We hope to run field meetings during 2021 but the changing nature of the situation may mean alterations or cancellations at short notice. Check back regularly and keep an eye on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

Kirkstead Old Mill (Confirmed as going ahead)

Southwest of Woodhall Spa

A new site for LNU

Access courtesy of Barbara Hodgkinson

12.00 for 13.00 start and finish about 16.00. Meet and park on verges next to Kirkstead Old Mill B&B at TF188602.  The postcode LN10 6UQ will direct you to the turn off on the B1192 which will have LNU sign posts. Then follow minor road towards river. Nearest public toilets in Coningsby (main car park) or Woodhall Spa town centre (on road to Kinema-in-the woods) but possibility of some available on site now.

Habitats: Grassland, scrub, plantations, ponds and riverbank.

Leader: Brian Hedley brian_hedley@hotmail.com

Meeting Summary:

The fourth LNU field meeting of 2021 was to the Kirkstead Old Mill area alongside the River Witham near Woodhall Spa, with access kindly permitted by the owner Barbara Hodgkinson. A new meeting location for the LNU. Thirteen LNU stalwarts attended who were led by Brian Hedley on a dry, warm and sunny day and we even had refreshments provided at the end of the meeting including cake!.  The Old Mill had been used as a Bed & Breakfast until recently and has a large wildlife-friendly garden plus additional areas of grassland and woodland.  Permission was also given to look at some adjacent arable land for plants.

At least 150 plant species were recorded by Tim Smith, Brian Hedley, Richard O’Conner, Annette Faulkner and Amy Primavera. Highlights included Common Cudweed, Frogbit, Greater Duckweed, Marsh Woundwort, Smith’s Pepperwort, Common Fiddleneck and Field Madder.  What was considered to be the fungus Redlead Roundhead (Leratiomyces ceres) was frequent in one part of the woodland on site. Four plant specimens were collected for the LoveLincsPlants herbarium near the end the meeting.

Thirty-five bird species were heard or seen including Little Egret, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Kingfisher, Yellow Wagtail, Yellowhammer and Bullfinch. 

Butterflies were abundant (helped by the profusion of Buddleia around) with 15 species noted including Purple Hairstreak, Painted Lady, Essex Skipper and Brown Argus.  Moths included a Ochsenheimeria species, Dingy Footman, Silver Y, Latticed Heath, Straw Dot and caterpillars of both Cinnabar and Buff-tip.  Ten species of odonata were recorded including at least 15 Willow Emerald Damselflies (another new Lincolnshire site for this recent colonist) plus several Brown Hawkers and Ruddy Darters. Other insects included the ichneumon wasp Hepiopelmus variegatorius (8th record for Lincolnshire) found by John Davison and the parasitic wasp Gasteruption jaculata found by John Flynn. A good selection of weevils were noted by Charlie Barnes including Isochnus sequensi which feeds on willow and Nanophyes marmoratus which feeds on purple loosestrife. The longhorn beetle Strangalia quadrifasciata was also noted plus the tortoise beetle Cassida vibex   At least seven different plant galls were noted by Colin Faulkner including those on Germander Speedwell caused by the gall fly Jaapiella veronicae

Willow Emerald Damselfly at Kirkstead Old Mill (photo by Hugh Middleton)