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Wildlife Trust Group (Southwold)

PUBLISHED: 12:27 25 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:13 06 July 2010

Steve Aylward, the trust property manager, gave a talk in mid September to nearly 80 members of the Southwold Suffolk Wildlife Trust Group. He featured wild flowers growing in a number of different habitats in the county.

Steve Aylward, the trust property manager, gave a talk in mid September to nearly 80 members of the Southwold Suffolk Wildlife Trust Group. He featured wild flowers growing in a number of different habitats in the county.

The Lowestoft area is important for fresh water marshes and there are many nationally scarce plants growing in the dykes, such as water soldier, which sinks below water level for winter protection, and the eight foot high marsh sow thistle which easily over tops the reeds.

Moving west to the head waters of the Waveney and Little Ouse rivers is Redgrave and Lopham Fen, where scarce insectivorous plants like butterwort and round leaved sundew are recovering from near extinction as a result of improved management.

Perhaps the most colourful habitat and easily the most threatened, is old grassland which has never been cultivated or had chemicals applied, and where, in spring there are cowslips and a range of orchids. Reydon Wood was used as a good example of ancient woodland supporting as it does birds nest orchids and yellow archangel.

This very enjoyable evening concluded with heathland, another threatened habitat in our area, with unusual plants like common dodder, which is actually rare locally and is a parasite on heather and gorse.

The next meeting will be on Thursday, October 8, when Mike Swindells from the British Butterfly Conservation Society will give an illustrated talk on butterflies of Suffolk, at 7.30pm in St Edmunds Hall, Southwold and everyone is welcome. There will be a raffle and a bring and buy stall. Suffolk Wildlife Trust Christmas cards should be on sale. Entrance is £1.50 which includes refreshments.

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