15 June 2017 Knightwood Oak

Adders at the Reptillary
Mike and Mary Mawdsley led the group of 14 people and set off from the Knightwood Oak car park. The initial footpath was strewn with old and decaying trees, a hollow tree revealed fine examples of Ganoderma fungi. The path fell to a small pond, where numerous tiny frogs were identified, along with water plants including Lesser Spearwort. We next passed a huge Southern Wood Ant nest, which had ants right across the path.

We headed then down to the Reptillary (aka Reptile Centre), where all the reptiles were basking in the sun - Smooth Snake, Adders, Natterjack Toads, Common Frogs, Sand Lizard. The bird feeder by the Reptillary was the source of many sightings - Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Chaffinch, Siskin, Blackbirds, Great Tits, Goldfinches. The exit from the Reptillary was over a camomile lawn and overhead was a Swallow, and over the trees a Buzzard. Through the meadow were many wonderful meadow plants - Common Spotted Orchid and sundew, along with Bog Pimpernel, Bog Myrtle, Bugle
, and Cross-leaved Heath.

We finished at the Knightwood Oak, said to be 600 years old, and Brian had photos of the tree 150 years ago, so we could see for ourselves the changes.

Common Spotted Orchid

(photos by Mary Mawdsley)