Monday 28 July 2008

Roman Road flora and fauna - 26th July

A good number of Plantwatchers (including our two Associate Membrers) attended our survey of the Little Abington stretch of the Roman Road in warm sunshine on 26th July.
Although we identified only two flower species not recorded here before (Phleum pratense ssp bertolonii, a chalk-loving variant of the familiar grass Timothy, and Red Bartsia) we can be reasonably pleased with the state of the flora on this part of the Road. Typical chalk plants in bloom included Hedge & Lady's Bedstraw, Hedge Parsley, Burnet Saxifrage, Wild Carrot & Parsnip, Wild Basil, Mignonette & Weld, Common & Greater Knapweed, Restharrow, Small & Field Scabious, Musk (Nodding) Thistle, Yellow, Birdsfoot & Hop Trefoil, St John's Wort and Dark Mullein. There is one large Catmint near Worsted Lodge and several patches of Red Bartsia thereabouts. Dropwort, Rockrose & Goatsbeard were also seen, though past flowering. It is particularly good that there is plenty of Wild Basil, ranked as 'rare' here in a professional survey only a decade or so ago.
Butterflies and other flying insects were present but hardly abundant. Phil's finds included a number of Essex Skippers, a Soldier Beetle and a specially fine Bush Cricket.

Patrick Daunt

River Survey - 25th July

A small group surveyed a new stretch of the river near Abington Hall. Access to the river was tricky except in a shady area, where we found plenty of Freshwater Shrimps and a few Leeches but little else.

Friday 11 July 2008

River wildlife survey - 10th July 2008

This evening we sampled at a couple of sites in Sluice Wood and found some insect larvae we'd not seen before.

Wednesday 9 July 2008

Southern Hawker dragonfly

Here are 2 of the pictures from our pond yesterday. They show 2 stages of the dragonfly's metamorphosis from nymph to dragonfly proper. The remains of the nymph, or exuvia, can be seen in both pictures.

Derek Turnidge

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:>

For more information or to join, please contact David Farrant on (01223) 892871.

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