Pilewort or Lesser celandine (Ficaria verna), flowering between January and April; these lovers of damp woodland pathways, stream banks and ditches, can be found in gardens, meadows and shady hedgerows, and even Narnia, yes, Narnia! ✨
An important nectar source for early emerging insects from hibernation, such as Queen Bumblebees 🐝
Lesser celandine were used to treat haemorrhoids, hence “Pilewort” and scurvy, due to being high in Vitamin C.
A few years ago and around May last year; I visited the Frankley Beeches woodland. I noticed it was being ill-managed and not really being cared for.
I have grown up with this remarkable wood, as my local landmark for 30 years (my entire life), and despite it looking lovely on the outside, it unfortunately is not the same on the inside!
Research concluded that it is the National Trust that haven’t been doing (their job) anything with it for years, and Bromsgrove District Council cannot have cared much either…
When I visited it last, it was in much need of restoration & conservation, within the wood there are dead & damaged trees, plus rubbish & disturbed soil from its careless visitors. The anthropogenic effect on the woodland is very much the same to this day!
I recently did a Tweet, tagging in those who it concerns and may care about the Frankley Beeches, and yesterday (01.09.2020) I visited there and made this video:
Today (02.09.2020) the National Trust in the Midlands got back to me on Twitter:
“…thank you for raising your concerns with us. I’m pleased to hear that you have seen a difference to the site. Unfortunately, like many places, we only have a small team who can complete essential tasks right now but we will make sure to take on your feedback when we update the conservation management plan. We did not put in place the plastic tree guards, but I have let the team at Clent Hills know that they are now littered around…”
So it’s the Clent Team who (are to blame) haven’t been doing anything for years, until fairly recently 🤔 I am pleased they finally replied to me, as a few years ago, I emailed them and was ignored!
Sorry to hear of their small team, thus causing neglect and negative knock-on effects to much cherished places…
Made in October 2011 [VIDEOS], three great things to look out for this month: acorn crazy Jays, Rutting Fallow Deer & fun looking Fungi!
🥜 🦌 🍄
Apologies for the inaccuracies in the Fungi video; pronunciation of hallucinogenic and apparently you can eat Amethyst Deceivers – but it is better to be safe than sorry! (No matter how good a recipe sounds!)
This month I’ve decided to focus on some wildlife that takes a backseat, and is often overlooked – Reptiles and Amphibians! 🐍 🐸
ARG UK have teamed up with Amphibian and Reptile Conservation; to bring us a Record Pool of our water loving and sun loving friends! In the video below I interview Underwater Cameraman, Jack Perks – to give us some tips and the lowdown on this nationwide survey.
I chose the mystery location for yesterdays’ video, because I grew up a short walk away from it and was inspired by an episode of Countryfile where Anita Rani showcases rural Bradford 😛 Incase you’ve not seen the video, I’ll not ruin the ‘surprise’ with naming it. It’s where I cut my teeth as a child and naturalist, so to speak and over the years I’ve seen loads of wildlife there, a few firsts, which includes the time I saw my first Weasel as a child! Yesterday my friend Gary and I observed a Kestrel and Jay up there.
In the second shot of the intro to my video, I’m on the top of Rubery Hill/Cock Hill, with the Frankley countryside and suburb in the background, there are more great views from up there; the Lickey Hills, Rubery and Bromsgrove in the distance – plus the country park I reveal in my video 😉
When we were filming near Frankley Beeches wood, we heard and saw a beautiful male Yellowhammer – it’s the second time I’ve seen one in Frankley, (I’ve mainly distantly heard their song now and again) so I decided to record and feature this Yellowhammers’ song as the soundtrack for the video. We could also hear the beautiful song of the Skylark in the distance, down near Lower Hill Farm. On New Street, near the Greenbelt just before Frankley Hill Lane (which leads up to the Frankley Beeches Wood) I saw a partly Leucistic male Blackbird collecting worms, I almost mistook it for a Ring Ouzel!
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