Chalk grassland flowers of Brighton

Chalk grassland flowers of Brighton

[Music] hi there this is paul the ranger reporting from a very exciting new project in the heart of the city and i’m very pleased to say that i i will be based here as the ranger for water hall which some of you may have heard of is an old golf course in brighton hove just to the north of the bypass on the way to devil’s dyke and it’s an absolutely stunning place and last year it was decommissioned as a golf course and has been given back to the council through a tender process um to return it to nature for people and wildlife so a really really exciting project i’m delighted to be a part of it as we sweep round you can see the fairway just in front of me which is starting to to grow now less golfers more grasses more flowers that’s what we want and as we come up and turn around onto this bank here this is a beautiful already pristine thereabouts short grassland bank we’ve got some drop work here which is a beautiful fluffy download perennial most of our down and plants are perennials we’ve got some some bed straws some pork bits some birds for trefoil there’s quite a lot of horseshoe vetch on the site too on this bank there’s some hair bells coming through it’s a stunning bank lovely little patch of rock rose here the rock rose is a chief indicator plant on the downs which means that if you’ve got it growing here you’re doing okay plainly and simply and it’s the same with many other plants and many other insects and other invertebrates for example the butterflies they’re not just pretty and flitty but they’re really good indicator animals that tell us just by being able to see roughly what species are for quenching a space it will tell us quite clearly the health and the condition of that space and what could be needed to be done to make it even better for them so indicator species are really important they’re an important part of survey but also they’re often quite conspicuous and beautiful as is the case here on this lovely bank at waterfall [Music] hanging out at the local bar the nectar bar in the leaf jungle beneath the the whole piece of downland here is just stitched together with horseshoe vetch which is a a very notable plant it’s the seoul caterpillar food plant for the adonis and chalk hill blue butterflies which are two of our quintessential flagship downland species spectacular colours and they really bring the downline to life oh here’s a really good one now this is a forester moth it’s in the burnet moth family and we have on at walter hall all three national species two of which are nationally scarce i’m gonna have to get a photo take it home and identify which of the three species it is and that is lovely to see two forester moths on the same knapweed flower how very lovely hi this is paul the ranger again over in stammer park this time and i’m actually not far away from the main entrance to the park on the big bank to the left as you come into the park and it’s been responding really well the last 10 years or so to our grazing regime which we just bring sheep in really through the winter for a few weeks and it’s responded really well as you can hopefully see but what i wanted to show you was this lovely plant here and its name is yellow rattle now yellow rattle is a lovely download perennial not found everywhere but where it is found you will notice significantly less longer grasses and that’s because this is a bit of a parasite so what it does is it latches onto the root systems of the surrounding longer more robust grasses and uses their energy thus depleting the grasses and creating more of a blank canvas for other smaller prostrate download perennials to come through so it’s an amazing management tool and we’ve started to collect seed of this plant the last few years and we’re chucking it all over the place because it really opens up the grassland floor for other stuff to come in so there’s yellow rattle another bit of magic on the downs aha look at this little treat this is the lava of a six spot burnett moth and as you can see it’s already started to spin a lovely little tent made of silk which it will hide in for a couple of weeks on this grass stem nice and firmly attached to the grass stem and then will emerge in a couple of weeks as a beautiful black and red day flying moth a great green bush cricket a huge beastie relative to its peers i was actually bitten by one of these a few years ago and it hurt it really hurts hi this is paul the ranger again i’ve moved over to east brighton i’m in the depths of white hawk in front of me here out of your shot at the moment is one of the most prolific blooms of wildflowers i’ve ever had the privilege of both seeing and originally planting with my volunteers about seven or eight years ago and the place has gone berserk check this out [Music] wowzers this is the swambra butterfly bank or b bank that we built in 2014 and all we did was scrape off all the topsoil and bank it up up there in that big mound you can see in the background and reveal the open chalk and then we planted about 2 000 native perennial wildflowers and this is what we had almost the following year but it has got better and better in the last few years and this is truly magnificent and just in front of us here we’ve got some wild marjoram which is my favorite wild flower it has to be it’s gorgeous it smells lovely it’s the original oregano in fact that’s its scientific name and it’s also the one of the most nectar rich flowers in the uk loved by nearly all butterflies and lots of bees an amazing flower but the kidney vetch is really notable as well because it supports a tiny little butterfly called the small blue it’s the smallest butterfly in europe and it’s scientific name is cupido minimus that’s a very very sweet name and it’s a very sweet butterfly this stately beauty here is viper’s bugloss now actually although it’s a perennial wildflower it is more of a disturbed ground species and because we obviously did disturb the ground to create this haven it’s popped up and you can see there’s some more little ones coming up around me when it comes to species of butterfly and other invertebrates and pollinators that depend upon just one species of plant you can see how delicate this ecosystem can be because without this kidney vetch that you can see everywhere on this bank there would be no small blues and without horseshoe vetch for example we’d have no adonis blues and chalk kill blues or they’d have to go through a serious spell of decline and losses whilst they adapted to a different plant and after a thousand years of down and evolution that would be really tricky for them so it’s a absolute responsibility of us to maintain to restore expand and improve these amazing flower habitats for all the pollinators that that need them and give back to us in return [Music] you
rn

Chalk grassland flowers of Brighton

rn

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *