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Flower & Butterfly walk – 13 May 2018

Tuesday 15th May 2018

A fine afternoon attracted some 24 visitors for May's 'Flower & Butterfly' walk [1] led, as always, by John Vetterlein. After the usual notices and description of the Old Cemetery's management practices, the group was taken around the site for two hours while being informed of its floral and faunal riches. The route of the walk, while following the standard pattern of a broad clockwise tour, spent the greater part of the time within the wooded parts of the cemetery, only moving over to the more open and heath-rich area for the final third of the time. While some butterflies were evident, the frequent disappearance of the sun behind clouds did discourage their displays; however, the flowers were found in such profusion that this was barely noticed - certainly no-one could claim to have been short-changed!
We were shown Green Alkanet, Daisies and Bulbous Buttercups [2], Red Dead Nettle, Strawberry, Germander Speedwell, Meadow Buttercups, Hedge Garlic [3], Bluebells, Herb-Robert, Pignut, Primroses, Ribwort Plantain, Sorrel, Red Clover, Cow Parsley, Dandelion, Herb Bennet, Three-cornered Leek [4], Lesser Celandine, Shining Cranesbill, Solomon's Seal [5] – probably brought in by a cemetery visitor, but a true pleasure to find – Elder, Dove's-foot Cranesbill and Crosswort. Although by this time several butterflies had flown by, including some whites, an Orange Tip, and a Holly Blue, today was really a day for the flowers, which further included some Lady's Smock, Common Mouse-ear, Holly, a 'double-flower' form of Lady's Smock [6], Creeping Buttercup, a clump of Dog Violets [7], a couple of Midland Hawthorn cultivars [7], some Spotted Laurel (Japanese Evergreen Spindle), Greater Stitchwort, Laburnum [8], Ivy-leaved Speedwell, Red Horse-chestnut, Oxeye Daisies, Lilac [9], Turkey Oak, Sheep's Sorrel, Hairy Tare and, to end the walk, some Cuckoo Pint [10] and some Mossy Saxifrage. During the second half of the walk some Speckled Wood butterflies had also appeared.
It is again a pleasure to thank John for leading today's walk and to acknowledge gratefully the comments and generous contributions made by the visitors.