Yellow Rattle Planting at UEA Meadows

Matt Tomlinson of Friends of Strawberry Field and UEA Meadows writes:

“To continue our work to help restore the UEA meadows – UEA estates have kindly cut short an area on the meadow by the lake for us. We can now rake up the arisings and create some bare soil to sow yellow rattle and other strawberry field wildflower seeds. This worked really well last year and it would be great to build on this success. 

Dates and times –

Sunday 8th Oct 10-12pm

Saturday 14th Oct 2-5pm

Please bring a rake with you if possible. I have borrowed 6 if you don’t have any.

Coffee and biscuits provided and of course everyone is welcome.

Hope to see you then” 

Volunteering in October

The October Programme for the Conservation Volunteers is now available here.

Mike Webster writes:

“October is approaching, and it definitely the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness now.  I hope that you know someone can come out and join us for a transitional month as we finish off cutting and raking our precious remaining wildflower meadows, before moving into more scrub clearance and pond work as the nesting season finishes.  To celebrate Friday 13th we have a trip to a spooky castle, but on Halloween itself the only horror show will be seeing how overgrown some newly planted trees have got!  Also this month there’s the chance to both cut back laurel and plant spring bulbs in Cringleford, and we will be exploring some new areas of East Ruston’s giant area of “Poor’s Allotment” (land allotted to the poor of the parish, now tremendously good wildlife habitat) to see the process of restoring a heathland in action. “

Water Lettuce Invasion?

Water lettuce, Pista Stratiotes, has been spotted on the river. This is a non-native invasive species and in warmer waters can present a serious problem. In this country it is on sale for ponds and aquariums, but should not be released into the wild. The leaf rosettes produce stolons that can give rise to daughter rosettes, these can detach from the parent, and enable the species to spread through a waterway.

Water Lettuce Photo: Martin Pooley

At present the view of the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat (NNSS) is that water lettuce is unlikely to survive the winter in the UK. That is not to say that climate change, and the possibility of the development of more hardy varieties, could not result in it becoming a problem in the future.

If you discover a plant on the river that you believe might be a serious invasive threat, please check it out on the NNSS website, and follow the advice they give on reporting it.