Friday, June 27, 2014

Frilford Heath SSSI, 21st June 2014

Eleven of us met at Woodhaven, Frilford for our second session of Himalayan Balsam pulling. It was a glorious sunny day and the longest day of the year.

As we made our way past the meadow, we saw that the grass had grown quite high but we could still see many purple orchids, which are one of the features that give this area SSSI status. We crossed the bridge over the stream and reached the spot we usually choose as our base. Some of the path was still quite muddy despite the recent dry weather.  We were pleased to see that the central area was vitually clear of Himalayan Balsam after several Summers of hard work.

We split up into three or four groups to go to different areas. one area was in the shady wood, one by the stream and one in the open wet meadow. Here, some of the HB was already in flower as it got more sun. First, a fallen tree had to be cleared off the path with saws and loppers.

We worked hard until tea break time, then carried on until 12.30, making satisfactory progress. We caught sight of several species of butterfly and moth, including speckled woods and a spectacular scarlet tiger moth We were glad we had brought water to drink, hats and insect repellent.

We will have one more Saturday session at the site this Summer. Getting rid of as much Himalayan Balsam as possible will give the native wild flowers a chance.
- Eleanor

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