This stem gall was spotted at 9 Wells nature reserve this week. Home to the larvae of a small wasp this gall is known as Diastrophus rubi and is host specific to the Dewberry or Bramble but has been recorded on Raspberry canes. Galls are very interesting natural phenomenon as they form on plants in response to secreted hormones from mainly insects but they can also be triggered by bacteria and fungus. They are not a sign of disease but consist of healthy plant tissue which is full of nutrients for the growing larvae within. This tissue is…

This lovely fungus was spotted in Bramblefields Nature reserve today. Velvet Shank is a stump rotting fungus which can also be found on standing deadwood. This edible fungus is a foragers delight this time of year when the colder weather deters most other edible fungi from fruiting. Good examples can still be found well in to January. The latin Flammulina refers to the orange caps which shine like ‘little flames’ in the winter sunshine. The velutipes refers to the stems and is an even more fitting description meaning ‘with velvet legs’. This is exactly what…

After the preparation last month New Bit was ready to receive its local seeds collected from Cambridgeshire’s donor Coronation meadow. Seeds from Chettisham Meadow included Cowslip and Ox-eye daisy, Common Knapweed, Bird’s foot Trefoil and Lady’s Bedstraw to name a few. It was a great day with lots of volunteers enjoying the chance to establish this meadow for future enjoyment. Some passersby and dog walkers even joined in, taking the opportunity to plant up this meadow which they walk through most days. All who participated are looking forward to watching what comes up in the…