We had our annual Spring Walk this morning with the Friends of Green Dale, led by Daniel Greenwood of the London Wildlife Trust. It will be his last walk with us sadly as he is off to a new job in the South Downs National Park. To mark his many years’ of support for our group, we surprised him by installing a new bird box in DKH Wood and naming it “Daniel’s Den”. We gave him an inscribed hip flask and some accompanying alcohol to go inside it.
We had a good turn out of about 27 people, starting off in Dog Kennel Hill Open Space. Whilst there we spotted:
- a hairy footed flower bee
- mistle thrush
- cowslips (which are pronounced “cows lips” and are related to oxlips)
- hornbeam (which we learnt is used for charcoal burning)
- turkey tail bracket fungus (which is common)
- garlic mustard
- jelly ear fungus
- green alkanet (which we learned is used for dyeing and is very attractive to bees)
- some canada gees flew overhead
- epicormic growth at the base of lime trees
Then Daniel looked up and gasped… he had hoped to see this before he left London and there it was… a buzzard flying way up high over our heads. He had seen it once before over Sainsburys and had wanted to see it again and there it was, on his last walk!
We continued our walk by heading to Green Dale fields. Here we saw:
- tawny mining bee
- purple honesty
- oak galls (whose black dye was used as ink!)
- yellow field cap (an indicator of long-term grassland)
- ash dieback sadly
- part of an egg
We also discussed soil and how it is made: apparently it’s the action of fungus, algae and cyanobacteria breaking things down that create soil.
It was a very enjoyable walk. Many thanks to Daniel and we wish him well in his new post.