Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Autumn Flora


A bumper year for sloe-gin addicts, and a good time now for checking out the fruits of waysides and hedgerows. As well as the Blackthorn, there are plenty of Dog-rose hips and Whitethorn (May) haws, and of course Blackberries. There are Dewberries along the path above tha railway cutting east of Chalky Road, and the best site for Spindles is the fine border hedge wuth Hildersham at the far side of the Linton Road arable field. There's one good Spindle Tree too by the river near the gap between the cricket and football fields. The black berries of wild Privet are here and there, and the berries of Wayfaring Tree (for example, along the Coach Road off Bourn Bridge Road, and by the public path between Abington Park and Hildersham Wood) are now turning from red to black. Black too are the berries of Purging Blackthorn, its strongly veined leaves now beginning to curl. If tearing a leaf in half reveals thin fibres between the two halves it is Dogwood, which also generally has reddish twigs. Do please let me know if you find this, and I haven't a record of a site in our villages.

Among the dry seeds, it's easy to spot the single samaras (flying seeds) of Ash and the double ones of Sycamore and its native cousin Field Maple (especially in the football field near the river). There too there is a mass of scrambling Hop, whose attractive seed-heads are usually ready for Harvest Festival.

I'm still hoping for an October stubble walk, but we shall have to see what turns up when we've had a bit more rain. Whether the fine show of late poppies in the Bourn Bridge fields is a good omen or not I don't know.


1 comment:

Ian Grant said...

I like the picture! That's good. Who did that?

The Aims of Abington Naturewatch

At their meeting on 9 April 2005 the members approved this revised version of the aims of Abington Naturewatch:

  • To monitor and record the wildlife (fauna & flora) within the borders of the Abingtons;
  • To encourage protection of our wildlife, maintain its quality and foster its diversity;
  • To promote awareness of the richness, potential and problems of the natural environment of the Abingtons;
  • To cooperate in improving access to the local natural environment for the benefit of all Abington villagers.

Pat Daunt, Founder

The organisation is informal and communication is by email if possible; members are notified of events from time to time. Contact details are maintained by a small "project team". There is currently no membership fee as costs are covered by voluntary contributions at events.

Members are encouraged to report notable sightings of flora and fauna within the Abingtons to the appropriate sector coordinator and an illustrated record is published annually.

A map of the area covered, with some features noted, is available here: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=213774935674882866424.00000111dca2be9f06ab8&z=13>

For more information or to join, please contact David Farrant on (01223) 892871 or Peter Brunning via e-mail peter.brunning@cantab.net.

Contributions to our records should be sent to sector contacts or either of the above. Photographs may also be submitted to Andy Merryweather (amerryweather61@gmail.com)