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Monthly Diary

February 2020

posted 4 Mar 2020, 01:20 by Jane Arnold   [ updated 4 Mar 2020, 01:31 ]


If I thought January was a wet month, then I hadn't banked on storms Ciara and Dennis doing their bit in February! I don't think I have ever seen the Green so wet, with pools of standing water on parts of the green that are usually pretty dry. The brook is really full and even the little ditch by the football gate is full of water and flowing quite strongly!


A consequence of all the puddles and soft ground, is that a pair of mistle thrushes have been regularly feeding on the ground. I assume they are after earthworms and other invertebrates that have drowned in the numerous puddles that have formed after all the rain. They are beautiful birds and are bigger than a song thrush and are also highly territorial. I recently found out that mistle thrushes are so called as they are very fond of mistletoe berries! You learn something new all the time!


Towards the end of the month the lesser celandine could be seen starting to flower in some of the sheltered borders of the Green. It is always a welcome sight and definitely a harbinger of Spring and warmer and hopefully drier (although not too dry) things to come!

January 2020

posted 9 Feb 2020, 01:34 by Jane Arnold   [ updated 9 Feb 2020, 01:46 ]


Well January was a rather soggy affair, with some parts of the Green turning a bit muddy and slippery. However, there were a couple of cold frosty mornings, which Wildlife Kate managed to capture, with this stunning photo. I just love the colours and she obviously walks her dogs earlier than I do!

Image to the right courtesy of Wildlife Kate,

There is quite a bit of evidence that the badgers have been busy on the Green. They have been digging in some of the softer ground, no doubt looking for earthworms and other things to eat. They like the starchy tubers of pignut, and as this area of the Green contains quite a lot of pignut, I suspect the badgers have been having a bit of a feast!


It was also lovely to see some of the hazel catkins starting to appear and at least feels as though spring is on the way. These catkins are quite purple (normally I associate them with being yellow), but according to Monty Don catkins start off purple but turn yellow as they mature. Alternatively, there is a purple hazel, whose catkins remain purple. I am not sure which these are, but I will keep an eye on them and see what happens!

December 2019

posted 31 Dec 2019, 01:33 by Jane Arnold   [ updated 31 Dec 2019, 01:40 ]


It has certainly been a warm and wet December, with the result that the Green has become a bit muddy in places. Nevertheless, on a positive note, Leomansley brook is now quite full, which is good to see! Due to the warm weather, there are still some hawthorn berries on the bushes, so at least the birds have some food, if we get a cold snap. I was comparing this post with the December 2017 post, where the Green looked a bit different!


Finally, just to thank you for your continued support over the year and I hope you continue to enjoy the Green in 2020. I love this view of the cathedral from the Green, plus you can also see the spires of St Mary's and St Michael's (just!) Happy New Year everyone!

December 2019

posted 31 Dec 2019, 01:31 by Jane Arnold

November 2019

posted 1 Dec 2019, 01:15 by Jane Arnold   [ updated 1 Dec 2019, 01:16 ]

fly agaric

Apart from the waxcap mushrooms,we also have some other species growing on the Green, and so I was really pleased to see this fly agaric mushroom growing underneath a birch tree. On a closer inspection, however, I noticed that it hardly had any of the typical white spots on it - normally they look more like this. After a bit of search on the internet, it turns out the white spots are in fact scales and these can be washed off after heavy rain. So given how wet it has been this month, I guess the spots got washed off in the rain!

cherry tree

The autumn colours have also been quite good this year and I noticed this cherry tree putting on a lovely red/orange display. Whilst these trees are more renowned for their spring blossom, they nevertheless look pretty good in the Autumn as well.


Just to finish this post with a beautiful sunrise taken by Wildlife Kate, earlier on in the month. It is absolutely stunning and it makes it worthwhile to get up early and go over to the Green!

Image to the right courtesy of Wildlife Kate.

October 2019

posted 3 Nov 2019, 08:32 by Jane Arnold   [ updated 3 Nov 2019, 08:41 ]

Well, October has definitely been the month of the mushrooms! With the warmish and damp weather the  mushrooms, especially the waxcaps  have put on an excellent display. These beautiful waxcaps are an important grassland species and we are very lucky to have a number of different ones growing on the Green. Here is just a selection of some of the (many!) photos that I took of these little gems!

wax caps

September 2019

posted 6 Oct 2019, 01:46 by Jane Arnold   [ updated 6 Oct 2019, 01:54 ]


Autumn is definitely starting to make an appearance this month. These holly berries are starting to ripen in the September sunshine and will soon be the bright red berries that we know so well. These berries are an important food source for birds in the winter, including blackbird, thrushes and redwings. Of course, they also make lovely Xmas decorations as well!


The warm(ish) and wet weather that we have had this month, has been ideal for the fungi and we have already had a lot of parasol and puffballs on the Green. I am also delighted to see that some of the lovely waxcaps are starting to make an appearance. I am a bit obsessed with these mushrooms, so look out for loads more pictures on our facebook page!


The cattle are still on the Green, but will be going off in the next few weeks. They have done an excellent job grazing the Green and have been a very friendly lot and I will be sorry to see them go. They looked very content the other morning in the early morning sun.

August 2019

posted 30 Aug 2019, 09:58 by Jane Arnold   [ updated 2 Sep 2019, 03:44 ]

small copper

I finally managed to get round to doing a Big Butterfly count in early August on a lovely sunny day without much wind. I was pleased to see 8 different species and a total of 31 butterflies, with the meadow browns being the most common. Most of these species are typical of a grassland habitat and it shows that the Green has lots of food for them. The list is: small copper x2(photo) meadow brown x10, gatekeeper x4, small white x6, great white x2, small skipper x3, speckled wood x3 and peacock x1. More photos of the butterflies can be found on our facebook page.

bracket fungus

Some of the fungi have made the most of the warm wet weather this month and have started to appear. These include the parasol mushrooms on the Green, but I was very impressed to see this enormous bracket fungus growing on a dead tree trunk on the path going towards the football fields. It must have been over 15 inches big!

water figwort

A plant that is quite common on the damp side of the Green, but is often overlooked, is water figwort. It grows to at least 1m tall and has some very small flowers which on a closer inspection are actually quite lovely.These maroon-coloured flowers are less than 0.5cm big, so you have to get quite close up to appreciate them! Just shows, that size doesn't count!

Finally we will be having our September work party on Sunday the 15th September, where we will start to clear the brook. Hope to see you there!

July 2019

posted 2 Aug 2019, 04:11 by Jane Arnold   [ updated 2 Aug 2019, 04:12 ]


July has certainly seen some of the hottest as well as some of the wettest weather! I was hoping to have done the Big Butterfly count by now and report to you my findings. However, with the weather taking a turn for the worst last week, I am afraid have not got round to doing it. However, Wildlife Kate has done a count on the Green and in the 15 minutes allowed for the survey, she saw 29 butterflies and 6 species (4 X large whites, 4 X small whites, 4 X gatekeeper, 11 X meadow brown, 4 X ringlet and 3 X speckled wood). So quite an impressive number!


Now something I wasn't expecting to see on the Green at this time of year is a blackening waxcap mushroom. These are normally found late October/November but I think to due to the wet weather we have had, some are fruiting now. They are also known as the witch's hat waxcap - partly due to their conical, witch hat, shape plus the fact they turn black as they age and usually appear around Halloween!


The cattle are doing well and with all the rain the grass is growing well and so there is plenty for them to eat. We are having another work party this Sunday (4th August) from 9.30ish for a couple of hours. We will be carrying on tackling the willow herb on the wet part of the Green. I am pleased with the progress we have made and you can definitely see where the work has been done. Hopefully see you on Sunday!

June 2019

posted 3 Jul 2019, 08:58 by Jane Arnold   [ updated 3 Jul 2019, 09:00 ]

commom spot orchi

At the beginning of the month, the orchids were putting on a lovely display. We had over 100 southern marsh orchids flowering as well as some common spotted orchids and 12 bee orchids.The cattle then arrived in the first week of June and whilst they initially left the orchids alone, they managed to graze many of the flower heads over the next 2 weeks. We did try putting up some temporary fencing to try and protect the orchids, but unfortunately, it was not enough of a deterrent. On a positive note, there are still about 50 orchids flowering on the wetter part of the green and the orchids are spreading - so all is not lost. I am planning to get some stronger fencing in place for next year!


The invertebrates are also becoming a lot more visible in the warmer weather. There are quite a few butterflies and moths flying at teh moment. The damselflies are also about and I managed to get a photo of a common blue damselfly, which obligingly sat still for a few seconds. Seemingly there are 20 species of damselflies in the UK, so I need to keep a look out for the other 19 species! And there was I thinking there were only blue ones and red ones!


As I said, the cattle are now on the Green and are a fairly friendly lot. The one with the white face quite likes to have his head scratched! They do a wonderful job in keeping the grasses down and are a vital part of our management plan - even if they do eat some of the orchids!

There will be another work party on Sunday 14th July (9.30ish - 11.30ish). We will again be tackling some of the willow herb that is growing on the damper side of the Green, as well as some of the dock near the back path (before the seed sets). All are welcome to attend!

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