Friday, 18 May 2018

12.05.18 - Lyddington Meadow

Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust,  Lyddington Meadow

It would be difficult to call Lyddington Meadow the jewel in the crown of the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, but that doesn't justify the extent to which it has been ignored over the years in terms of biological recording. Lyddington Meadow covers 1.3 hectares (3.2 acres) of semi-improved grassland, subject to occasional flooding. The plant species found, such as Great Burnet and Meadow Foxtail, are typical of grassland in river valleys. The springtails? Well no-one knows, because no-one has ever looked! (Until now.)

The River Welland runs alongside the meadow forming the county border between Rutland and Northampton, and a recently dried up channel runs off this, which I thought was well worth sampling. Unfortunately, this didn't turn up any springtails. Next I tried beating the vegetation (mostly grasses) but that didn't generate any springtails either. Finally I turned to the Hawthorns lining the boundaries of the site. Here, finally, springtails were abundant. However, when I took a close look they turned out to be exclusively Entomobrya nivalis:

Entomobrya nivalis

So there we have it, Lyddington Meadow. Not the most species-rich patch in VC55 but definitely worth a second look later in the year (adds this to rapidly growing and now improbably long list of sites to revisit).

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