May 2023 - Wildflower Visit to Keynsham Memorial Park

On Sunday 14th May, 15 of our members met up for a 2-hour walk around Keynsham Memorial Park looking at wild flowers, guided by committee member Liz Wintle. We were lucky to have a warm, sunny (and dry) day!

We started out near the outdoor gym, as this was where the first wildflower area had been sown last autumn. Unfortunately the area had been mown at the end of April, so we set our sights on the area next to the river, where we found speedwell, green alkanet, comfrey, field buttercups, flowering hawthorn and garlic mustard (a relative of honesty but without the pretty seedheads). There were brimstone butterflies enjoying the sunshine. The English bluebells were beginning to die back. Crossing the River Chew at Dapps Hill bridge, we saw ivy-leaved toadflax and ground-ivy amongst the stones. The main ransoms (wild garlic) area was still flowering, although now with competition from cow parsley which would hide the dying garlic leaves in a few weeks.

Photos below: Ivy-leaved Toadflax & Ground Ivy

We approached the duckpond cautiously, and were rewarded with the site of three week-old ducklings being guarded by both parents! In the reed bed there were damselflies including a magnificent banded demoiselle. Near the river were many dock plants, along with their greeny-golden dock beetles and tiny eggs. Of course, there were nettles there too but no butterfly eggs were seen on them.

Photo: Nettles & Garlic Mustard

Passing the bandstand we noticed the sycamore trees were full of drooping flower panicles, to be replaced later in the year by their “helicopter” seeds. We reached the second seeded flower meadow just below the Abbey ruins, which fortunately had not been mowed; it was full of blue camassias (also found in King Charles' wildflower meadow at Highgrove) as well as dandelions, daisies and red campion. The daffodils had gone over of course. 

Photo: Red campion by the river

Although we didn't get as far as the third sown meadow, our 2 hours was up so we parted company at this point. Hopefully everyone will return to see how the new wildflower areas develop!

Liz Wintle

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Keynsham Group
Avon Wildlife Trust
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