Townclose Hills Field Meeting 10 July 2016

Pyramidal, common spotted and a hybrid orchid were in flower on the plateau at Townclose Hills Nature Reserve, also known as Billy Woods.

Townclose Hill

Townclose Hill

Despite the breeze we saw ringlet, meadow brown, small tortoiseshell, small skipper and a few marbled white butterflies. Six-spot burnet moths were also active and a hebrew character moth lurked amongst the grasses.

Hybrid orchid, pyramidal orchid, grater knapweed, hoary plantain.

Hybrid orchid, pyramidal orchid, grater knapweed, hoary plantain.

One of the smallest orb-web spiders, Araniella curcurbitina, was making its way across a grassy path. It’s Latin name, curcurbitina, means ‘a little member of the gourd family’;  its bright green and yellow striped abdomen looks like a water melon or gourd. It has a scarlet patch on its underside.

Restharrow, clustered bellflower, wild marjoram.

Restharrow, clustered bellflower, wild marjoram.

We spotted a brown hare in a field in the valley of Kippax Brook to the west of the reserve.

Townclose Hills, Kippax, is a Leeds City Council Local Nature Reserve managed by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

wildflower walk at Heath Common

A pleasantly mild day as we set off from the car park down towards the Pinfold passing yarrow, lesser trefoil, common cat’s ear, cut leaf crane’s bill and pignut pausing briefly at the Pinfold to admire foxglove, heath groundsel, red and white campion. Continuing down to the pond which was completely encircled by a mass of bright yellow lesser spearwort, the banking was dotted with heath bedstraw amidst tormentil and bird’s foot trefoil, lady’s bedstraw was flowering interspersed by a few poppies.  Lesser stitchwort and field mouse-ear crept through the grass along the tarmac road to the left; we then crossed the road towards a waving sea of harebells, ox-eye daisy, agrimony and wild mignonette.

We were pleased to see a few butterflies, meadow brown and ringlets and of course a particular joy at this time of year are the foals running loose but not straying too far from their mothers.

wildflowers Heath Common