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Lowestoft Field Club

PUBLISHED: 15:09 02 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:25 06 July 2010

The summer programme started with an evening visit to Kessingland Beach on June 8. The plant list was 92 species.

The Sunday meeting was organised to look at the greens in Parham Parish.

The summer programme started with an evening visit to Kessingland Beach on June 8. The plant list was 92 species.

The Sunday meeting was organised to look at the greens in Parham Parish. However, on a damp morning, a small group found that the greens had been mowed and made plant identification difficult. The club therefore moved on to Framlingham Mere and enjoyed a day out recording in the lee of the castle. A total of 150 plants were noted.

The next evening meeting was at Sotterley Cemetery Chapel, where the cemetery was explored and 97 plant species recorded.

The first August evening meeting was to the Westleton Heath and Dunwich area. The club walked through the edge of Dunwich Forest before looking at the National Trust heathland restoration scheme on Mount Pleasant Farm. The heather is beginning to grow but it was when the group entered the old heath that they saw the full glory of acres of ling and bell heather in full flower. Most of the group stayed long enough to hear and see the nightjars.

The Sunday meeting, on a glorious day, was to Benacre National Nature Reserve where the warden guided members through areas normally closed to the public. Although the bird life was limited, even at the hide overlooking Benacre Broad, members saw both fallow and muntjack deer and recorded a total of 180 plant species in the varied habitats. This included rarities such as the hard fern.

The last outdoor evening meeting of the year was to Leathes Ham in Lowestoft. The council has undertaken a lot of management of the surrounds and has cleared many of the dead and dying willows. This has improved the vegetation around the fringes of the water and in a small area we were able to record over 120 species in a short time.

The September programme started with an informal indoor meeting. The discussion centred on the remarkable influx of painted lady butterflies and the good numbers of most other common species. The Sunday meeting, to Thorpeness, was poorly attended. The walk over the cliffs and beach to the north of the village were interesting mostly for the parched condition of the foliage. The statuesque giant hogweed and the rare sea spurge were notable. The first indoor formal meeting was a illustrated talk on the raft spiders of Redgrave and Lopham Fen by Dr Helen Smith who has been studying and developing conservation strategies for them for the last 17 years.

The September 30 will have been another informal meeting at the United Reform Church.

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