Flanders Moss NNR
You may have noticed a recent change along the Flanders boardwalk – gone are the dragonfly life cycle posters, and in their place you can follow our shiny new Pollinator Trail! As much as we love dragonflies, the signs were getting a bit tatty and discoloured, and we thought it was time for our visitors to learn something new.
And it seems we put them up at just the right time, as we’ve been seeing the first of our pollinators appearing on the reserve. I was joined by a hungry honeybee for lunch, bumblebee queens have been spotted zooming about, and even a small tortoiseshell butterfly was fluttering about the first flowers of the season.
Perhaps you have seen this flower on a recent sunny visit? It looks like a bright yellow daisy, and for good reason – Colt’s-foot are part of the same family! These flowers are particularly unusual – they form flowers before leaves, which only appear once their blooms begin to die back. It’s a tough little flower, found even on waste ground. It is sometimes called coughwort, as it was historically used to treat a sore throat. Colt’s-foot is also the perfect example of why you should plant wildflowers that bloom at various times in the year – our early emerging bees need food, and so far this is the only flower on the reserve they can visit.
Skylarks are singing, meadow pipits are displaying, tadpoles are emerging. The sun is warm and the sky is clear. What better place to be than here?