Sunday 28 April 2019

Loton Deer Park, Alberbury 27th April 2019

At our most recent meeting we joined forces with the Alberbury community for the annual nature walk to Loton Deer Park.  We were all guests of Sir Michael Leighton who has looked after the deer park as a haven for wildlife all his life and who joined us for the morning along with birders and entomologists.  The blustery weather kept birds and insects quiet but we saw lots of nice plants in the varied habitats of the park.  We started in the shelter of the broadleaved woodland where everyone's favourites Tammus communis, Black Bryony and Ranunculus auricomis agg. Goldilock's Buttercup were gracing the side of the path as we wound our way up to the deer park past the quarry.

The top find in the deer park was this Potentilla argentea, Hoary Cinquefoil (spotted by Penny).  It is not very common in Shropshire but was known from this site.  It was nestled amongst the Erodium cicutarium, Common Stork's-bill and other ephemerals on the track side.

The finale was a rare treat for a Botanical Society outing as there were refreshments afterwards at the village hall including bacon butty, tea and cakes all made by the local community and in aid of the Cardeston Church Faulty Tower Appeal.

Saturday 20 April 2019

There was a great turnout for the first field trip on Saturday, 30th March which took us up Caer Caradoc in some very fine weather.

Teesdalia nudicaulis, Shepherd's Cress was the star of the show with many rosettes in flower on the first steep slope we encountered.

The group fanned out for a finger tip search and also found the diminutive Gnaphalium sylvaticum, Heath Cudweed and plentiful Rumex acetosella, Sheep's Sorrel.

We had lunch below the rocks on the Iron Age hillfort to stay out of the fresh breeze which was blowing across the top.  This helped clear the haze and we were rewarded with fine views of the Strettons below.

Dan Wrench captivated everyone with the finer details of identification of some more difficult plants.

We decided to descend via Helmeth Hill, the beautiful Woodland Trust woodland, where the spring flowers were just coming into bloom.

There was a fetching clump of Luzula pilosa, Hairy Wood-rush beside the path which wound its way gently through this very beautiful ancient woodland.  The bluebells will be spectacular in a few weeks time.