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Category: Plants

Plants

The Natural History of Nailsea by Terry Smith

The Natural History of Nailsea by Terry Smith

The Natural History of Nailsea by Terry Smith, Price £5 Free PDF Download One of the main purposes of this book is to show the variety of wildlife that can be found in close proximity to Nailsea. There is no need to travel by plane to see wildlife! This is a collection of colour photographs illustrating the many different kinds of wildlife and the places where they can be found, as shown on a map. The book was published with financial…

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Ivy – Friend or foe?

Ivy – Friend or foe?

Ivy (Hedera helix, Araliaceae, the ginseng family) is native in the UK and is very widespread in North Somerset, coming second only to nettles in geographical distribution. The name Ivy comes from the Old English ‘Ifig’ meaning bitter, referring to the taste of the berries. It is highly adaptable, growing on walls, up trees and often as ground cover, frequently in situations of low light intensity and low nutrient status. It may suppress the ground flora, and sometimes good management…

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Medicines from native plants

Medicines from native plants

Even in prehistoric times, men were using plants as medicines. It is likely that an early caveman might accidentally have found that eating willow bark alleviated his headache. This discovery would have been passed on to others, and a great wealth of information about the properties of various plants could have been accumulated in this way, developing into the herbals of the middle ages. Many of the published remedies were of doubtful value, but with experimentation many useful medicines were…

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Good practice for hedgerow management

Good practice for hedgerow management

Part 1 – The importance of the hedgerow network in North Somerset The quality of the hedgerow network in North Somerset is a key factor in the survival of many species that have their last European stronghold in this region, notably Greater and Lesser Horseshoe Bats. North Somerset is important for bats generally, with 11 of the 17 UK species present in the area. The quality and continuity of North Somerset hedgerows is also vital for other species, such as…

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Wildlife and Hedges

Wildlife and Hedges

Why survey hedges? a comprehensive review of ‘Good practice for hedgerow management’ By Susan Stangroom Biodiversity Officer, North Somerset Council Hedges are important wildlife refuges and corridors. Those of value for wildlife need to be identified to encourage biodiversity. With climate change causing variations in wildlife populations, it is important to have a ‘baseline’against which these variations can be measured. Hedges make a significant contribution to the landscape character of the English countryside. Locations of veteran trees need to be established. Historical…

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The Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta)

The Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta)

Although swathes of bluebells characterise the ancient woodland of England, this plant is relatively rare on the continent. Probably 90% of the plants of this species are found in Great Britain, so we have a special responsibility for its preservation. It is in the Liliaceae, a family that also contains the Fritillaries, Lily of the valley, Solomon’s seal, Hyacinths, and the wide variety of lilies, which we grow in our gardens. It is quite different from the ‘Bluebells of Scotland’…

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Nettles (Urtica dioica)

Nettles (Urtica dioica)

Early childhood memories of Nettle stings are a strong reminder to avoid contact with that plant, since the effect is painful and lasts for several hours. Although it is not known to be fatal in humans, even in severe cases, it is reported that dogs have been killed by being badly stung. It is likely that the Nettle sting evolved as a deterrent to herbivores, and certainly the Nettle is a very successful agricultural weed, growing especially well in pastures…

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