Saturday, 1 June 2013

The Parish Life - June

June is our birthday month and we shall be celebrating another year of successful management of the churchyard.  We are in the process of updating our plant and invertebrate species lists.  This session, plans are to carry out an insect survey to link in with the national Butterfly day, which takes place on 1st June.  Our practical day is 2 weeks after this event, on 15th June, so we are planning to record as wide a range of insect species as we can find, including any butterflies to add to the national survey.  One easy way to check for insects in trees and bushes is simply to place a white sheet under a plant and then shake the branches.  Pitfall traps can be set up to catch any ground-roaming invertebrates, but these must be checked every 24 hours to record and release any captured animals. Sometimes on arrival, you may find a very well-fed Ground beetle and some chewed up remains! We shall have a good selection of identification sheets and books to help with the recording.

Sue and Tim have been monitoring the plants as they emerge each month.  We planted several plant plugs last year and in particular, I hope to see Ox-Eye Daisies make an appearance.  These were once used as a cure for chest problems.  Red Campion, Herb Bennet and one of my favourite plants, Viper’s Bugloss, should all be in bloom. The biennial Bugloss has the most attractive purple and blue flowers.  Another ancient remedy was to use the seeds, boiled in milk and wine to help the flow of a mother’s milk!

Our birthday party will be a chance for a mid-year review of achievements so far, as well as a chance to sample some birthday cake and perhaps a bacon butty for those who like savouries.  As always, anyone interested in our project is very welcome to attend.  We shall be carrying out our usual maintenance tasks, as well as the above.  Tools and gloves, and cake with refreshments will be available.  Please come and join us to help celebrate our birthday!  The date for your diaries is Saturday 15th June, 9.30 a.m. to 12 noon.

Contributed by: Liz, Coordinator

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