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December 2012

posted 1 Jan 2013, 07:26 by Jane Arnold   [ updated 1 Jan 2013, 07:37 ]

Standing water by Leomansley house
What a soggy end to 2012! I don't think I have ever seen so much standing water on the Green. The stream is flowing well and there is even a small lake appearing by the birch trees near Leomansley house. At least the over-wintering snipe are enjoying the wet conditions.

Looking back over the year, it has been quite challenging for the wildlife. The wet summer most certainly caused a reduction in butterflies numbers and fewer bird species have also been recorded in the last twelve months (60 compared to the normal 70-75). However, despite the wet and cooler conditions, the summer bird visitors (whitethroat, chiffchaff and blackcap) as well as the Green's resident bird species, all seemed to manage to breed successfully. Also on a positive note, we had a good collection of orchids (common spotted, bee and marsh orchids) flowering in June. Perhaps the highlight of the year was the sightings in August of the migrant hawker dragonfly and gypsy cuckoo bumblebee. This was the first time these species had been seen on the Green and they have now been added to the species list at Staffordshire Ecological Records. I would especially like to thank Bob Russon for his invaluable support and willingness to share his amazing photographs with us!

A water logged Pipe Green
Other news is that the Pipe Green Trust website has just celebrated its first birthday! Over 500 people have visited the website in the last 12 months and viewed over 6000 pages. I hope you have all enjoyed the website and found it interesting. I most certainly have had a fascinating time compiling the monthly diary and have learnt a huge amount. I have even spent time photographing fungi growing on cow pats - but I leave that for another time! I will most certainly be carrying on with the diary in 2013. It just remains for me to wish everyone a happy New Year and why not walk off those Christmas excesses with a visit to Pipe Green?