A report from our expert Dave Dawson:-

Spring flowers are now over in the park, sadly accelerated by excessive spraying under trees and at the bottom of hedges. Watercress was abundant in the brook before most was dragged out, perhaps to avoid it blocking the entrance to pipes and causing flooding?

Early summer flowers are now beginning to show. The so-called ‘wildflower meadow’ patches have been left alone since last year, so there’s now an interesting mix of self-established native species amongst the annuals that have come from last year’s seed. The Cosmos, Borage, Cornflower, Californian poppy, Love-in-the-mist, Sweet alison and Virginia stock have been supplemented naturally with Creeping thistle, Oxtongues, Sow thistles, White clover and Mugwort.

Bird breeding is in full swing. The first Black-headed gulls have returned from their breeding areas. Mistle thrushes and Stock doves venture out to get food for their nestlings from the grass in the stadium area, away from the disturbance in the open grassland of the park. A large flock of Herring gulls feeds on the short grass of the park before the gates are open, only to make off to their daytime roost as soon as the first runner appears.