Archive for February 28th, 2008

28th February 2008, Thursday

Ancient shingle vegetation on Dungeness

Old stable shingle on Dungeness that has supported broom scrub Cytisus scoparius for many years, has a deep acidic humus, with a pH of around 4-5 and it is probably the acidity that kills off the broom.  Once the broom has gone it is replaced by a remarkable community of plants, often dominated by lichens that caste the shingle a grey colour. As well as abundant lichens and mosses there are a mix of low growing plants such as wood sage Teucrium scorodonia, one of the hosts, along with broom, of dodder Cuscuta epithymum. I remember learning about this parasitic plant when I did  O-level biology but did not see it until I came to Dungeness. In the photo below it can be seen in the foreground of the picture with its trailing pink stems and flowers wrapped around the pale flowers of wood sage.

Lichen heath with dodder

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28th February 2008, Thursday


Thank you, Andy, for the excellent video clip. This is setting new standards for rxwildlife!  Let’s hope the ponies and the habitat both thrive. Another good reason for a visit to Warren Glen.

28th February 2008, Thursday

Exmoor Ponies at Warren Glen

Twenty-three Exmoor ponies have been brought over from Firle, near Lewes, to munch down on grassland at Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve.

Exmoor ponies, an endangered breed, are famous for being hardy and tough and will benefit the nature reserve by controlling coarse grasses and gorse and help towards restoring the maritime heath within Warren Glen.

Councillor Peter Finch, lead member for community well being, said: “We’re very pleased indeed that we are able to cater for these beautiful ponies for the coming weeks. I hope they enjoy their stay in the nature reserve, I’m sure the food will just be as good as in Firle and certainly more plentiful.

“They will be a real draw to visitors to the reserve, which is always worth a visit at any time of the year.”

28th February 2008, Thursday

Beach Reserve

Highlights this morning included, 65 Golden Plover on Flat Beach, 112 Grey Plover and 220 Dunlin along the shore. Good numbers of Black-headed and Mediterranean Gulls were present at Ternery Pool.  Two Common Seals were hauled out on the sand at the River Mouth.