Category Archives: Trumpington Meadows

Trumpington Meadows – May Visit

Our first evening meeting took place in conditions more akin to the autumn – cold temperatures and a strong wind. This didn’t deter the dozen members who met up at the appointed place. We started with a walk round a small balancing pond, where we saw some members of the legume family – Common Vetch, Spotted Medick and Black Medick. There were also members of the daisy family – Ox-eye Daisy and Beaked Hawk’s-beard. The half hour that we spent here was not enough for one late arriving member who failed to spot us!

We then walked down the cycleway path, stopping when we found some Creeping Thistle. Jo Garrad, one of the Park Rangers, explained that they were looking for Thistle Rust in order to start a trial on reducing the invasive plant. What they hoped to do was collect spores from infected plants, make this into a solution and spray it onto thistle stems in patches. Trials elsewhere had shown this reduced thistle populations by 80% over a few years.

Continuing on to the large balancing pond we admired the Tufted Duck and other waterfowl that were present. We crossed over to the relict waterside meadow, where we saw the small fronds of Adder’s-tongue and the scrub that had grown up in the last decade. Back on the old railway we saw a few plants of Winter-cress in full flower, but didn’t try tasting any of the leaves. Dusk was now approaching and it was cold, so we walked briskly back to our starting point.

Trumpington Meadows 20th May

We seem to be progressing smoothly out of lockdown, so our next field studies visit to Trumpington Meadows on Thursday, May 20, should go ahead, though there is a risk of April showers.  This is an evening visit, starting at 6:30pm.  Although we should be able to meet in a large group, we will then split into smaller groups (depending on numbers) for the walk around.  In order to help plan, we’d still like you to book by emailing Jonathan Shanklin jdsh@bas.ac.uk, but we should be able to accommodate everyone who does.  Those booking will be told where to meet.

The field studies visits aim to make a regular audit of the natural history of the chosen sites and to introduce members to them and their wildlife.  They are suitable for all, though you come at your own risk.  Please follow the guidance given by the BSBI for participants on field meetings, which you can find at https://bsbi.org/download/25183/  The CNHS events are all suitable for beginners, with an element of tuition, and are “Green” rated.