we had a walk up near Blandford yesterday to see how the Steam Fair was coming along (especially with all the rain we’ve had). There were already loads of people camping there and we could see a lot of traction engines already lined up (but not steaming). The walk took us along a series of arable fields and I kept my eyes on the ground looking for interesting arable plants. This one caught my eye – not a particularly common plant in Dorset these days – Henbit Dead-nettle Lamium amplexicaule. You can check out recent records for it in your area on the excellent BSBI mapping tool. Henbit deadnettle has very curious “furry” flowers, almost like a cat’s paw when they first appear. And what appear to be leaves in the photo are actually bracts which form a cushion under the flowers. I think it’s quite a pretty plant!
I was also delighted to see the Red Data Book Dwarf spurge Euphorbia exigua growing in the corner of a field of beans. The land seemed to be being managed quite sympathetically for its arable plants (uncultivated margins), though it isnt in an agri-environment scheme.
I’ve had a bit of a break from writing this blog over the summer, as some of you might have noticed. This has been for a variety of reasons – we were away for a while and before that I was focussing all my (limited) intellectual capacity onto a rather complicated management planning process for a contract I have been working on over the past 18 months (on and off).
I also rather lost the will to write about environmental and political issues after the election.
Once the contract is out of the way, I am starting work properly on the new charity People Need Nature this month. There are still various administrative things to do which are all essential if not necessarily that interesting. I have also arranged a number of talks where I will be explaining what People Need Nature is all about. The first one is local in Dorset on 23rd September at Knoll Gardens in Ferndown. I’ll post a link for the Knoll Gardens Foundation website where you can book tickets. Later on in the autumn (November 3rd and 4th) I will be speaking at the CIEEM conference in Sheffield on Reconnecting People and Nature.
I will endeavour to write regularly through the autumn and keep you all up to date on progress with People Need Nature.