as well as Mice and Voles.
Remember this is your park and used by many various interested parties so please treat it with respect also we would be grateful if you contact us with any observations you have made.