April 2017 - Spring

Primroses in the Churchyard


Bee fly in the Churchyard

Spring Scillas in Harts Lane


As I write this, we are experiencing a spell of warm sunny weather, with spring flowers out in force. One of the best places to see flowers at this time of year is our local churchyard, especially primroses, daffodils and blue wood anemones (the snowdrops have finished now). Churchyards, in general, have become very important to wildlife conservation because they contain the wild flowers found in ancient meadow land, long since disappeared. The tombstones and stonework of the churches are a valuable habitat for many species of lichen, mosses and ferns - on the side of the north facing church wall, there is the fern, wall rue, with its club shaped leaflets, which unlike ivy does no structural damage to the wall and can be left for everyone to enjoy.  Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) is particularly interested in the wild flowers found in churchyards, and has already committed to undertaking a survey in Bawburgh churchyard in 2018 (an original survey carried out in 2011 by the NWT can still be found in the church entrance). In the meantime the NWT continues to help by giving advice on the best way to manage the churchyard to encourage wildlife and in particular wild flowers. The increase in species and numbers of nectar rich wild flowers will encourage  more insects into the area, and following on from this, insect-loving birds are encouraged to come in to feed; hence the food chain is established.

In my recent visit to the churchyard I watched an early bumblebee and a bee fly dipping in and out of the flowers, collecting nectar and pollen. It is a lovely peaceful environment for those of you who love wildlife or indeed just want some time to themselves. If you see anything interesting, be it a wild flower, an insect, a bird, or indeed anything else, then I would like to hear from you.  Please contact me by e-mail or see me at the monthly coffee mornings, where I can be found on the book stall.

Of course the churchyard is not the only place to find flowers at this time of year; the village itself is a picture with daffodils blooming everywhere. One particular area which I love is the patch of bright blue spring Scillas which can be found in Harts Lane. Blackthorn bushes are in full bloom in the hedgerows throughout the village; these will be followed shortly by blossoming hawthorn (or May as it is also called) next month.

This is a wonderful time of year.



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