Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Brown Fields...

Click on the picture for a bigger image...





Often when I post on this blog I try and show what a lovely, dramatic and scenic area Northumberland is, but, as with most areas of our over crowded lttle island, this county does have its 'dark side'. These pictures are of an old railway site that once fed coal to a large power station in the south east of the county. Fly tipping and grafitti are commonplace on railway parapets and stock yards, and spotty baseball capped youths criss cross the wastes on mopeds, looking to see what swag they can flog to the scrap man next time he's around.



But all is not lost. Paradoxically, these brown field sites often have a more diverse plant and animal life than the green deserts that we call countryside. This area does not get sprayed with herbicides and pesticides. Ditches don't get drained and hedges are left un-flailed. There are no resident fox hunt here, yes those baseball capped dispicable little characters who put their mopeds away and return with lamp and lurcher at night will take a toll, but it isn't systematic.



Wild flowers are all over. Ones with poetic names such as Wild Mignionette, Tall Melilot, Centaury and St Johns Wort( above), Scarlet Pimpernel and Creeping Cinquefoil, Restharrow and Mallow mix in with Thistles and Nettles and various umbellifers. Reedmace ( Bullrushes to you and I) share the ditches with the unusually named Celery-leaved Crowfoot. All backed by a scrub of Willow, Bramble, Dog Rose and Privet.



But those plants are not the reason I came here yesterday lunchtime. I was here for the Butterflies. One in particular, the Grayling ( above, centre) is very scarce in the county, its nearest colonies being up at Lindisfane and down in Durham. One or two were on the wing here with Small Skipper ( above left) Common Blue ( above right), Red Admiral and Meadow Brown. Large Red Damselfly was seen too and every thistle held black and pink Burnet Moths, both 5 and 6 spotted varieties ( below)...



I bet soon this area will be'improved' with shiny black tarmac and new buildings...

6 comments:

Kingsdowner said...

Great shot of the Grayling - they're on my list for the coming weekend, but they're hard to find around here.
As you show, wherever there's a habitat, there's something willing to use it.

mosstrooper said...

Grayling and Small Skipper are still on my to see list.
mossy.

The Grocer said...

I think your view shows the site of the new 'clean' coal power station.

Border Reiver said...

Nice posting BB, too many people see the countryside as tame, manacured and managed. Leave it alone and the wildlife finds it's own little niche and flourishes until it's improved. Got mates live right next to here, they're enjoying the last of the peace and quiet.

Warren Baker said...

Looks like an excellent wildlife place BB. Too many places like that one are, as you say ''tidied and improved'' It happens all the time on my patch. Bloody ''slash and burn'' merchants!!

Boulmer Birder said...

As the lady said ' They've paved paradise and put up a parking lot'...