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Wildlife Walk with Rupert Higgins

at Eastwood Farm Local Nature Reserve 27th May 2012

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A warm sunny May morning - ideal for a walk around Eastwood Farm. The highlight was perhaps finding an otter spraint on the river bank with its charteristic fishy smell. There was also a brief view of a heron flying over and there was a very young cygnet by the lagoon. There were several damselflies including a newly emerged white-legged damselfly for which Eastwood Farm provides an ideal habitat. Rupert also talked about the many shrubs including the Buckthorn which is a food plant for the beautiful yellow brimstone butterfly.

In the woods we saw several ferns. Rupert explained that the Victorians almost killed off our fern population by digging them up and failing to grow them as pot plants. Now that fashion has gone they are now recovering. We saw several include the Hartís Tongue fern, the only one without split leaves and the deceitfully named Male Fern, which in fact produces male and female spores which just need the addition of a little moisture and presto! the gernination of a new fern starts.

A big thank you to Beeses Riverside Bar & Tea Gardens for running the ferry for the start of the walk. The walk finished in time to enjoy a drink or two and an excellent lunch in their garden.


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