Wider wildlife

Last week I went out with the Warwickshire Flora Group, an informal group of people interested in wild flowers, to look at some woodland with boggy areas, hidden away in the NEC site on the edge of Birmingham.  We were pleased to find a good range of uncommon plants and some rarities too, including Marsh Violet (Veronica palustris), Marsh Pennywort (Hydrocotyle vulgaris), six different species of rush and lots of Sphagnum moss.

botanists in a wood

Sadly though, the site is being planted up with trees, even the boggy areas, and the trees are likely to dry out the peaty soil, so those rarities will probably not be living there for all that much longer.  What a contrast to the National Trust site that I visited at the weekend in East Anglia, Wicken Fen, just north of Cambridge, where a boggy area (a fen is land that gets flooded every year) is being managed for wildlife and for people.  There must have been about 100 cars there visiting, with children being encouraged to bird-watch and to identify dragonflies.  The NT has plans to increase the area of fen that they manage over the next 100 years, because small areas of bog are not enough to sustain healthy populations of wildlife.  It is definitely worth a visit if you get a chance.

I took photos of some dragonflies while we were there, and used the ispot website to help me identify them – I had names for them within about ten minutes of putting the photos on the website.


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