July’s natural jewels

by | 3 July 2022 | Retford, Wildlife

After a frenetic reboot in spring, with bulbs, blooms and blossom bursting through and everything from butterflies to birds busy rearing broods whilst food and fair weather are in abundance, the summer provides time to enjoy wildlife at a more relaxed pace.

Whilst the leaves on the trees won’t be quite as fresh green as they were a few weeks ago, there will still be a chance to enjoy young fledglings hopping around in the canopy as many species work hard to rear their second, if not third, brood of the season.

In our meadows the spring flowers will have already set seed, but the delicate flowers of the grasses themselves will take centre stage as they sway gracefully in the breeze. A dash of colour is added by species such as scabious and knapweed and meadow vetchling, and on close inspection the meadow will be teeming with insect life. From bees, hoverflies and butterflies seeking out pollen, to grasshoppers grabbing a meal or ‘singing’ to a mate, there will be activity from ground level to the tips of the tallest plant.

One of the joys of summer is the opportunity to spend lazy days just soaking up nature and time spent lying in a meadow looking up at the sky should feature on everyone’s ‘to do’ list this year. As well as watching the clouds drift slowly overhead, you can appreciate the wonderful shapes of the grasses and meadow plants from a different perspective.

Few of us are lucky enough to call our time our own, so other than holidays and days off, most of us still have to fit in our nature fixes around work and other commitments. Thankfully the days in July are still long enough to fit in a visit to a favourite spot in an evening and warm summer afternoons and evenings bring their own delights. One of the best is the chance to watch swifts, swallows and martins swooping for insects overhead before the insect control baton is passed on to hungry bats as the evening light fades.

Get involved

Why not add a trip to Idle Valley Nature Reserve to your summer itinerary?
There’s plenty to see at Idle Valley in summer – from the myriad of young ducks and geese on the water to dragonflies hunting along the riverside. We’re also delighted to be part of the North Notts Nectar Trail – with two special sculptures located just in front of the café.
On Saturday 9th July the Wildlife Watch Group based at Idle Valley Nature Reserve will be running a fun session for eight to 12 year olds looking at the wildlife of the reserve. The session will run between 10.30am and 12.30pm and is free of charge (donations welcome). For further details or to book a place contact Ros at idlewatch@nottswt.co.uk.
For details about Idle Valley Nature Reserve and other Wildlife Trust sites across the county visit www.nottinghamshirewildlife.org.

Images (main and inset): Common Knapweed, Al Greer; Peacock butterfly, John Smith