Monday, 20 April 2020

Flower Guide: Clongawny: Bog Rosemary

Flower Guide: Clongawny: Bog Myrtle



Bog Rosemary Andromeda polifolia


evergreen shrub
Height 40cm

 




Leaves alternate, untoothed, dark green
drooping pink flowers, 8-10mm
Flowering May-June






















Guide to Plants of Blanket Bog



There is a useful photo guide to plants of blanket bog in the Spring 2020 issue of Peatland News, published by the Irish Peatland Conservation Council. Some of the species are included in our flowerspotting checklist for Clongawny. Below are some of those that aren't on that checklist.

With the current restrictions, some people who live in Marlinstown are within 2km of the west part of Clongawny and can check what you can see beyond the gates into boggy fields. If you live in Baltrasna, you are permitted to walk to the far side of the woods in Clongawny and can look at a very accessible patch of bog before a gateway.

Not all of the featured plants are found in Clongawny but it's worth checking as there has been very little study of the nature there.


These low-growing berry bushes belong to the Heather family (Ericaceae).


Bilberry

Cranberry
Crowberry 

 
















Sundews are carnivorous plants.

Long-leaved Sundew

Round-leaved Sundew

Intermediate Sundew




The bog-mosses are of a species called Sphagnum.

Austin’s Bog-moss





Slender Cow-horn Bog-moss


Soft Bog-moss
Red Bog-moss
Feathery Bog-moss

Lustrous Bog-moss




Magellanic Bog-moss
Papillose Bog-moss













 

Rusty Bog-moss

  
 There are also a few other mosses.


Bristly Swan-neck Moss

Woolly Fringe-moss

Heath Plait-feather Moss

Large White Moss




 Liverworts are flowerless plants that are similar to mosses.


Purple Spoonwort
 
Sedges are similar to grasses.

Deer Sedge






Carnation Sedge










White Beak-sedge

 

The lichens could be growing on trees, rocks or other surfaces.

Antler-horn Lichen
Pixie-cup Lichen
Bearded Lichen

Matchstick Lichen

































The other plants featured on the poster in Peatland News are Common Butterwort, Bladderwort, Bog Myrtle, Marsh Clubmoss, Purple Moor-grass, Common Cottongrass, Hare’s-tail Cottongrass, Black Bog-rush, Lousewort, Saint Dabeoc’s Heath, Ling Heather, Bell Heather, Cross-leaved Heath, Tormentil, Bogbean, Heath-spotted Orchid, Bog Asphodel and Milkwort.

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Young trees in Baltrasna

Some of you will have observed a small area by the canal in Baltrasna where young native trees have been planted. The trees have been chosen to provide flowers, fruit and nuts to support the local wildlife, particularly the pollinating insects.

Green Shield Bug Palomena prasina


On this sunny day, while cutting the grass around each tree, we observed the buds and leaves on the trees but also a few colourful insects — welcome signs of spring activity.

2-spot Ladybird Adalia bipunctata










On a return visit, a few of the trees were in bloom. 
They don't seem to be badly impacted by the prolonged dry conditions. The soil is somewhat peaty and maybe there is plenty of water beneath.






Sunday, 1 March 2020

Habitat Maintenance: Boardstown Section 1

Townland: Marlinstown
Location: east from a clearing on the main northside path east of Boardstown Bridge, then down through a winding woodland path that leads to the canal bank behind the ruined cottage
Species: Green-veined White, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Peacock, Silver-washed Fritillary, Speckled Wood



Tasks:

1. Cut back and trample bracken, brambles, dog rose and gorse.
2. Prune tree branches and cut tree saplings (ash, blackthorn, hawthorn) on path.
3. Prune out trees to enable holly to spread. (This was done in the week before the start of the official nesting season for birds.)


Details:
Clear path of bracken, brambles, dog rose and gorse with shears or sickle.
Clear path of new tree growth. As this is the nesting season for birds, this can only involve saplings growing on the path and the ends of small branches growing onto the path.


Equipment: Long-handled shears, pruning saw, sickle, work gloves, goggles

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Habitat Maintenance: Marlinstown Section 4

Townland: Marlinstown
Location: west of Baltrasna Bridge on the canal-bank path (parallel to Section 1)
Species: Green-veined White, Large White, Small White, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Peacock, Silver-washed Fritillary, Speckled Wood


Tasks:

1. Cut back and trample bracken, brambles, cotoneaster, dog rose and gorse.
2. Prune tree branches and cut tree saplings (ash, blackthorn, hawthorn) on path.


Details:
Clear path of bracken, brambles, cotoneaster, dog rose and gorse with shears or sickle.
Clear path of new tree growth.
The main access is down a steep wooded path opposite the Butterflies signpost.


Equipment: Long-handled shears, pruning saw, sickle, work gloves, goggles

Habitat Maintenance: Marlinstown Section 3

Townland: Marlinstown
Location: west of Baltrasna Bridge on the canal-bank path (parallel to Section 2)
Species: Green-veined White, Large White, Small White, Wood White, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Silver-washed Fritillary, Speckled Wood



Tasks:

1. Cut back and trample bracken, brambles, cotoneaster, dog rose and gorse.
2. Prune tree branches and cut tree saplings (ash, blackthorn, hawthorn) on path.


Details:
Clear path of bracken, brambles, cotoneaster, dog rose and gorse with shears or sickle.
Clear path of new tree growth.


Equipment: Long-handled shears, pruning saw, sickle, work gloves, goggles



Saturday, 18 January 2020

Habitat Maintenance: Marlinstown Section 2

Townland: Marlinstown
Location: west of Baltrasna Bridge on the high bank path north of the canal from where the path drops down to open ground as far as the ruined house
Species: Green-veined White, Large White, Small White, Wood White, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Silver-washed Fritillary, Speckled Wood




Tasks:

1. Cut back and trample bracken, brambles and dog rose.
2. Prune elder trees severely to encourage rejuvenation (flowering and fruiting).
3. Cut hedgerow along the path. The County Council will do this.


Details:
Clear path of bracken, brambles and dog rose with shears or sickle.
Prune branches from elder trees on either side of path.


Equipment: Long-handled shears, pruning saw, work gloves, goggles