The Lagoon has been topped up by the increasingly wet weather and on Sunday was around 60cm (two feet) deep in much of the water area. The force of the water gushing from the drain knocked over some of the Bulrushes (see pic) and the flushed sediment is building up, creating a shallow mudbank at this end of the pool.
The plants on the Lagoon meadow continue to flourish – although many are producing berries or seed – and there's even a clump of Kidney Vetch still in flower.
Easily confused – both highly poisonous
Pics by Graham Kenward. Click on pics to enlarge.
Thursday 20 August
On Thursday, weather permitting, we will continue with the ground layer clearance at The Orchard. Meet at the Park Farm car park at 10:00hrs.
Remember to maintain 'social distancing!'
Tuesday 18 August
The task for Tuesday is to cut and remove the ground layer at the orchard - weather permitting. I have ordered a couple more hay rakes, but they won't be here on time - so could a few of you please bring your garden rakes with you?
Meet at the Park Farm car park at 10:00hrs. Graham K - usual pick-ups please.
And something really rare...
Graeme Lyons, on his last survey visit to the Chipstead Downs part of the site, collected a really special Shieldbug. This is Sciocoris homalanotus and is the 2nd record for the U.K. Congratulations Graeme!
Midday at the oasis
Today the Lagoon felt very much like an oasis surrounded by desert, as the fierce midday heat bounced off its walls. The water depth has dropped to the point where it is just mud at the drain end and a maximum of 36cm (14 inches in old money) elsewhere. Much of the liner edge is now exposed.
The water plant growth has continued to expand, with Hornwort colonising most of the water, and the Bulrush has seeded an outpost from the main clump near the drain. The meadow continues to change its star turns every week, with Wild Carrot now taking over from Ragwort in the main show as masses of seed heads mature. While on the steep slopes beside it, another native rarity has come into bloom: White Mullein (Verbascum lychnitus), see pic. This can be found in only a couple of sites in Surrey and, thanks to Peter Wakeham, we can now enjoy it here.
Thursday 13 August
On Thursday we will commence scything the orchards. Those with scythes, please bring them along. The rest of us will be gainfully employed in raking/removing the arisings. Meet at the Park Farm car park at 10:00hrs and bring plenty to drink (water, not beer!). If you could bring a garden rake, it would be appreciated!
See you there.
Litter after lockdown
In addition to cans, bottles and crisp packets, no-longer-wet wipes and babies’ dummies, the biggest find was 50 nitrous oxide canisters (and the box they came in) just up the slope from Holly Lane car park.
Thanks to everyone who joined us and Andy for providing the new equipment for the task.
It's Plucking Thursday!
On Thursday we will be Balsam plucking, by popular request (actually by Richard C). Meet at the Park Farm car park at 10:00. Remember that Covid rules still apply...