Monday, July 31, 2006

By the A21 in June

In mid-June I walked up to the junction of Riccards Lane and the A21, the main trunk road to Hastings once known as Windmill Corner (TQ766188). The wide verges here are very rich in wildlife and seem to be the tiny remnants of ancient meadows. On one I found several narrow-bordered five-spot burnets, Zygaena lonicerae latomarginata (middle picture above), as well as the large skipper, Ochlodes venata, and some 'undisturbed grassland' indicators such as fairy flax, Linum catharticum. A detailed survey over a full year would, I suspect, deliver a long species list for this verge.

Yet it is hardly an auspicious spot with fast traffic racing past most of the day and night. I have passed by hundreds of times, often more than once in a day, but this is the first time I have stopped and taken a proper look.

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