The sun was out as we met for a rearranged visit to Trench Meadow. It didn’t stay with us for long but it was a warm afternoon with no rain – quite something for our visits to the meadow.
Two interested onlookers joined us and Julia’s later arrival made a party of twelve. The richness of flora in the unimproved neutral grassland make it one of only two SSSIs in the Bradford area. White Ground elder lined the path to the gate being replaced by Pignut once inside. At the lower end large patches of pink Bistort stood out amongst the luxuriant growth of grasses while Lesser Stitchwort was in flower at ground level. Difficult walking conditions in the gulley area made today’s visit more one of noticing plants rather than searching for them. Some in flower here were Ragged Robin, Bog Stitchwort, Cuckoo Flower and Yellow Pimpernel. In other wet areas Meadowsweet was opening, Brooklime in flower and a vast quantity of Marsh Pennywort leaves were seen. In the top drier parts Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Heath Bedstraw and Birdsfoot trefoil were prominent. Red Clover and Zigzag Clover growing closely together prompted us to revise their diagnostic features. Tormentil was found in all areas. A quick visit into the woodland confirmed that the cow wheat is thriving. With the addition of the identified rushes, sedges and grasses today’s total of flowering species was fifty-five.
No one commented on any bird life and disappointingly only Green veined White and Small Copper butterflies were seen, the latter no doubt enjoying the tall flowering spikes of Sorrel. Moths were plentiful and ably identified by John. Yellow Shell, Blood Vein and Straw Dot being some of the easier to remember names.
Visits to Trench Meadow are always memorable for one reason or another. Further visits in the next few weeks will show impressive patches of Harebells and Betony.
We discovered that our visitors were not only naturalists but were committee members at High Batts Reserve! Some of us had memories of the great day spent there in 2018.
I hope that everyone enjoyed the visit as much as I did.