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Angerona prunaria
find out more... Orange Moth F. corylaria Copyright: Ben Sale

Essex Field Club
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Essex Field Club

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EFC Centre at Wat Tyler Country ParkWe are closed due to the Covid-19 situation, but we are otherwise normally open to the public at our centre at Wat Tyler Country Park every Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday 11am-4pm, check. We are also normally open on Wednesdays 10am-4pm.

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

Tue 9th July 2013 17:06 by Mary Smith
Potatoes and Grape vine
Our first early potatoes were planted when spring arrived, about mid April, which was over a month later than usual due to the late cold spring.  My favourite variety for our light soil is Rocket, but it has not rocketed this year. Now the leaves are dying off at last and the minute new potatoes are the poorest crop I can ever remember. Not blight, but drought, that I had not realised was so severe.  The soil is absolutely bone dry down a whole spade depth and more. I know we only had 2cm of rain in June, but earlier months had rain enough, or so I thought, but clearly not. In case you don't know, I live in Upminster. Is this sudden heat part of the problem?  I don't know.

Those of you with long memories may remember that I used to write a Wildlife Diary in the EFC Newsletter, and, if your memory is particularly good, you may remember about 7 or 8 years ago when I wrote that we had a 'wild' Grape Vine appear in our garden, conveniently close to a fence, up which it climbs every year. We were looking forward to getting our own grapes and then making our own wine: Chateau Smith. Sadly, we are not there yet, but we are now very excited as we found lots of flowers, out, on our vine, the first flowers we have seen! We have had flower buds a-plenty, but they never opened.  Now we have seen the tiny green flowers all open, stamens sticking out, and we hope the weather stays like this long enough to get some ripe grapes!  Then some wine! Here's to a long hot summer at last!



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