The Natural History of Uckfield by Wendy Tagg

After the July heatwave it was a relief to spend some near the cool waters of Buxted Park where there are still plenty of damp-loving plants in bloom.

One of the most showy is Fleabane, (above)  which lights up moist areas with dozens of tiny suns.

 

Another damp lover is Hemp Agrimony, (above)  which is about as tall as I am and is a wonderful sight on the sides of both rivers and roads.

 

Marsh Woundwort (above) looks delicate but I found this one holding its own amongst brambles!

 

Nearby, there was Marsh Horsetail, (above) which is related to the more familiar Field Horsetail that you can see in Hempstead Meadows Nature Reserve.

 

Hempstead Meadows is a great place to find water-loving plants including Water Mint (above)

 

In particular, look out for the bright magenta spires of Purple Loosestrife (above) beside the path.

 

Blue tailed damselflie

The flowers are at the start of a food chain. They attract pollinators – so look out for bees, hoverflies, beetles and butterflies. In turn, the pollinators attract predators such as damselflies and dragonflies – if flowers are busy with pollinators, you may be lucky enough to see a dragonfly patrolling overhead. This, in turn, might become a meal for a bird.