Tuesday 6 November 2012

Winter cometh!

A entry after a long break! (Complicated summer!) The wet summer has left the Brook Wood path muddy in places but well used. If you see tree management (ie. felling) going on at some point, don't worry - it's all green. Various things have been ongoing. The flower slope at the back of Morris Homes may have more species in a year or two, as I have sown some Bee Orchid and Northern Marsh Orchid seed there. It will only germinate if the correct symbiotic fungus is in the soil, and the plants would not flower the first year. But watch that space! And watch for the shy regulars - Godfinches, Jays, Bullfinches, Buzzards and Sparrowhawks. But also watch on any berries around Sandbach for an exciting winter visitor. Waxwings have arrived this week in their hundreds in Scotland and the NE. Who will spot the first in Sandbach?  - George

Monday 30 July 2012

Summer flowers

A wide variety of summer flowers  has appeared along the Brook Wood path. The new slope below Morris Homes has been sown with wild flower seed and amongst those appearing are Sweet Chamomile, Cornflower, Long-headed Poppy, Corn Marigold, Field Poppy. Images, by Roger Foden, appear below. Other interesting records were a Marsh Thistle six feet tall! And healthy colonies of Ragged Robin and Meadow Vetchling. However, the meadow below Townfields is being regularly partly mown due to concerns about dog leavings, which means there will be no large numbers of Gatekeeper butterflies there this summer as the bulk of the interesting wild flowers which have flourished there for a generation undisturbed are now being mown in the cause of progress . . . . 

Other records on the day of the Work Party tackling invasive Himalayan Balsam on 14th July were singing Blackcap and Chiffchaff, calling Great Spotted Woodpecker, a fledgling Song Thrush, and further down the valley below Mill Hill Lane, a party of three Jays, and Brown Hawker and Banded Demoiselle dragonflies. - George

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Path to the flowers!

As predicted, the nice new path in Brook Wood at the Townfields end presently leads to the nicely flowering Large Bittercress colony. Following this are some pictures of the flowers, plus 7-spot Ladybirds, and pictures of the paths in the sunshine this morning. Yet another nice thing, though, was the comment of the passing dog walker who asked whether "The Trail" was muddy this morning!  It exists!  It was real to him!Don't miss it!

Above is the whole Bittercress colony in the marsh . . . 
And below is the seat to enjoy it from:

 - which you can reach like this, along this beautifully surfaced section of path where the natural materials have been re-used to make useful seats and screens,


and where at one point a partly felled hazel sapling has even been transformed into this great living hedge:

Again, don't miss it! And congratulations to everyone who has worked to make this possible  - George

Monday 30 April 2012

Display time

The new paths, benches and chipping floor created by the Careforce group are a fine display in Brook Wood of what can be done. Even better, the path now extends past the marsh in which the colony of the attractive Large Bitter-Cress is just coming into flower - well worth a visit in the next couple of weeks, to see the elegant white flowers with their pretty purple-tipped anthers. There is even a bench in just the right position to sit and admire the display and listen to Chiffchaffs and many other singing birds.  - George

Monday 26 March 2012

Spring life

Not much time to report recently but while marshalling a sponsored run on the Rail Trail I enjoyed watching the two local Buzzards soaring in display over the brook valley yesterday, obviously in response to two other Buzzards who were passing over much higher above. Also between Wheelock station and the bypass some nice Sweet Violets are in flower, paler than the common species.  - George