Essex Field Club on Facebook

Video about the Club

Rusina ferruginea
find out more... Rusina ferruginea  5 Copyright: Graham Ekins

Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
registered charity
no 1113963
HLF Logo A-Z Page Index

Visit Our Centre

EFC Centre at Wat Tyler Country ParkWe are open today

We are normally open to the public every Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday 11am-4pm, check. We are also open on Wednesdays 10am-4pm.
Summer recording Record Goats-rue Record Wild Carrot
Record Spear Thistle
Record comb-footed spider
Record Wasp Spider
Record Garden Spider Record Nigma walckenaeri spider

Your Forum

This forum has now been more or less replaced by the Club's Facebook page at
Essex Field Club on Facebook




The weblog below is for naturalists to use to report interesting sightings, ask questions, report on field meetings and generally post pictures and any information or questions generally relevant in some way to the wildlife and geology of Essex. You will need to register and be logged-on to post to the forum, and you need to upload pictures first, for use in posts. Find out more


Sun 20th April 2014 15:44 by Graham Smith
The Mores
‘Mores’ or ‘moor’ is usually defined as a boggy area, especially one that is peaty and dominated by grasses and sedges. In the past this was probably extended to include areas of so-called ‘waste’ that were considered unfit for farming. It can also encompass a strip of open marshy ground within a wood and that is undoubtedly the meaning of ‘The Mores’, Mill Green, a narrow belt of land that separates Stoneymore Wood (Ingatestone) from Deerslade Wood (Highwood) On John Walker and Son’s parish map of 1600 it is called the ‘Common Mores’ and is depicted as a narrow extension of Mill Green Common - shaped a bit like a lady’s riding boot - which is flanked on either side by protective wood-banks. It is an open area with just a few clumps of trees and is quite distinct from the surrounding woodland. Subject to flooding in winter, it would have made for an excellent summer pasture for the Commoners’ livestock. In places, even today, relic patches of that grassland still exist, giving a flavour of what it must have looked like 400 years ago.

As a youngster it was one of my favourite destinations during Sunday morning walks with my father as Woodcock could usually be flushed from its depths in winter and in spring the ground was carpeted with Primroses, Bugle, Dog Violets and other flowers. Midsummer was a different matter though as clouds of mozzies would soon send you fleeing towards higher ground! It seemed wetter in the 1950s than it does now – the huge number of mature oaks in the adjoining woodland soaking up the rain before it reaches the valley bottom – but in the Walkers’ day it must have been a swamp in winter as the woods would have been regularly coppiced and few of the standard oaks allowed to reach the size of those present today. Despite the wettest winter on record I was able to negotiate most of it in normal walking shoes during a recent visit but much to my delight I found that despite the ravages of deer elsewhere in the wood the ground was carpeted with Primroses and Common Dog Violets. In common with other

Primroses Copyright: Graham Smith

woodland valleys in the Forest the oaks are reluctant to get their roots wet and instead there is a scatter of Ash, Alder and Crack Willow, which allow a lot more light to reach the ground.

Common Dog Violet Copyright: Graham Smith

Other woodland flowers such as Yellow Pimpernel, Bugle, Marsh Bedstraw, Arum, Wood Sage and these Wood Sorrel were also beginning to respond to the spring warmth; so too, alas, early rising mozzies, and several were able to advance their life cycle at my expense before I left!

Wood Sorrel Copyright: Graham Smith

If the Silver-washed Fritillary is ever to return to the Forest, where it was last recorded in the 1950s, then ‘The Mores’ perhaps offers the best bet. I shall be there in the summer, looking!

When I first took this photograph of a bright red beetle in the garden a couple of weeks ago I assumed that it was the Black-headed Cardinal Beetle Pyrochroa coccinea but closer inspection (while writing this!)

Lily Beetle Copyright: Graham Smith

reveals it to be the Lily Beetle Lilioceris lilii. The wing cases are more rounded, shinier and dimpled than on coccinea and the antenna are entire rather than comb-like. And the moral of this story is – don’t make assumptions! Although it has been a brilliant spring so far for butterflies and bumblebees (saw my first ‘worker’ Bombus hortorum on 7th April and first queen Cuckoo Bee B. vestalis earlier this week) other insects have been slow to appear in the garden but the Drone Fly Eristalis tenax

Eristalis tenax Copyright: Graham Smith

and Tapered Drone Fly E. pertinax are now common and the Narcissus Bulb Fly Merdon equestris has recently paid me a visit. By the look of them, its grubs seem to have been munching their way through some of my Bluebell bulbs!

PS : I have just read on the RHS website that the Lily Beetle is the Lily growers' nemesis! The larvae apparently defoliate lilies and fritillarias, among other plants. I fear that the one pictured emerged from the pot containing a Snakes Head Fritillary that I purchased from a local garden centre. Perhaps I should take plant and beetle back there; some gardeners that I know would do so!

link
 

Archives:

Jan 2019
Sep 2018
Jul 2016
Oct 2015
Jul 2015
May 2015
Apr 2015
Mar 2015
Feb 2015
Jan 2015
Dec 2014
Oct 2014
Sep 2014
Aug 2014
Jul 2014
May 2014
Apr 2014
Mar 2014
Feb 2014
Jan 2014
Dec 2013
Nov 2013
Sep 2013
Aug 2013
Jul 2013
Jun 2013
May 2013
Apr 2013
Mar 2013
Feb 2013
Jan 2013
Dec 2012
Nov 2012
Oct 2012
Sep 2012
Aug 2012
Jul 2012
Jun 2012
May 2012
Apr 2012
Mar 2012
Feb 2012
Jan 2012
Dec 2011
Nov 2011
Oct 2011
Sep 2011
Aug 2011
Jul 2011
Jun 2011
May 2011
Apr 2011
Mar 2011
Feb 2011
Jan 2011
Dec 2010
Nov 2010
Oct 2010
Sep 2010
Aug 2010
Jul 2010
Jun 2010
May 2010
Apr 2010
Mar 2010
Feb 2010
Nov 2009
Oct 2009
Aug 2009
Jul 2009
Jun 2009
May 2009
Apr 2009
Mar 2009
Feb 2009
Jan 2009
Nov 2008
Oct 2008
Sep 2008
Aug 2008
Jul 2008
Jun 2008
May 2008
Apr 2008
Mar 2008
Feb 2008
Jan 2008
Dec 2007
Nov 2007

current posts