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September 2012

posted 7 Oct 2012, 03:01 by Jane Arnold

September saw two work parties attempting to clear some of the watercress from Leomansley brook. What hard work it turned out to be! This year, the watercress has grown much more than usual - not only in the amount in the stream, but also the stems are much thicker (and heavier) than in previous years. Consequently quite a lot of effort was needed to lift the watercress out of the stream. Unfortunately we did not clear quite as much as hoped, but we are having an extra work party on 21st October to hopefully clear as far as the bridge. A big thanks to everyone who came along and helped in September and look forward to seeing you all on the 21st!

Stream clearing

The devils-bit scabious can now be seen flowering on the Green. It likes to grow on damp and marshy ground, so is well suited to the boggier bits of the Green. It is also an important nectar source for late flying insects, as it flowers from July - October. But what a strange name for this attractive plant! A bit of research has enlightened me that the "scabious" comes from the fact that the plant has been used to treat scabies and other skin conditions. The "devils bit" comes from the root being black and short. The devil is supposed to have bitten the root, being angered by the healing properties of this part of the plant. So now you know!

Devils bit scabious

I was walking past the hawthorn trees near the football field gate, admiring the red berries shining in the afternoon sun, when I heard an unusual crackling sound. Wondering what bird this could be, I investigated closer. Suprisingly, it was not a bird at all, but three grey squirrels feeding on the hawthorn berries. Normally I associate squirrels eating acorns and pine cones and it is the first time I have seen them eating hawthorn berries! Unfortunately my camera skills were not good enough to take a picture of them, so you will just have to make do with the berries!

Hawthorn berries