There was a definite autumnal feel when I visited Raisby Hill again at the end of September, despite the glorious sunshine. Though I still found over 20 species in flower, in most cases these were just the last few stragglers. The meadow areas have been given their end of year cut and the Trust’s Exmoor ponies have taken up residence in the area round the ponds and are already making inroads into the Meadowsweet and Agrimony which dominated in the summer, to make sure diversity is maintained. Their manes hold a good sample of what’s currently in seed!
There is nothing in flower I haven’t seen earlier in the year though there is a second flush of flowers on some unlikely candidates, such as Lady’s mantle, prompted by having been cut back. The only new kids on the block this time are more fungi – tiny bright red Waxcaps and chunky Birch boletes.
The bracken along Raisby Beck is turning golden now, well before the leaves on most trees. Although it looks pretty, bracken’s invasive tendencies mean it really needs to be kept in check here – a good task, perhaps, for some of the Wildlife Trust’s volunteers.
Here is September’s list of plants in flower – quite a few of them, typically for this time of year, members of the daisy family.
|Perforate St John’s-Wort||Hypericum perforatum|
|Common rock-rose||Helianthemum nummularium|
|Smooth lady’s mantle||Alchemilla glabra|
|Red clover||Trifolium pratense|
|Bush vetch||Vicia sepium|
|Wild angelica||Angelica Sylvestris|
|Viper’s bugloss||Echium vulgare|
|Field scabious||Knautia arvensis|
|Devil’s-bit scabious||Succisa pratensis|
|Common knapweed||Centaurea nigra|
|Greater knapweed||Centaurea scabiosa|
|Common ragwort||Jacobea vulgaris|
|Autumn hawkbit||Scorzoneroides autumnalis|
|Oxeye daisy||Leucanthemum vulgare|