country diary


Hawthorne trees have created stunning cascades of white blossom this year - thousands upon thousands of tine flowers tumblings fom the branches.

hawthorne blossomIt is a deciduous native tree and can live as long as 400 years. The scented white flowers in late spring are followed by red fruits. It is host to at least 149 insect species. Blackbirds and finches nest in it. The berries provide food for more than 23 species of birds and is the food plant for many caterpillars.


There are many myths and rituals are associated with Hawthorn.

According to Celtic mythology, Hawthorn is the most likely plant to be inhabited by fairies. If a twig of Hawthorn is tied together with red thread with twigs from an Oak and Ash, it will provide protection from fairies. One folk custom was to tie ribbons or rags onto Hawthorn trees at May Day as gifts to the fairies.


For more information see www.englishplants.co.uk/hawthorn.html








painted ladyPainted Lady butterflies arrived on their migration to Europe, but this year the numbers here in the UK were far greater than usual. You will find them wherever there are flowers, from April or May through to October when it becomes too cold and they cannot survive our winters. At the coast they will be more commonly seen, with over 100 reported near Polzeath.
This month we also have the Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary, flying between the wild orchids and gorse bushes in a lovely, marshy, upland heath on the edge Bodmin Moor. Last year we also saw a Green Hairstreak butterfly here so we'll make another visit later in the month.


Butterflies are important for several reasons. As well as being attractive to see they are one indicator of the quality of our environment as they are quick to respond to changes in habitat management. Also we see that they are useful indicators of changing climate patterns.

See more about butterflies in Cornwall on the Cornwall Butterfly Conservation website www.cornwall-butterfly-conservation.org.uk






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the network for Cornish businesses in the Lynher Valley protecting the environment