Saturday, 18 April 2015

Bluebells, Blackcaps, Orange-tips and potential new plans for the future at Cranford Park

It was a busy day at Cranford Park. The stable blocks are open with their usual display of all things historical, and out side there was a display about the future of the park...
If you click on the link below it will bring up four pages. They include details of the Hidden Landscape Of Cranford Park, The Park Today, Proposed Park Masterplan and Building Uses & Pleasure Grounds.
The same four pages have also been enlarged and are being displayed out side the stable block at Cranford Park tomorrow (Sunday 19th April) between 10am and 4pm, with council officers and representative of Cranford Park Friends (including myself) on hand to answer any questions. You can also complete a short questionnaire on what you think should happen to the park in the future.
If, like myself, you are a regular visitor to the park it makes sense to have your say for the future of it.
I have some doubts about some of the new ideas on the Proposed Park Masterplan, but really like some of the other ideas, so have already completed my questionnaire.
Today was also the annual Bluebell Walk morning. Considering Alison Shipley has to plan these events months in advance, her guess-timation for the Bluebells being in flower was almost spot on.
Last Saturday when I was at Cranford Park there was barely a Bluebell in flower. Last Sunday when I was at the park there were a few patches just blooming. Today not only was the sun out but so were most of the Bluebells, and the weather was perfect for the walk led by Alison this morning.
We were also given a handy little fact sheet. So here are some Bluebell facts......
Bluebells are members of the Lily family
Nearly 50% of all the world's Bluebells are found in the UK
It takes five years for a seed to grow into a bulb
Bluebells can be white
and lastly, if you find you have true Bluebells (as opposed to the invasive non native Spanish ones) popping up in your garden each year, the chances are where your garden is now was once ancient woodland
and here are my overload of Bluebell photos....
You could smell the Bluebells as you walked along the path ways

This patch of Bluebells are growing in the ditch by the Haha wall and have therefore grown very leggy in their quest to get the sun.
We also saw a Kestrel, Red Kite and heard Great Spotted Woodpeckers drumming and Green Woodpeckers calling.
After the easy going 90 minute walk, I retired to the graveyard for a bite to eat and got my first male Orange-tip Butterfly of the year....

Also around today were the other usual butterflies that I had started spotting last weekend...
Peacock and Common Blue....

I still haven't seen a female Common Blue yet.
There's a patch of nettles that I regularly visit in the summer months as there's always a good selection of critters on them. The nettle patch is still young but already a Nursery Web Spider has taken up residence.....
In the Memorial Gardens I was looking for last weeks Green Woodpeckers and failing, when I heard the distinctive calling of a male Blackcap. It didn't take me long to find him just by the graveyard boundary wall.....

and I heard and spotted at least another six in the woods, and another three by the river.
I also caught a very quick glimpse of a Common Whitethroat in the Headland area, but it dived for cover before I could take a photo.
The Meadow Pipits were in their usual spot today....
and I saw at least two Skylarks flying up and then straight back down in to the long grass.
Just a reminder for all of us, please stick to the mown grass paths now. Mipit and Skylark breeding season is practically upon us.
No signs of the Kingfishers on the river today, nor of the Little Egret, but after talking to one of the early morning dog walkers they have been seen both on the river and along Frogs Ditch, along with at least one Muntjac deer near the Orchard.
So a good day. Alison leads some very good informative walks so it's always worth checking the Cranford Park Friends Events page


  1. Hi Wendy, just thought I'd point out that you've actually got yourself a Holly Blue there...see the underwing and also the white fringes are chequered with black. Every good wish, Frank

  2. Thank you Frank, much appreciated

  3. Some great pics Wendy, I was going to ask about the Common Blue, because I saw some yesterday and this morning at RIchmond Park a butterfly expert said they were more likely to be Holly Blue because the Common Blue come out later in the season.... but it looks like Buzzboy has already confirmed it