• Sim Elliott

A short walk at the Coombe, Malling Down NR. Butterflies & the first Rampion of 2022. 04.07.22

I was working (as a volunteer) most of the day in Brighton on Monday 04.07.22, but I finished at 15.00 so I took the opportunity of the sunny day to get the 28 bus to Lewes and walk up and down the Coombe at Malling Down Nature Reserve (Sussex Wildlife Trust). 28 - Brighton-Tunbridge Wells | Brighton & Hove Buses


Small Skipper


Buzzard


Ringlet


Peacock


Ringlet


Meadow Brown


The Coombe


Small Skipper


Red Clover


A Robin's Pincushion"


The Robin's pincushion (also known as the 'Bedeguar Gall') is a gall caused by the larvae of a tiny gall wasp, Dipoloepis rosae. The gall is widespread and common, and can be found developing on the stems of Dog-roses during late summer; it acquires its reddish colour as it matures in autumn. Each gall holds many grubs, which feed on the gall tissues throughout the winter and emerge in spring as adults. The adults reproduce asexually and only a tiny number are male. Robin's pincushion | The Wildlife Trusts


The north side of the Coombe


A tatty Meadow Brown


A Ringlet


A Meadow Brown


Two Common Red Soldier Beetles, Rhagonycha fulva, on Ragowrt these are pejoratively known as "Hogweed Bonking Beetles, seriously; see https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jul/26/country-diary-walking-in-on-the-hogweeds-bonking-beetles


Ringlet


The Coombe


Gatekeeper


Pyramid Orchids


Meadow Brown


Viper's Bugloss



Marbled White under cut thistles



Marbled White


Thistle and Ragwort


Conservation Grazing Cattle


Rampion


Yorkshire famously has its white rose, Lancashire has a red rose and Kent has the common hop, but did you know that Sussex has its very own county flower?!

The round-headed rampion was adopted as the county flower in 2002 but had been associated with Sussex for many centuries, locally known as the ‘Pride of Sussex’ since at least the 19th century.


The wildflower is scientifically known as the Phyteuma orbiculare and is a herbaceous perennial plant (a herb plant which lives for more than two years) of the genus Phyteuma (Rampion) belonging to the family Campanulaceae (bellflower family).

The plant with its ‘sharp-blue' flowers lives on chalk grassland and is more common on the South Downs than anywhere else in the UK. Its appearance isn’t as it seems though; each head, rather than being a single bloom, is actually a collection of smaller ones, huddled together. The round-headed rampion which can grow up to 19.7 inches (50cm) tall, flowers between July and August.


As Sussex's county flower, it appears on Ringmer’s village sign, erected in 1923 and in 2011 its name was chosen for the Rampion Wind Farm, a wind farm off the coast of Sussex. Sussex Flag – Posts | Facebook


Common Red Soldier Beetles (Rhagonycha fulva),on Hogwort


See: Country diary: walking in on the hogweed's bonking beetles | Insects | The Guardian





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