The last couple of weeks at Tame Valley Wetlands have been busy with Tame Force, plans for future projects and work delivering current projects. We’ve also got a few great nature spots to show!
This small white butterfly, Pieris rapae, has recently emerged from its cocoon. The pupa, which you can see in the background, has a pointed shape and attaches onto a surface with a thin silk strand. Once emerged, fluid is pumped through the wings, helping them to unfold. The butterfly rests whilst its wings dry, then is able to fly off and begin foraging.
A walk through Church Pool Covert and Lea Marston churchyard was rewarded with some fascinating fungi findings in the form of these large parasol mushrooms, Macrolepiota procera, and some bracket fungi growing on fallen dead wood.
These and other fungi play important roles in the ecosystem, especially in the nitrogen cycle, by acting as saprophytic decomposers. They break down plant materials and other waste from the forest floor, then release nitrogen back into the soil in the form of ammonium nitrate, for it to eventually be used by plants.
Click on the images below to enlarge.
Whilst carrying out habitat management and scrub clearance with Tame Force, we noticed two den holes in the ground underneath a bed of nettles, but it was unclear whether or not they were being used. Speculations were confirmed when trail camera footage from the next evening, recorded by Ian Wykes, our Development Manager, captured this fox exploring the walled garden!
The apple trees at Hams Hall Environmental Centre are now abundant with fruit. These crab apples are tiny and sharp tasting! They make excellent food for birds and other wildlife around the garden.