Wrekin Forest volunteers recently visited Whitcliffe on the lookout for unusual insects and they were well rewarded with David Williams getting this picture of a scarlet tiger moth while Jim Almond photographed a white plume moth and a white letter hairstreak.
Small Teasel (Dipsacus pilosus) is not a common species in Shropshire but it has appeared on The BreadWalk. It differs from the more frequently seen Teasel (D. fullonum) by its having smaller and spherical flowering heads compared to the conical heads of Teasel. The latter is often found around Ludlow on waste ground and churchyards etc. whereas, Small Teasel has been spotted in Ludlow Castle last year. Now we have it growing nicely along the Breadwalk. It is biennial and likes damp shady conditions, si its present site on Whitcliffe is ideal and the plants can be admired by passing walkers.
Until last week when you sat on the bench in memorial to The Jacksons of Whitcliffe Cottages a scrubby holly tree blocked the once superb view to Clee Hill.
Now you can see the view again from the bench thanks to work by the volunteers and Matt, the tree surgeon from Shropshire Wildlife Trust. Pictures below.
Once again we are indebted to McConnels for helping us out with the loan of their remote controlled Robocut and operator, Sparrow who made short work of clearing the overgrowth of fern on the common.
Left to its own devices the ferns would quickly engulf the common leaving nowhere to walk run or play. Years ago animals grazing the common kept it at bay but these days we have to rely on manpower or contractors.
McConnels generous help saves us both a tremendous amount of volunteer manpower and contractor bills. We are extremely grateful for their help not to say impressed by the latest generation of Robocut. More and more contractors are turning to this machine, particularly for applications like cutting alongside busy motorways and the like.