Daily Archives: October 5, 2011

Nature spotting with the kids

From Alice Westlake … 
 

Over the summer I’ve been taking my two young kids out around North Millfields to see what flora and fauna we can spot. The idea, as I understand it, is just to build up knowledge about what lives on Millfields. Well, so far the answer seems to be: nothing very unusual! We have seen lots of dandelions and daisies (or daisy-lions and dandies, as Hector calls them), ladybirds, bees, woodlice and something that may have been a soldier beetle – and taken and drawn plenty of pictures of them! It’s good fun to do with small children, and I am sure if we persevere, and with a little help from other like minded folk, we will start to build up a more complete picture which includes some of the less regular visitors to our park.

At the end of the summer term, at my instigation, a small group from Laurie’s class also went on a biodiversity walk around N Millfields and took some pictures which they posted on iSpot, of earwigs, damsons (?) and fungi.

One place we focused our attention on was the wildflower belt alongside the river. When we first started looking there, this had been newly planted and looked quite pretty although it seemed to consist exclusively of poppies, nettles, comfrey and hoary mustard, most of which can be found all over the marshes. There were many different types of bees frequenting it, bumbles and solitary, although I noticed that there were no butterflies – why not?

When we went back a few weeks later, the flowers had all finished and the whole scene was quite different; it just looked like an un-loved and weedy verge, was very full of litter and I hardly saw a single bee. In one place where the fence had been broken down people had clearly been trampling across it in large numbers as the plants had been completely flattened over a wide section. 

Anyhow, we will do another trip soon to look out for interesting fungi and spiders, now that autumn is here…

If you’re like minded folk and would like to join Alice, Hector & Laurie looking for mushrooms and spiders, please email .

Laurie is at Southwold School.