Chilbolton Common Botany Trip

I recently visited Chilbolton Common, which is a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) in Hampshire to look at the various flora and fauna. The river Test, which cuts through the common, did not disappoint, and while kick sampling, we found several varieties of larvae and nymph as well as freshwater shrimp. The real interest to me was the plant life to be found all around the river itself and the meadows where cows graze. The weather was dreary, and there were not as many butterfly’s around, but a few were spotted in the distance, and one closer up that was much easier to recognise. Here are a couple of things I spotted:

Little egret (Egretta garzetta)
Tortoise shell butterfly (Aglais urticae)
Freshwater shrimp (genus: Gammarus)
Mayfly and Mayfly nymph (order: Ephemeroptera)
Dragonfly nymph (suborder: Anisoptera)
Stonefly nymph (order: Plecoptera)

Cocksfoot Grass (Dactylis glomerata)
Timothy Grass (Phleum pratense)
Crested Dog’s-tail Grass (Cynosurus cristatus)
Quaking Grass (Briza media)
Sedges (family:Cyperaceae)
Mouse-ear chickweed (Cerastium fontanum)

Water Forget-me-nots (Myosotis scorpioides)
Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis)
Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus L)
Jew’s ear fungus (Auricularia auricula-judae)
Veronica (Veronica anagallis-aquatica and arvensis)

Field Horsetail (Equisetum arvense)
Sorrel (Rumex acetosa)
The plants were identified using the Collins British Common Wild Flower Guide by David Streeter (ISBN:978-0-00-745125-8). It’s a handy little book and well worth it if you have an interest in botany and wild flowers.

Image result for Collins British Common Wild Flower Guide by David Streeter
I had a good time, despite the abysmal weather, and was completely amazed at the ammount of variety that can be found in a small meadow.

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