Raisby Hill Grassland, September 2019

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.

Clockwise from top left: Agrimonia eupatoria, Centaurea scabiosa, Leucanthemum vulgare and Succisa pratensis
Perforate St John’s-Wort Hypericum perforatum  
Common rock-rose   Helianthemum nummularium
Agrimony Agrimonia eupatoria  
Smooth lady’s mantle Alchemilla glabra  
Red clover Trifolium pratense  
Bush vetch Vicia sepium  
Herb-Robert Geranium robertianum  
Wild angelica Angelica Sylvestris  
Burnet-saxifrage Pimpinella saxifrage  
Yellow-wort Blackstonia perfoliata  
Viper’s bugloss Echium vulgare  
Betony   Betonica officinalis
Eyebright Euphrasia agg.  
Harebell Campanula rotundifolia  
Field scabious Knautia arvensis  
Devil’s-bit scabious Succisa pratensis  
Common knapweed Centaurea nigra  
Greater knapweed Centaurea scabiosa  
Hawkweed Hieracium agg.  
Common ragwort Jacobea vulgaris  
Autumn hawkbit Scorzoneroides autumnalis  
Oxeye daisy Leucanthemum vulgare  

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