A large group of around 25 adults and children joined bug expert Dr Keith Porter to hunt for and identify insects in Bourne Wood.
We were blessed with fine weather as we have come to expect in this extraordinary 2018 British summer!
Before setting off, Keith demonstrated the various equipment we were going to use to seek out bugs and beasties. This included two types of nets plus beating trays. The latter is a framed square flat piece of fabric which is held underneath a bush to catch insects dislodged by striking a branch or bush with a stick.
We had a successful afternoon and found a wide range of insects and spiders on the margins of the main ride through the wood.
Ten species of butterflies were seen including several silver-washed fritillaries, which is Britain’s largest resident butterfly and particularly striking with its orange coloration and streaks of silver found on the underside of the wings.
At one stage, two brown hawker dragonflies observed us from above. This species is a large fast-flying dragonfly with distinctive golden-brown wings and which probably breeds in the ponds in the wood.
Other insects we encountered included several types of hoverflies, 7-spot ladybirds, shield and squash bugs and grasshoppers.
A Silver Y moth was captured and Keith explained that this day-flying moth was an annual immigrant from continental Europe. And finally, a very strange looking pale yellow-green spider was found. This turned out to be a crab spider. These spiders don’t spin webs instead relying on camouflage and ambush. They hide in flowers, where they prey on flies and bees. Some species can even change colour to match the flower they are on.
All in all, it was an interesting and enjoyable outing for the participants, and we are very grateful to Keith for sharing his expertise and enthusiasm with us.
Around 20 people joined Dr Richard Jefferson for the wild flower and grasses walk he led for the Friends of Bourne Wood. It was a lovely sunny evening, and we had a gentle stroll looking at least 40 species of plant, grass, shrub and tree.
We started with some common shrubs such as Elder and Hazel, and then discussed Herb Robert and the origination of its common name (from an Abbot!). Richard described the difference between a Dog Rose and a Field Rose, and we looked at white clover and its cousin, red clover which is preferred by bees.
Looking at grasses we saw the perennial rye-grass which is used commonly in agricultural grasslands and sports fields, false oat grass, and tufted hair grass along with Yorkshire Fog. We then looked at the Wild Service tree (the symbol of the Friends of Bourne Wood), which is normally found on woodland edges, and the Wych Elm which is more resistant to Dutch Elm Disease.
We admired the beauty of the sprawling Wood Vetch, and the common spotted orchid, and looked at the unusual sight in the wood of Vipers Bugloss (not a woodland plant). We found corn mint which is now a rare plant (although it seems common in the wood), and marsh bedstraw.
Thanks go to Richard for an enjoyable and informative walk.
Bourne Wood: A portrayal of a wood in Kesteven. This A5 full colour booklet provides an insight into the history, natural history and forestry management of Bourne Wood, an ancient woodland in south Lincolnshire. Its contribution to nature conservation and local amenity are also outlined. Dr Keith Porter, Deputy Chief Scientist at Natural England, reviews the booklet:
Bourne Wood: A Portrayal Of A Wood In Kesteven
This attractively produced booklet is a must for anyone visiting Bourne Wood in Lincolnshire. It packs in everything you need to understand its history from 1086 to the present day and the wildlife and facilities that the Wood offers to visitors. The colourful guide to the plants and animals of Bourne Wood offers a taster of what you can see throughout the year and provides a fully detailed list of recorded species at the end of the booklet.
For visitors, it gives clear detail on parking, footpaths and facilities and includes everything you need to know for an exciting day out in the wild! This is an excellent guide to a place that is easily accessible to people from nearby Bourne and further afield – highly recommended and great value.