Tuesday gave us a surprisingly balmy day for the time of year. It was a pleasure to be out in the open air.
We continued the work we did on our previous Conservation Work Day – removing gorse from the heather beds and removing residual roots of rhododendron. Both plants are persistent so this work is likely to continue for some time.
At the start of the day we expected to be hampered by a reduced number of volunteers. This was because the Cheshire Wildlife Trust (CWT) group had been assigned to more pressing work at the edge of the Peak District, on a project called Slowing the Flow. However, I’m pleased to report that our band of Knutsford volunteers, led by Luke from CWT, easily completed all our planned tasks by mid-afternoon.
While clearing the gorse we were delighted to discover lots of tiny pale green trumpet-shaped structures growing on the ground. These turned out to be the pixie-cup lichen (Cladonia pyxidata).
Lichens are fascinating. They are a compound organism made of fungus and algae living in a symbiotic relationship. The fungus provides the structure while the algae provide food by photosynthesis. Yet again, The Heath gives an insight to the natural world.
Thank you to our fantastic volunteers for your time and to Cheshire Wildlife Trust for running the day.