9th August 2018

Plantlife reveals disturbing figures: We have lost 97% of our meadows since the 1930’s, one in five of our wild flowers are in danger of disappearing, and every county loses a wild flower every couple of years. They work hard to reverse this ‘great thinning’ and have created 90 new meadows in 3 years, and protected and restored 3,000 hectares of grassland in just one of their projects. Without our wild flowers and meadows, insects decline rapidly (75% recorded loss in a recent survey) and so do birds. Every little bit helps, from growing nectar rich plants, introducing wild flowers to your garden, encouraging settlements of all sizes to plant wild flower meadows. Joining plantlife.love-wildflowers.org.uk is also worth

Wildflower meadow

Wild Flower Meadow, Sheffield, Earl Marshall

Rich meadowland

Meadows support insects which support many birds

considering. Conditions: Showers and cool at last! Temperature: Max 16 Min 10 C.

6th August 2018

Fleabane, a flower of damp areas and ditches, (in short supply this dry, hot summer) was attracting many feeding insects yesterday, none more beautiful than the tiny, fast moving Small Copper butterfly. Fleabane, as its name suggests, was dried and burned to deter fleas, in the days when people strewed rushes and herbs on the floors of their homes. Its Latin name, Pulicaria (Pulex =Flea) Dysenterica, also points to its early use as a medicine against dysentry. Although Culpepper called it an “ill-looking weed”, the Romans valued it more highly, using it to make wreaths. Conditions:¬†Continuing extremely hot and dry. Temperature: Max 27

Small Copper on Fleabane

Small Copper

Common Blue on Fleabane

Min14 C