Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve, near Yate and Chipping Sodbury, South Gloucestershire.

The Nature Reserve is run by the Wapley Bushes Conservation Group, a small group of volunteers.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Meadow flowers and insects

As usual at this time of year there is a wide variety of flowers at Wapley, particularly in the Lower Meadow. Make the most of them now, because the meadow will have to be cut in mid-July.

An insect lands on this ox-eye daisy

Selfheal (similar to bugle) appears throughout the meadow

Another insect comes in to land on this cornflower-like black knapweed - look carefully just to the right of the flower. You can only see its body - the wings are a blur.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Rabbit and robin

I couldn't resist this little scene I snapped at Wapley this evening. I'm not sure who was more startled, the rabbit or the robin.

Monsters in the woods - well, monster fungi

It's going to be a good year for fungi, I think. These monster bracket fungi appeared recently and seem to be lasting.

You can see that they're quite thick and fleshy. To give you an idea of the scale, the larger one is about 40cm x 30 cm - larger than a dinner plate.

The skin underneath appears fairly smooth - there are no gills.

When you look more closely you find that the under surface consists of small pores from which the spores are released.

In contrast the upper surface has a sort of spotted, "furry" pattern.

If you want to see these fungi for yourself, they're in the fringe of the main wood, off the upper part of the lower path, some way down from where the upper and lower paths join.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Report from work morning 13 May

On the work morning we were exploring the meadows with flora expert Rupert Higgins, who is carrying out a detailed survey for us.

The Lower Meadow is of course the better of the two. It's of Site of Special Scientific Interest standard, but places are only designated as SSSIs nowadays if they are under threat, which Wapley certainly isn't.
The plants in the different areas vary according to soil and drainage. Here you can see St Mary's Church in Yate in the distance.

Thanks to Rupert for a very interesting morning. Our next work morning will be on Sunday July 8th, when we will doing some general tidying up and gathering information for future management plans and projects.