Local Nature Reserves in Bloom: Flowers and what’s pollinating them.

Snowdrops

2020 is the year of the pollinator! At least for Cambridge City Council. We are driving a campaign to highlight these vitally important components of our ecosystem. As part of this campaign the flowers and pollinators in our local nature reserves will be celebrated on this website. Remember pollinators aren’t just bumblebees or honey bees. The task of pollinating is carried out by Moths, Beetles, Flies, Butterflies, Solitary bees and Wasps and the often over looked but fascinating Thrip family!! The plan is to have a month by month article which spotlights key native flowers, shrubs and trees in bloom on our reserves and what is pollinating them.

Starting from now!

February may still feel like winter but the signs of spring are already there to spot on the local nature reserves. Bramblefields Nature reserve in Chesterton for example, has Red Dead nettle ( Lamium purpureum)  Lesser Celandine ( Ficaria verna formerly Ranunculus ficaria)  Snow drops (Galanthusnivalis)  Common Dog-Violets ( Viola riviniana) and Herb Robert (Geranium robertia) all in flower. These flowers can be found on many other of the reserves, especially in the woodland areas.

Some of the Bird Cherries (Prunus padus) are in the early stages of blooming on Coldhams Common.

Although pollinators may be scarce in this month female bumblebees will venture out on warmer days. Most likely candidate for this is the Buff-tailed bumblebee. Forager honey bees will may also appear if the temperature rises to do a cleansing flight and a search for pollen.

Keep looking for more updates as the year of the pollinator progresses!

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