DEAN GREEN TEAM

Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean

Gloucestershire

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23 June 2015

Summer Barbeque - Awres Glow

Grid Ref SO639105

 

It has become an annual event to have our summer barbecue deep in the woods at Awres Glow and we were blessed by sunny, warm weather. The team split up into small groups and head off in different directions to do the butterfly surveying whilst the forest rangers set up and start cooking the barbecue.

Some of us went over to check the area near to Mallards Pike lake where we had built boar hedges to keep them out of small patches during the previous winter. The hedges seemed to have been a success as there was no sign of boar damage in the area and the summer wild flowers were growing and spreading slowly but surely (paricularly, large wild climbing rose bushes, ragged robin and foxgloves).

 

A young fallow deer was spotted on the track about 100 yards from us calmly watching the proceedings!

 

This Bee Orchid was with others at our barbecue site and we made sure that it was not trodden on!

The Bee Orchid gets its name from its main pollinator - the bee - which is thought to have driven the evolution of the flowers. To attract the pollinating bees, the plant has evolved bee-like flowers; drawing them in with the promise of love, the bees are naturally attracted to the flowers and fly in to attempt a mating. As they land on the velvet-textured lip of the flower, the pollen is transferred and the poor bee is left frustrated. Sadly, the right species of bee doesn't occur in the UK, so Bee Orchids are self-pollinated here.

   

This is the CommonSpotted Orchid found in many places this year.

The Common Spotted orchid is the most common of all UK orchids and the one you are most likely to see. It grows in many different habitats including woodland, roadside verges, hedgerows, old quarries, sand dunes and marshes; sometimes so many flowers appear together that they carpet an area with their delicate, pale pink spikes. It is in bloom between June and August.

 

   

We think these butterflies are of the Common Blue variety. Living up to its name, this butterfly is the commonest blue found in the British Isles. While the male has bright blue uppersides, the female is primarily brown, with a highly variable amount of blue. This is the most widespread Lycaenid found in the British Isles and can be found almost anywhere.

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