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Poulner Junior School

PTA AGM zoom meeting Wednesday 21st October at 7pm

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Poulner Junior School Bringing Learning to Life

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Spotted in the school grounds

The wild area where the pond debris was collected has become a haven for wild flowers.   The modern trend of tidying up and making gardens perfect adds to habitat destruction. A regularly mowed lawn offers very little by way of diversity for nature. 

 

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/garden-wildlife-mowing-wildflowers-natural-habitat-ecosystem-a8989596.html

 

How do wildflowers help the environment?

 

Wildflowers provide lots of things that insects need: food in the form of leaves, nectar and pollen, also shelter and places to breed. In return, insects pollinate the wildflowers, enabling them to develop seeds and spread to grow in other places.

The insects themselves are eaten by birds, bats, amphibians, reptiles and small mammals, all of whom contribute to the cycle of life.

During winter when there is less food available, wildflower seeds can also be an important food source for birds and small mammals.

Wildflowers can also be really helpful to keep soil healthy. When wildflowers become established and spread their roots, they stabilise the surrounding soil.

This means that when there is a lot of rainfall, or irrigation in fields used to grow crops, soil particles and nutrients stored in the ground stick around and the soil stays healthy. This is especially important on hillsides, where sloping ground is easily washed away if there aren’t root systems to hold the soil in place. 

Without plants like wildflowers that stabilise the soil, nutrients can get washed away into nearby water systems. This causes a problem called ‘eutrophication’, where algae spread and can make the water toxic to marine animals.

1.7.20 Musk Beetle found by Year 6

The Musk beetle is a long, narrow-bodied longhorn beetle that has very long antennae. The larvae live in the wood of willow trees (particularly pollards), taking up to three years to develop. The adults can be found on flowers and tree trunks near to wetlands during the summer. The adults emit a musky secretion, hence the common name.

 

Length: up to 3.4cm

23.6.20 Forest Bug

At first glance, the Forest bug appears similar to the other 'spiked' shield bug species; however, its distinctive shoulders are squarely cut and rounded at the front, rather than being pointed. It is also found in different habitats to other shield bugs: the Forest Bug is mainly herbivorous, feeding on the sap of deciduous trees, particularly oaks growing along sheltered woodland edges or in clearings. This species overwinters as a nymph, the adults are present from July to November, and the eggs are laid in August.

3.6.20 Ragged Robin

I was incredibly excited to find Ragged Robin growing in the pond area this week. The pink, frayed flowers of Ragged-robin are an increasingly rare sight as our wild wetland habitats disappear.  They attract dragonflies, bees and butterflies, which, in turn, bring frogs, toads and other animals. A perfect example of a supportive ecoystem at work, each level supporting life.

2.6.20 Hedge Woundwort

Growing in woodlands, along hedgerows and roadside verges, Hedge woundwort is a common, perhaps unremarkable, plant with one defining feature - its unpleasant and astringent smell. A member of the mint family, magenta flowers appear between June and October and are irresistable to small bees and other insects, who visit it steadily throughout its long flowering season. Caterpillars of two moths, the Emperor Hawkmoth & the Small Elephant Hawkmoth, feed on its leaves; slugs & snails leave it alone.

1.6.20 Mullein moth feeding on Verbascum

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    School Details

  • Poulner Junior School
  • North Poulner Road
  • North Poulner
  • Ringwood
  • Hampshire
  • BH24 3LA

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