By the beginning of June all of our trees are in leaf and, as a consequence of their shading effect, there are fewer flowers to be seen in the woods. Bird song is also quieter as woodland birds complete their breeding season.
However, on the grasslands the story is very different. The Trust is fortunate to have a wonderful variety of grasslands and they are at their best during the month of June.
In Rutland Merry’s Meadows has a tremendous variety of plants, including several orchid species, and birds such as Yellow Wagtail and Curlew can be seen along the track to the reserve.
Cribb’s Meadow and Wymondham Rough (both in the Wymondham parish in north-east Leicestershire) have between them a wide range of plants as well as Common Lizards and butterflies such as Grizzled Skipper and Green Hairstreak.
In the Soar valley Loughborough Big Meadow is a huge site with Meadow Saxifrage, many other plants such as the rare Narrow-leaved Water-dropwort as well as Kingfishers and other birds along the river.
Herbert’s Meadow (part of the Ulverscroft Nature Reserve) and Lea Meadows in Charnwood Forest are beautiful places at any time. Fragrant Orchid is a plant to look out for in Herbert’s Meadow at the end of the month.
Species of the month: Glow-worm
The Glow-worm is not a worm but a beetle!
In June and early July the nightly glow of a female Glow-worm is unmistakeable. They are wingless so climb up plant stems and emit a greeny-orange light in order to attract males.
The male is a medium-sized light brown, typical beetle with large, photosensitive eyes – perfect for scanning vegetation at night. The larvae look similar to the females – greyish-brown with yellowy-orange triangular markings at the side of each segment. The larvae and the eggs can also emit light.
The Trust’s Charnwood Lodge (members and permit holders only) and Ketton Quarry nature reserves are among the places to spot Glow-worms in our two counties – please see the nature reserves section of this website for details.
Photograph: Female Glow-worm c. Matthew Rumblelow