Howard Phillips – Beacon Fell, 13th July 2022

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Howard Phillips – Beacon Fell, 13th July 2022
Seven members met at the Car Park in Brock Bottoms at 11 a.m. The weather was sunny and warm with a gentle breeze and not too hot.

Beacon Fell
Julie and Christine left us at the Car Park, the rest of the group moving on to the Visitor’s Centre on Beacon Fell. What a let down! The Centre was closed – a notice on the door telling us that it is still winter opening times – Thursday to Sunday! But at least the toilets were open.
Around the Centre there were colourful spreads of Greater Knapweed and Clover and in the dried up pond, Purple and Yellow Loosestrife and Greater Spearwort. We walked up though the pines keeping the stone wall on our left – more lichens for Owen – Cladonia sp. in the gaps between the stones. A chiffchaff showed well in the trees. Eventually the intrepid mountaineers reached the summit (266m) and a whole vista opened up before us. Morecambe Bay spread out to our left, ahead of us were the crystal clear Bowland Fells and to our right beyond Parlick the view extended up the Ribble Valley. Having paused for a well earned rest, it was time to move on down the slope to the Quarry Car Park. We had the place to ourselves. There was not another soul to be seen. Great swathes of purple moor grass and bent covered the hillside outcompeting the ling, bell heather and bilberry which used to be abundant. Once again an example of what happens when the moor is not managed. There were many butterflies – a variety of species – Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Large Skipper, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood and at one of the car parks, Ringlets were abundant. Here we found Common Spotted Orchid although the spikes were past their best.
A visit to the tarn proved not to be rewarding as a collapse of the dam had left only a small puddle of water. However, back at the Centre, Barry’s day was made. Inside the toilets several species of moth were found clinging to the walls, seeking shade and moisture during the day. Especially notable was a Burnished Brass which Barry captured and set out on a picnic table where it remained for almost a minute before flying off.
Thanks to everyone for their expertise and companionship. A great day.

Species list again provided by Carol:
Flora – Common Spotted Orchid, Greater Knapweed sp., White Clover, Red Clover, Zigzag Clover, Hogweed, Himalayan Balsam, Lady’s Bedstraw, Ribwort Plantain, Greater Plantain, Meadow Buttercup, Tufted Vetch, Ox-eye Daisy, Meadow Cranesbill, Eyebright sp., Crested Dog’s Tail, Bent Grass, Bird’s Foot Trefoil, Spirea, Reedmace, Greater Spearwort, Purple Loosestrife, Yellow Loosestrife, Pineapple Mayweed, Foxglove, Bilberry, Bramble sp., Soft Rush, Sweet Vernal Grass, Pink Purslane, Yellow rattle, Jointed Rush, Purple Moor Grass, Heath Bedstraw, Ling, Selfheal, Spear Thistle, Timothy, Perennial Rye Grass, Hard Rush, Wood Sage, Hemlock Water Dropwort.
Insects – Burnished Brass, Barred Straw, Sandy Carpet, Common Wave, Riband Wave, Clouded Border, Meadow Brown, Large Skipper, Common Blue (male), Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Ringlet, Cranefly (molophilus), Oak Gall.

Categories: Mid Week Outing

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