Purton Field Meeting (14 April 2007, contributed by Juliet Bailey)

Five people met for a beautiful hot afternoon at Purton on the south bank of the Severn. We followed the towpath of the canal towards Sharpness, then went out onto the saltmarsh and shore, examining the barge hulks beached there, distant views of Gatcombe where Sir Francis Drake kept a mistress and more recently Railtrack cut down the rare Service Tree (Sorbus domestica), and the site of the Severn Rail Bridge disaster which fell into the river one foggy night in 1960. This was very much a recording meeting, with highlights including finding of a rare Notaris weevil, refinding the canal spider (Larinioides scopetarius), the bug Podops inuncta, the ants Lasius nylanderi and L brunneus, and the pseudoscorpion Roncus lubricus. We counted six Little Egrets on the river, and heard Reed Bunting and Cetti’s Warbler from the timber ponds. Botanically there was a very fine show of English Scurvy Grass (Cochlearia anglica). We discussed the implications of the proposed barrage on the natural history of the area.

Purton Field Meeting, April 2007, Andrew Bluett

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