A plant survey is being carried out in Pickwick as part of a national initiative spearheaded by the UK charity Plantlife.
The charity and other partner organisations have teamed up with the National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS) to build up a picture of the plant life across the UK.
One kilometre square areas have been earmarked for the survey including land near to the Pickwick Conservation area – see photograph below.
A local resident has been allocated this square to carry out the plant survey and will focus on the area along the public footpath towards Guyers House.
To date, most of the plants identified are characteristic of a field ecology which until recently was cultivated but has now been left to grow wild without crops.
A detailed soil survey was done in 2013 and confirmed most of the site is Grade 2 arable land. Typically this field includes ragwort amongst other common wild flowers and grasses. While dangerous to grazing animals, ragwort supports many insects.
This photograph from the public footpath shows Ragwort flowers with a Cinnabar moth caterpillar Tyria jacobaea.
Also an elephant moth caterpillar (Deilephila Elpenor) was identified in the field grass adjacent to the public footpath.
A report on the findings of the plant survey will be submitted to NPMS later this year to include in their research.
Established in 1989, Plantlife International is the only UK charity dedicated to conserving wild flowers, plants and fungi in their natural habitats and helping people to enjoy and learn about them.
The charity aims to:
improve the fortunes of threatened wild plants in the UK and overseas
help everybody – young and old – to enjoy wild plants and to get involved in their conservation
campaign for policies and practices to sustain wild plants