August 2021 Field Trip to Arnos Vale, Bristol
In August Mary Wood, an extremely knowledgeable guide from the cemetery, took members of our group on a 2-hour guided wildlife walk around Arnos Vale Cemetery, Brislington. The site, which was established in 1839, has considerable ecological and heritage importance, and at that time was considered “the place” to be buried in Bristol!
We turned our attention downwards, and found ragwort (a favourite foodplant of the cinnabar moth caterpillar as we heard last month, but none were found), scabious, hemp agrimony, meadow vetchling and the compass plant, so called because the leaves orientate in all directions! All of these flowers were surrounded by flying insects including white-tailed bumblebees, hoverflies, holly blue, peacock and speckled wood butterflies. There were so many flowers which thrive here on calcareous grassland that I cannot list them all.
Hemp agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinus) is very attractive to all kinds of insects. Its common name comes from the resemblance of its leaves to Hemp, although it is not related to it.
Finally we came across some huge hornet-mimic hoverflies (Volucella zonaria) in a Japanese Spindle (Euonymus japonica). What a way to end the tour!