Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean


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18 June 2019

Mallards Pike Summer Barbeque

Grid Ref SO636092

Today was our annual BBQ at Mallards Pike. And yes! - the rain came pouring down yet again! However, our intrepid team of rangers erected two gazebos to protect us and cooked a really good barbeque with plenty of delicious food for us all - many thanks to them.

Prior to the bbq we all set off in different groups to see what we could find for the wildlife survey and the rain had not quite started then so we did find some butterflies after all. A few of us went over to Moseley Green whilst others went round Mallards Pike lake.

We found:- 5 Large Skippers, 4 Common Blue, 7 Meadow Brown, 5 Small pearl-bordered Fritillary, 3 Broad bodied Chaser Dragonfly, 1 Silver Ground Carpet Moth, 3 Cinnabar Moths (one of which was laying eggs) and 1 Speckled Wood.

The team gathered for lunch.

This summer we have had non stop days of rain and cold which is distressing as a lot of the butterflies will have been killed off by the weather.

This is a Wolf Spider

Many smaller genera of wolf spiders are found in the United Kingdom. They live in pastures and fields and feed on smaller prey, playing an important role in natural population control that keeps insect numbers in the wolf spiders' vicinity within acceptable levels.

Wolf spiders are unique in the way that they carry their eggs. The egg sac, a round, silken globe, is attached to the spinnerets at the end of the abdomen, allowing the spider to carry her unborn young with her. The mother carries the spiderlings for several weeks before they are large enough to disperse and fend for themselves. No other spiders are currently known to carry their young on their backs for any period of time.

Wild Dog Rose

At this time of year it is quite common to see many of these plants flowering out in the forest.

The Dog-rose is a scrambling shrub, found in hedgerows, woodland edges, on sand dunes and grasslands. It is the most abundant of our native, wild roses, with sweet-scented pink or white flowers that appear in June and July. In the autumn, it produces bright red rosehips that are often eaten by birds and small mammals, such as bank voles.