My first visit to a dumble. I heard about them donkey’s years ago and I wasn’t disappointed to explore our miniature grand canyons that were formed at the end of the last ice age by the torrent of melting ice eroding the soft overlying rocks. That is a coarse summary of information from the interpretation panels there but I found the internet unhelpful in elaborating the formation of these dumbles – there are others.
This is not a part of Nottinghamshire known to me and it was also a first visit to Gedling country park though this was largely limited to the carpark which constitutes a convenient access to the much more natural countryside nearby as the dumble runs through rich areas of meadow
Our approach to the dumble caught the attention of the local farmer, whose wife and dog came out to see what we were up to and we took the opportunity to ask her about her herd. It consists of a Limousin bull and British Blue and Hereford cows which produce calves that go to slaughter at (I think) around two years old. (I recall that beef cattle were fattened for three years in the 1970s).
My trips out of Rushcliffe with its largely clay soils inevitably find new plants and the first today was Wood SpeedwellVeronica montana which immediately struck me as unfamiliar. Sanicle was another new one for me. Two lifers in one day!
Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage, Hard and Soft Shield-ferns and Woodruff featured in and around the dumble while the meadows had Bugle, Devil’s-bit Scabious, Burnet-saxifrage, Tormentil and Pignut.
Insects caused some digression from the target class with many Red and Black Froghoppers and a Small Yellow Underwing moth among those getting named.
Grasses are maturing to an identifiable state and I’ll be revising hard. Here’s one for starters; Giant FescueSchedonorus gigantea (formerly Festuca gigantea) is big and has impressive auricles.