Friday 15 July 2011

Protected Road Verge - Bourn Bridge Road

Tim Stone, our county councillor, met with Martin Brennan of the Cambridgeshire Wildlife Trust on Monday 11th July to discuss the management of the County PRVs. The PRV was looking good especially in the middle section and there was a lot of insect life (various bumble bees, flies and even a burnet moth) enjoying it.

Sunday 3 July 2011

Purple Hairstreak butterfly

Anne took this photo of a Purple Hairstreak butterfly on 3 July, on disturbed ground near Hildersham Wood, within Great Abington parish!
(Wingspan = 3.5 cm.)

Saturday 2 July 2011

River Sampling 28th June 2011


A small group gathered at the Ford at 7:30 pm - we did all our sampling there. The river flow was quite good for full summer, but neither abundance nor diversity were impressive. A sally under the bridge produced 3 crayfish and one was found a little further up stream; till now we had only had reports of them, apart from a big haul of much bigger ones taken at the same spot by two village boys last year. The key diagnostic item (a white spot at the junction of the claw) could not be certainly attested on every one; it is however safe to list them as American invaders.

Minute mayfly larvae and shrimps were abundant. The only other remarkable finds were a few large larvae of mayflies, a fine 3cm demoiselle nymph and a mature minnow of ca 10cm. There was no sign of molluscs, caddis larvae or water hog lice.


1. Results of two samplings on gravel ca.10 m above the bridge:

- A few good-sized Freshwater Shrimps (Gammarus genus), many small/v.small ones.

- Mayfly larvae: very many minute nymphs; 3 large (2cm) top gill nymphs, probably Ephemera genus; 3 stubby nymphs, possibly Caenis genus (Angler’s Curse).
- One good-sized (2cm) Beetle larva (Dytiscidae family).

Worms (Annelida)
- Leeches: 2 good-sized Leeches (Hirudinea class), one large (3.5 cm extended).
- Sludge Worms: 1 v. small Sludge Worm (Tubifex genus).

2. Results in muddier water near or under the bridge

- 1 adult Minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus).

- 4 American Signal Crayfish (Pacifastacus lenuisculus), all small (largest 5cm body length, full-grown being twice this), one with one claw missing.

- I fine large Demoiselle nymph (Calopteryx genus).

Balsam Bashing

Last year, we removed quite a lot of Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) in the river near the junction of the recreation ground and the cricket pitch. This year, there was a lot less:

David & Peter removed a few plants before the river sampling session on Tuesday 28 June.

Himalayan Balsam is an invasive non-native species which can damage river banks by excluding other plants. See NNSS web-site.

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 (