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Ellerburn 11th July 2000

[Species lists below]

meadow About a dozen members attended this outing. The weather was kind to us after an awful, wintry day on the Monday before. Although it started cloudy the sun gradually broke though so we had sunshine for most of the trip.

We started in Ellerburn village, which lies in a valley cut through the Tabular Hills, and walked up to the wildlife reserve which lies at the top of the valley-side slope, through the woods and back to the village; some members visited the hide overlooking the pond above the village and the damp meadows around it.

pyramidal orchid There is considerable variation in the underlying rocks, with rather acid soils right at the the top of the bank, limestone underlying the meadow of the wildlife reserve, and damper conditions in the valley bottom. The limestone grassland is particularly rich in species, many of them now scarce although they were once common in this area. We did not manage to find the bee orchids which do grow at Ellerburn Banks, but we did see some wonderful pyramidal orchids (left) as well as numerous common spotted orchids (fly orchids and early purples also grow here earlier in the season).

I do not have lists of all that was found, but we did record the following:

...and one lizard (briefly!) and a small frog.

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Members saw or heard:
Swallow, Swift, Robin, Mallard, Rook, Magpie, Linnet, Grey Heron, Sand Martin, Goldfinch, House Martin, Kestrel, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Woodpigeon, Yellowhammer, Chaffinch, Herring Gull, Willow Warbler, Blackbird, Moorhen, Wren, House Sparrow.

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We recorded 160 plants, a remarkably high number for one day! I have divided them into ferns, flowering plants, trees and shrubs and grasses, sedges and rushes. The lists for grasses and sedges include only those which are easily identifiable or notable.

There were also various exotic trees, including many conifers and a maple which was possibly Sugar Maple, within the forestry plantation.

I took a few photos, trying to concentrate on the more unusual plants.

pyramidal orchid
Pyramidal Orchid
St. John's wort
St. John's Wort
Lesser scabious
Lesser Scabious
Great knapweed
Great Knapweed
Rest Harrow
Rest Harrow
white bryony
White Bryony
Field Scabious
Field Scabious
Robin's pincushion
Robinís Pincushion

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English Name Latin Name
Bracken Pteridium aquilinum
Male Fern Dryopteris filix-mas

Flowering Plants
English Name Latin Name
Agrimony, common Agrimonia eupatoria
Angelica (leaf) Angelica sylvestris
Avens, wood (seed) Geum urbanum
Bedstraw, ladys Galium verum
Bell heather Erica cinerea
Betony (?; leaf) Stachys officinalis
Bilberry (fruit) Vaccinium myrtillus
Birdsfoot trefoil, common Lotus corniculatus
Birdsfoot trefoil, greater Lotus pedunculatus
Black bryony Tamus communis
Bramble Rubus fruticosus
Burdock Arctium minus
Burdock Arctium minus
Burnet saxifrage, lesser Pimpinella saxifraga
Burnet, salad Sanguisorba minor
Buttercup, creeping Ranunculus repens
Buttercup, meadow Ranunculus acris
Campion, bladder Silene vulgaris
Campion, red Silene dioica
Campion, white Silene latifolia
Catsear Hypochaeris radicata
Charlock Sinapis arvensis
Chickweed, common Stellaria media
Cinquefoil, creeping Potentilla reptans
Cleavers Galium aparine
Clover, red Trifolium pratense
Clover, white Trifolium repens
Clover, zigzag Trifolium medium
Cowslip (seed) Primula veris
Cranesbill, cut leaved Geranium dissectum
Cranesbill, dovesfoot Geranium molle
Cranesbill, meadow Geranium pratense
Crosswort Cruciata laevipes
Daisy Bellis perennis
Dandelion Taraxacum sp.
Dock, broad leaved Rumex obtusifolius
Dropwort Filipendula vulgaris
Field pennycress (seed) Thlaspi arvense
Figwort, common Scrophularia nodosa
Flax, fairy Linum catharticum
Forgetmenot, field Myosotis arvensis
Gentian, autumn (leaf) Gentianella amarella
Ground ivy (leaf) Glechoma hederacea
Groundsel, heath Senecio sylvaticus
Harebell Campanula rotundifolia
Hawkbit, rough Leontodon hispidus
Hawksbeard, smooth Crepis capillaris
Hawkweed, mouse eared Pilosella officinarum
Heather Calluna vulgaris
Herb robert Geranium robertianum
Hogweed Heracleum sphondylium
Honeysuckle Lonicera periclymenum
Hounds tongue (leaf) Cynoglossum officinale
Knapweed, common Centaurea nigra
Knapweed, greater Centaurea scabiosa
Lords and ladies Arum maculatum
Marjoram Origanum vulgare
Meadow vetchling Lathyrus pratensis
Meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria
Medick, black Medicago lupulina
Mignonette Reseda lutea
Milkwort, common Polygala vulgaris
Mouse ear, common Cerastium fontanum
Mullein, great Verbascum thapsus
Nettle, common Urtica dioica
Nipplewort Lapsana communis
Orchid, pyramidal Anacamptis pyramidalis
Pignut Conopodium majus
Pineapple weed Matricaria discoidea
Plantain, greater Plantago major
Plantain, hoary Plantago media
Plantain, ribwort Plantago lanceolata
Poppy, common Papaver rhoeas
Ragged robin Lychnis flos-cuculi
Ragwort, common Senecio jacobea
Raspberry Rubus idaeus
Restharrow, common Ononis repens
Rockrose Helianthemum nummularium
Rough chervil Chaerophyllum temulem
Scabious, field Knautia arvensis
Scabious, small Scabiosa columbaria
Self heal Prunella vulgaris
Shepherds purse Capsella bursa-pastoris
Sorrel, common Rumex acetosa
Sorrel, sheeps Rumex acetosella
Sowthistle, rough Sonchus asper
Speedwell, thyme leaved Veronica serpyllifolia
St Johnswort, beautiful Hypericum pulchrum
St Johnswort, hairy Hypericum hirsutum
St Johnswort, perforate Hypericum perforatum
Stitchwort, lesser Stellaria graminea
Strawberry, wild (fruit) Fragaria vesca
Thistle, carline Carlina vulgaris
Thistle, creeping Cirsium arvense
Thistle, marsh Cirsium palustre
Thistle, musk Carduus nutans
Thistle, spear Cirsium vulgare
Thistle, woolly (leaf) Cirsium eriophorum
Thyme Thymus polytrichus
Thyme leaved sandwort Arenaria serpyllifolia
Tormentil Potentilla erecta
Trefoil, lesser Trifolium dubium
Valerian, common Valeriana officinalis
Vetch, bush Vicia sepium
Vetch, kidney Anthyllis vulneraria
Vetch, tufted Vicia cracca
Vipers bugloss Echium vulgare
Wall lettuce (?) Mycelis muralis
White Bryony Brionia dioica
Willowherb, broad leaved Epilobium montanum
Willowherb, great Epilobium hirsutum
Willowherb, rosebay or Fireweed Chamaenerion angustifolium
Wood sage Teucrium scorodonia
Woundwort, hedge Stachys sylvatica
Yarrow Achillea millefolium
Yellow rattle Rhinanthus minor

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Grasses, Sedges and Rushes
English Name Latin Name
Bent, Fine Agrostis tenuis
Brome, Barren Bromus sterilis (Anisantha sterilis)
Brome, Soft Bromus mollis (Bromus hordeaceus)
Cocksfoot Dactylis glomerata
Crested Dogstail Cynosurus cristatus
Hair Grass, Tufted Deschampsia caespitosa
Hair Grass, Wavy Deschampsia flexuosa
Meadow Grass, Rough Poa trivialis
Melick, Wood Melica uniflora
Oat, False Arrhenatherum elatius
Oat, Meadow Avenula pratensis (Helichtotrichon pratense)
Oat, Yellow Trisetum flavescens
Quaking Grass Briza media
Slender False Brome Brachypodium sylvaticum
Sweet Vernal Grass Anthoxanthum odoratum
Tor Grass Brachypodium pinnatum
Yorkshire Fog Holcus lanatus
Common Sedge Carex nigra
Hard Rush Juncus inflexus
Jointed Rush Juncus articulatus
Woodrush, great Luzula sylvatica

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Trees and Shrubs
English Name Latin Name
Alder Alnus glutinosa
Ash Fraxinus excelsior
Beech Fagus sylvatica
Birch, silver Betula pendula
Blackthorn Prunus spinosa
Crab apple Malus sylvestris
Elder Sambucus nigra
Gorse Ulex europaeus
Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna
Ivy Hedera helix
Larch Larix sp.
Maple, field Acer campestre
Oak, hybrid Quercus sp.
Rose, dog Rosa canina
Rose, field Rosa arvensis
Rowan Sorbus aucuparia
Scots pine Pinus sylvestris
Sycamore Acer pseudoplatanus
Wild cherry Prunus avium
Willow, goat Salix caprea
Willow, grey Salix cinerea

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We saw a good number of butterflies, especially in the herb-rich meadow, including the following species (there may have been more, but I could not identify them!)

Red admiral
Veined white
Meadow Brown
(Another brown, ?ringlet)
Common Blue
?Marbled white
Small Skipper (right)

There were all kinds of beetles but we could not identify them, several blue damselflies,
...and a Robinís Pincushion (see
photo above) caused by a small gall wasp on dog rose.


I saw three fungi: a yellow bolete, probably Larch Bolete, an Amanita, possibly the Blusher, and Jewís Ear on dead Elder.

All photos © copyright 2000 Gill & Adrian Smith

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© Ryedale Natural History Society 2000
Page last modified 13th July 2000