Sunday 28th APRIL 2.30pm Port Holme Meadow
Leader: Pat Doody
Port Holme Meadow designated by Natural England as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, is an example of a ‘lowland hay meadow’. It has a rich history of human use for hay, sheep and cattle grazing, as a racecourse and an airfield. With an area of 104ha, it represents 7% of the total UK lowland unimproved hay meadows. It supports a rich flora and is a haven for a number of less common breeding birds in summer (e.g. Corn Bunting and Skylark) now absent from much of the more intensively farmed Cambridgeshire landscape. It also supports large populations of ducks, waders and gulls when flooded in winter. The plan is to visit early in the year to see the display of Snake's Head Fritillaries, a great rarity. Park in the car park next to the Chinese Bridge in Godmanchester. Grid reference TL244705. If this car park is full there is another a little further down the road towards Huntingdon at grid reference TL244707.
Sunday 19th MAY 2.30pm Lady’s Wood and Upwood Meadows
Leader: Martin Baker and Carol Bilverstone
Lady's Wood is ancient in origin. Historically, it was managed as traditional coppice although many trees were felled in 1951. Some trees were left lying in the wood and now provide a marvellous habitat for insects and fungi. Designated a National Nature Reserve for its floristic diversity, Upwood Meadows is awash with wildlife. The greatest display is in Bentley meadow where medieval ridge-and-furrow and the many ant hills provide differing microhabitats for plants and invertebrates. Here plants including Cowslip, Green-winged Orchid, Saw-wort, Dropwort, Sulphur clover and Dyer's Greenweed provide summer-long colour and nectar sources for bees and butterflies. Located to the west of Upwood village, down a farm track. Meet in the car park. Grid reference TL250824.
Sunday 16th JUNE 2.30pm Jubilee Wood
Leader: Peter Lake and Andrew Frost
Jubilee Wood is just over a hectare of new woodland (planted in 2002) established on what was once waste ground. The wood is owned by the Parish Council of Great Gidding which, with the guidance of the Forestry Commission, planted a mix of indigenous trees such as oak and ash to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002. Park on Main Street (B660) near the pub in Great Gidding. Grid reference is TL121836.
Wednesday 10th JULY 2.30pm Hinchingbrooke Country Park
Leader: Pat Doody
Hinchingbrooke Country Park covers 170 acres of open grasslands, mature woodland and lakes. All three species of British woodpecker can be seen here, along with Nuthatch and Marsh Tit. The site has not been surveyed for over 15 years and the group are looking to update the records. Meet in the main car park. Grid reference TL221718. Please note charges apply for car parking.
Sunday 4th AUGUST 2.30pm Therfield Heath
Leader: Cynthia Coombes
Therfield Heath, in Royston, is an SSSI chalk grassland and is rich in flora and insects. It is renowned for being one of the best sites in England for observing the Chalkhill Blue butterfly and we have timed our visit for when they are on the wing. Other butterfly species include Dark Green Fritillaries, Large Skippers, Brown Argus, Small Heath and Marbled White. Meet in Therfield Heath Main Car Park. Grid reference TL347405, next to the tennis courts, just off Baldock Road in Royston.
Sunday 8th SEPTEMBER 2.30pm Ouse Fen and Bury Fen
Leader: Chris Hudson
Hanson and the RSPB are working together, transforming a gravel quarry on the edge of the River Ouse into Ouse Fen nature reserve. When it is complete, Ouse Fen will boast the biggest reedbed in the UK. We will see how the site is progressing and get a chance to see some of the rarer fenland bird species. Grid reference TL380719.
Sunday 13th OCTOBER 2.00pm Hinchingbrooke Country Park
Leader: Alan Robbins/Sheila Wells
As part of our 2019 survey, following our visit in July, we will visit again for our Fungi Foray and record any other species we come across at the same time. Meet in the main car park. Grid reference TL221718. Please note charges apply for car parking.
When attending Field Meetings please wear sturdy footwear and clothing appropriate for the site conditions and weather. For further information about the summer programme please contact either Sarah Orbell on 01480-383567 or Barry Dickerson on 01480-475689.