22 April 2012

A spring walk

Yesterday I led a walk from the new car park to Austford and Austford Farm then back to Holman Wood Field and up around Brede High Heath.

Though rather chilly, it was a fine sunny day crowned by a noisy thunderstorm of which we missed almost all the rain.

Highlights of the day were the sound of the cuckoo, the fact that there seemed to be plenty of heath dog violets, Viola canina, a rapidly declining species in there usual places, while in one of the streams we found a small brook lamprey, Lampetra planeri.  It did not look too healthy and was easy to lift briefly out of the water, but the fact that it was there at all indicates that the streams are in good condition.


Now is the time to look for these strange, primitive creatures as they swim upstream to find suitable spawning grounds, though they are often on the move at night.