Worcestershire Record No. 21 April 2007 p. 54
Three field meetings were organised for 2006.
Between 20 and 30 people booked for these meetings and 18, 18, and 17 attended bringing a wide range of expertise to each meeting.
Saturday 10th June. The Hanging Grove, Lodge Farm, near Rochford., mainly in monad SO6365. The central grid reference of the pools SO634657
We had hoped to visit Kyre Pool but as this was not possible we were given an opportunity to visit The Hanging Grove on Lodge Farm, about one kilometre to the north. Here there are pools about seven years old, surrounded by young woodland and a poplar plantation. A game crop planted in an adjacent field was also of interest. We recorded a good range of invertebrates, bryophytes, flowering plants and birds. Of the insects the following were of particular interest: the nationally local species Odontomyia tigrina, a black soldier fly, was new to us all. Its larvae are aquatic and the adults we saw were sitting on vegetation at the edge of the pool. Three interesting hoverflies were found: Brachyopa insensilis (associated with sap runs on trees in which the larva lives), Anasimyia contracta (associated with bulrush at the margins of ditches and pools), and Parhelophilus versicolor (another species of vegetated water margins and wetlands). The site was also interesting for aculeate hymenoptera nesting in an upturned root plate.
We are most grateful to Mrs Robinson of Lodge Farm for allowing us to visit this site, especially as we have relatively few records from the western end of Worcestershire.
Saturday 1st July. Norchard Farm, Crossway Green, near Stourbridge. The recording area was within 400 metres of a central grid reference of SO870690, containing parts of monads SO8468, SO8469, SO8568 and SO8569.
Norchard Farm grows a wide range of vegetables (runner beans and courgettes in large quantities, for example). The owners take an active interest in wildlife conservation. During the day we visited a large manure heap(SO846689), the edge of small woodland (SO849690), two well-established irrigation pools (SO851692), and the field margins and tracks connecting these features. The muck heap was obviously very active with insects but, regrettably, we had no ‘proper’ dipterist with us! However, we did find that classic of muck heaps - the Lesser Earwig Labia minor. The irrigation pools housed six species of dragonflies and aquatic Hemiptera including Water stick insect Ranatra linearis (uncommon in Worcestershire) and several Corixids. 17 species of hoverfly were recorded reflecting the rising enthusiasm for this group amongst several recorders.
We are most grateful to Mike Southall for inviting us to the farm and to him and his family for excellent hospitality and a chance to see the moths caught at the farm light trap the night before. It was very instructive to visit a farm that can grow straight runner beans throughout the summer for the supermarkets without devastating the farm’s wildlife.
Saturday 12th August. Arley Wood, at Shatterford, near Kinver. The recording area was almost entirely in the western half of the woodland block in monad SO8082. Although in modern Worcestershire this area is in VC39 (Staffordshire).
We spent time in the more open central parts of the woodland block, in areas which had been clear felled, and in the stream valley at around SO801822. The forestry tracks were interesting for insects and could be good for solitary bees especially earlier in the year. A good range of invertebrates, birds and bryophytes were recorded, including 26 species of hoverflies. We had hoped to visit Spring Coppice, the western part of the woodland block in a different ownership, and in VC37, but there was not enough time. This is an area well worth another visit.
We are very grateful to Richard Boles of the Forestry Commission for permission to visit the site.
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