The National Trust is one of the most important organisations in the UK for bluebell conservation. A quarter of the Trust’s woodland is ancient or semi-natural; the ideal habitats for bluebells. Here are six facts you may not know about them:

1. The bluebell has many names: English Bluebell, Wild Hyacinth, Wood Bell, Bell Bottle, Cuckoo’s Boots, Wood Hyacinth, Lady’s Nightcap and Witches’ Thimbles, Hyacinthoides Non-Scripta

2. It is against the law to intentionally pick, uproot or destroy bluebells.

3. If you plant bluebells, you should make sure it’s the English bluebell, not the Spanish version. This is a more vigorous plant and could out-compete our delicate native flower.

4. Almost half the world’s bluebells are found in the UK, they’re relatively rare in the rest of the world.

5. Bluebell colonies take a long time to establish – around 5-7 years from seed to flower.

6. Bluebells can take years to recover after footfall damage. If a bluebell’s leaves are crushed, they die back from lack of food as the leaves cannot photosynthesise.

Extract taken from: The National Trust (UK).

Images by CRUSH Photography© www.crush.photography

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Acknowledgements: Extract taken from The National Trust (UK)

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What do sedge warblers look like?

Sedge warblers have an olive-brown mantle and scapulars with dark brown streaks, and a cinnamon rump. On the upperwing the flight feathers are brown with pale buff edges, and the wing coverts are black with paler edges. The rounded tail is dark brown.

The belly is white, the flanks are pale rust and the rest of the underparts are cream or pale buff. On the underwing the axillaries and coverts are white with dark centres.

On the head the chin and throat are white, and the crown is dark with fine streaks. There is a conspicuous pale buff supercilium that extends from the upper base of the bill to the end of the ear coverts where it becomes broader. The lores are dark, and the cheeks and ear coverts are yellowish-brown. The bill has a dark brown upper mandible and yellow lower mandible with a pink base, the eyes are dark brown, and the legs and feet are grey-brown. Male and female sedge warblers are similar.

Juveniles are yellower than adults but with a similar pattern on the body and slight speckles or streaks on the breast. On the head there is a buff stripe in the centre of the crown.

How do sedge warblers breed?

Sedge warblers are monogamous and breed between late April and mid-May and produce 1 or 2 broods a season. The nest in scrubby vegetation, marshes, bushes, and reedbeds near but not on water. It is usually supported on stems. The female builds the nest which is a deep cup-shaped structure made from loosely woven grass, stems, leaves, moss, and sedges, bound together with spider webs. It is lined with softer plant material, hair, and plant down.

Sedge warblers lay 5-6 smooth, glossy, pale green eggs even covered with fine olive specks and mottles, which are incubated by the female alone for 13-15 days. The male will help brood the chicks once they are hatched. Chicks leave the nest 11-12 days after hatching and fledge at 25-30 days.

What do sedge warblers eat?

Sedge warblers eat mainly insects including mayflies, dragonflies, grasshoppers, moths, and beetles. They will also eat worms, slugs, snails, and spiders. In autumn and winter it will supplement its diet with plant matter such as berries, fruit, buds, and flowers.

They usually feed at dawn and dusk in low, dense vegetation.

Extract taken from ‘Bird Spot’

Images by CRUSH Photography© www.crush.photography

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Acknowledgements: Extract taken from 'Bird Spot'

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Fallow Deer

The male fallow deer is known as a buck, the female is a doe, and the young a fawn. They were first brought to Britain from the western Mediterranean during the Roman period, when they were kept within enclosures known as ‘vivaria’.

Variation in Colour

Much variation occurs in the coat colour of the species, with four main variants: common, menil, melanistic, and leucistic. They prefer to graze grasses although they will take trees and dwarf shrub shoots in autumn and winter.

All Images by CRUSH Photography©

Only bucks have antlers, which are broad and shovel-shaped (palmate) from three years. In the first two years, the antler is a single spike. Groups of adult males and females, usually with young, remain apart for most of the year in large woodlands, only coming together to breed.

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Acknowledgements: Extracts from The British Deer Societ more...

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  • Type that saw greatest decline was the painted lady – with a 38.5 per cent drop 
  • Over the last two years, sightings of this species have almost halved 
  • Worrying figures come from BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine’s annual review

The Daily Mail reports today that “sightings of every listed butterfly species in the UK fell last year.

The type that saw the greatest decline was the painted lady – with a 38.5 per cent drop in gardeners spotting them compared with in 2020.

Over the last two years, sightings of this species have almost halved, with only 16 per cent of respondents to a survey stating they had seen one in their garden last year, down from 31 per cent in 2019.

The worrying figures come from BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine’s annual review which asked readers which kinds of butterfly they had seen most regularly in their garden last year”.

To read more of this article click on the following link – Daily Mail

Images in this blog were taken by CRUSH Photography©

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Acknowledgements: Extract taken from the Daily Mail new more...

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