Wednesday, 14 June 2017

#30DaysWild day 14 - Great British Wildflower Hunt

We have a field behind our house which used to be a sports ground for a local company, but hasn't been used for several years. It's cut a couple of times a year, but otherwise it has been left to go wild. It's full of wildflowers, so I decided to enlist the help of my Mum (who knows her wildflowers much better than me) and do the Great British Wildflower Hunt . Organised by Plantlife, it's a citizen science project designed to get as many people as possible outside, enjoying wildflowers and letting Plantlife know what's growing where.

The field has gardens backing onto it on two sides and fields along the other two. The Chiltern hills are nearby, a stream runs along one side and there are a mixture of trees and bushes all around it. It's in a village on the edge of a small town, but is really in the countryside as opposed to a town. 

The dog came with us - she loves looking, even if she has no idea
what she's supposed to be looking for!
We walked around the edge of the field, then had a wander through the middle of the field as well. There were dozens of meadow brown butterflies flying (but not settling long enough to get a photograph), crickets and grasshoppers were chirping in the long grass and we could hear the bees buzzing all around us.
Brown argus butterfly on cranesbill
We found 57 different wildflowers: aquilegia, bramble, bush vetch, buttercup, chicory, cinquefoil, cleavers,  cow parsley, daisy, dandelion, dock, dog rose, dogwood, elderflower, evening primrose, field bindweed, forget-me-not, fumitory, goat's beard, goldenrod, grass vetchling, great willowherb, germander speedwell, green alkanet, ground elder, hawkbit, hedge bindweed, herb Robert, hogweed, horsetail, lamb's ear,  lesser trefoil, long-stalked cranesbill, mallow, mint, mouse ear hawkweed, mugwort, nettle, oxeye daisy, periwinkle, ragwort, red clover, red dead nettle, red valerian, rosebay willowherb, self heal, sow thistle, spurge, st John's-wort, teasel, thistles, tufted vetch, white deadnettle, yellow bedstraw, wheat, white clover and woody nightshade.


Bush vetch


Common bird's foot trefoil


Evening primrose

Goat's beard

Grass vetchling

Grass vetchling

Lesser trefoil

We found a couple of different types of thistle (not sure about the types though)
 We found several garden escapees, including aquilegia, lamb's ear and mint.

Lamb's ear
I've entered our results online, but you have to choose between countryside or town/country when you enter them. You can also only choose from a set number of plants and there is nowhere to enter all the others. We had plants from both sets so I did both and got 13 species on the countryside set and 11 species on the town/country set.

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