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.

Woodhall Spa Airfield LWT Reserve

South of Woodhall Spa

The last LNU visit was in 2019

 Access courtesy of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust

12.00 for 13.00 start. Meet and park at reserve car park at TF206607 which is off the B1192 between Tattershall Thorpe and Woodhall Spa.  Nearest postcode LN4 4JT. Nearest public toilets are in Woodhall Spa or Coningsby. Marshy areas present. Gated access onto reserve (code required).

Habitat: Acid Grassland, rough grassland, marsh, lakes, broadleaved woodland, old concrete runways.

Leaders: Ray Halstead 07772 613640 ray.halstead@tiscali.co.uk and Roger Parsons 07867 847679  old.museum@yahoo.co.uk

SUMMARY:

WOODHALL SPA AIRFIELD LWT RESERVE 

TF206607 

10th October 2021  

by Brian Hedley

The sixth LNU field meeting of 2021, and annual fungi foray, was to the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust’s Woodhall Spa Airfield reserve.  Thirteen LNU members attended who were led by Ray Halstead and assisted by Roger Parsons on a dry and sunny afternoon.  This relatively large site has a mixture of grassland, woodland, marsh, various waterbodies plus areas of hard-standing (ex-runway) but it was only really the habitats next to the main runway that were looked at during this visit. 

A restricted range of fungi were noted with a total of about 26 species including Death Cap, Wood Blewit, Shaggy Inkcap, Blackening Waxcap and an Omphalinoid species (awaiting ID).  As is often the case, the area around the car park was where most fungi were found due to the variety of trees planted there.

About 120 plant species were recorded by Brian Hedley and Annette Faulkner from the fairly narrow strips of grassland alongside the ex-runway. Highlights included Viper’s Bugloss, Sticky Groundsel, Marsh Cudweed, Hawkweed Oxtongue, Fern-grass. Unfortunately, both the invasive New Zealand Pygmyweed and Piri-piri Bur were also noted.

Forty-four bird species were heard or seen including Egyptian Goose, Shoveler, Little Egret, Snipe, Siskin, Lesser Redpoll and Green Woodpecker. Mammals included three Roe Deer and a very tame Wood Mouse. 

Many dragonflies were still on the wing with over a hundred Common Darters skirting the edges of the lakes plus a few Migrant Hawkers and Ruddy Darters were also noted. Phil Porter supplied details of several noteworthy flies he recorded including Pherbellia nana which is a snail-killing fly and the second county record. The grotesque shore-fly Ochthera manicata is a fierce predator with its enormous front legs and the third record after two at Whisby many years ago. The cranefly Tipula obsoleta is just the 6th Lincs record, known as the Kite-tailed Cranefly because of a shallowly forked extension of the abdomen which makes it simple to identify.

Other insects included several specimens of the cryptically-patterned wolf spider Arctosa perita (blending in perfectly with the broken runway surface) and also a Long-winged Conehead.