Promoting observation, free range exploration, sense of place and citizen science, through the field notes of a naturalist.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Bracken armageddon

Once The British was one of my regular 'go to' sites. A combination of marshy grassland, bare coal spoil and developing heathland provided an excellent environment for getting to know local birds. Whinchat, stonechat, tree pipit and even grey partridge were frequent. These days a substantial part of the site is choked by shoulder high bracken and semi-mature trees. Whilst whitetroat, willow warbler and redpoll still occur the change in habitat has been dramatic. 

This change has not only affected the community of birds but the characteristic heathland plant life that was once present is even harder to find. Petty whin is one species that is no longer present. That said a dedicated search can still reveal plants such as bog asphodel, bog pimpernal, marsh cudweed and the regenerating coal spoil tips are now supporting a good population of bell heather.

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