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Flora & Fauna

 

 
 

Flora

We have had the good fortune to have been able to compile what we think is quite a comprehesive record of the flora in the park.

Jonathan Barritt writes: on 14 July 2005 I had the job of going to meet two judges who were looking at areas around Chester in the North West in Bloom competition. We all hope this visit to Caldy Nature Park will help Chester win this year.

The flower walks this year have gone really well with Martyn Stead doing a fantastic job of identifying the plants seen. I then make a note of what is seen and put any of the new species on to the Master List. I also make a write up of each walk undertaken.

One new plant this year was Small Flowered Rush with three new species last year - Marsh Horsetail, Thyme-leaved Sandwort and Pendulouse Sedge. It seems that we gain some and lose some. Chicory was one flower that I remember seeing but has long since gone. Plants have come in naturally by wind, birds and animals,by water, ie the brook, or by man. Hoary plantain is one that came in with limestone brought in to do the paths around the park.

The Friends aim to maintain records of all the wildlife and plants found in the park. Below are links to lists of the plants which have been recorded.

26 Trees
46 Grasses/ sedges
243 Flowers and other plants

These lists are for guidance only: we cannot guarantee that these records are complete or an accurate description of what is in the park now.

The records of the summer flower walks give a rough guide of the plants which can been seen where at those times, but please remember nature is a fickle thing.

Fauna

While our records of fauna are not as comprehensive, we aim to present over time as good a picture as we can on this web site.

Water Vole

We have collected some information about this endangered species which is a resident of the park.

Nesting Birds in Caldy Nature Park

This is the title of a study Richard Castell, a local ecologist, has done about the 2004 breeding season. His report covered the four months April to July and he saw and heard 39 species of bird in the valley. Of these, 20 were definitely breeding in the valley and a further nine were almost certainly breeding. Eight more species that breed locally, like kingfisher and sparrowhawk, use the park for feeding.

Listening to birdsong at dawn gives the best evidence of breeding pairs and Richard estimates that there are eight pairs of wood pigeon, blackbird & blackcap, followed by seven pairs of chiffchaff and great tit. We also have nesting in the park - greenfinch, dunnock, blue tit, chaffinch, goldfinch, song thrush, robin, wren…. It is good to see long tailed tit, nuthatch, bullfinch and treecreeper on the list.

We have seven migratory summer visitors, four of which actually breed in the park - sedge warbler, reed warbler, willow warbler and chiffchaff.

The value of the park is greatly enhanced by all the surrounding gardens and vice versa, as suburban gardens are thought to support the highest density of breeding birds of any habitat in Britain.

Richard concludes that Caldy Valley is a valuable site for wildlife and the brook is the key to its success. The management of this watercourse through the effective use of additional man-made channels and sluices has enabled life to flow into every corner of the park and has maintained the lush and insect rich swathes of vegetation that are all important to birds wishing to breed.

He writes that birds are often used as an indicator of the general 'health' of a site and Caldy Valley is clearly in very good shape.

Thank you, Richard, for sharing your research with us.

What we have:

These are not complete lists, but here are different species currently mentioned listed on the web site.

Butterflies

  • brimstone
  • holly blue
  • small tortoiseshell
  • peacock
  • comma
  • orange tip
  • speckled wood
  • green veined white
  • small white

Fish

  • gudgeon
  • roach
  • rudd
  • tench
  • chubb
  • bream

 

 

Features

Many of our feature articles are about birds and mammals in the park.

 

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