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Grassland Fungus Foray at Boars Hill

Jonathan Noel writes:

Sunday 31 October started with heavy rain and strong winds and the outlook for a successful walk looked bleak. However, by the time I had reached our meeting point at Boars Hill the weather had turned into a beautiful autumn day. Sixteen brave souls also ventured out and we met our leader for the foray Peter Creed.

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Gibbets Close Farm

On the sunny but chilly morning of Sunday 7 November 2021, eighteen Field Club members gathered for a tour of Gibbets Close Farm, led by Neil Clennell from the Wychwood Forest Trust.

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Dry Sandford Pit Geology Walk

On Sunday 3 October, our group of eight was blessed with a warm, dry and sunny morning following the deluge of the previous day. The paths were, however, quite dry – perhaps there’s a clue in the name!  We were under the expert guidance of Lesley Dunlop, who introduced us to the wonders of the Corallian succession in this former sand quarry, which is a SSSI and BBOWT reserve.

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Pond Dipping at Pinkhill

On Sunday 19 September, Jeremy Biggs, the director of the Freshwater Habitats Trust, led eighteen people on a pond dipping walk at Pinkhill meadow ponds near Farmoor Reservoir.

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Moth Morning at Shilton

Mary E. writes:

Thirteen members came along on the morning of 13 August to inspect the contents of three moth traps that had been placed in different locations the previous evening in and around a private garden in Shilton.

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Visit to FarmED and Summer Picnic

Jonathan N writes:

FarmED is a new centre for farm and food education based at Honeydale Farm, near Shipton under Wychwood in the Cotswolds. On 25 August, Ian Wilkinson, the farm’s owner, led 35 members and their guests on a tour of this research and demonstration farm….

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Wychwood Forest Fair (and a tiny wasp)

This year’s Wychwood Forest Fair took place on Sunday 22 August at Foxburrow Wood, Witney. If it’s a nice day, which it was, it’s always a colourful and entertaining event. As usual, the Club had a stall alongside other conservation and natural history groups. This year we included a ‘quiz’ to engage members of the public….

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Minster Hedgies

Pete B

A group of ten of us met on the 11th of August for a fascinating visit to Minster Hedgies. It was set up just two years ago when Andrea and Ian Cross found “6 hoglets starving and wandering around our garden”. The rescue centre has since grown rapidly. When we visited 24 hedgehogs were being cared for in the “hedgehog hotel”, where they stay until sufficient weight is gained for them to be returned to the wild.

The rescue centre is self funded and relies on donations plus an army of 19 volunteers to help with feeding. For more information see:

https://www.minsterhedgies.co.uk/

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Glowworms

Eleven of the more intrepid of us met at 8:30 pm on 14 July for a ‘crepuscular’ – twilight – walk in the Stonesfield area.

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Hackpen Hill and Crowhole Bottom

John C writes:

Fourteen of us got well and truly soaked when we visited this steep chalk-grassland site near Childrey on 7 July 2021. After about half an hour admiring vast numbers of Pyramidal and Common Spotted Orchids halfway up the side of the Devil’s Punchbowl the heavens threw everything they had at us for fifteen or twenty minutes. It was certainly better to go on with the rain at our backs than turn back and face it. By the time we got down to Crowhole Bottom, however, the sun was out again and plenty of Butterflies were active, notably Marbled Whites, several Dark Green Fritillaries and a number of Ringlets. Alas, we didn’t find any of the Green Hairstreaks for which the site is known, but the sharper-eared of us heard the unmistakable ‘wet-my-lips wet-my-lips’ of a Quail in a nearby corn field. Another plentiful species was Yellow-wort, a member of the Gentian/Centaury family. My favourite, however, was the rather glamorous Ichneumon in the picture.

My thanks are due to Malcolm, who knows the site well and who was due to lead us. Unfortunately he was indisposed but kindly gave me comprehensive directions and suggestions.