A Look at Wildlife Reserves around Ancaster
Rauceby Warren is a limestone grassland habitat that forms part of the Ancaster Gap which was formed by glacial melt waters. Much of the reserve has been formed by sand and gravel pits which now make up two lagoons of the reserve. Unfortunately due to the hot weather we have had this year these had almost fully dried up to a size of a large puddle. This revealed some strange white cobweb type stuff.
Above: One of the lagoons showing white cobweb stuff
In the grassland there was many butterflies, beetles and wild flowers to see, the favourites was Greater Knapweed and Ragwort.
Above: Greater Knapweed_ Centaurea scabiosa
Above: Female Swollen-thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis) on Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea)
Butterflies of Rauceby Warren
Most common was the Ringlet and the Small & Essex Skipper's
Above: Top_Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus) and Bottom_Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris)
Other Invertebrates of Rauceby Warren
Above: unknown plant bug, Male Swollen-thighed Beetle and Cinnabar Moth caterpillar
Plants and Flowers
As you first enter the reserve there is hawthorn bushes amongst the grasses. There is English Oak between with tiny acorns developing on their little sticks. There is also star sedge to one side of the second lagoon.
The other side is a dryer area were biting stoncrop, Viper's Bugloss and Large -flowered Evening-primrose grow.
Duke's Covert and Copper Hill
Dukes's Covert & Copper Hill are Roadside Nature Reserves which go along the B6403, Dukes's Covert being the triangle of land between the B6403 and the road to Heydour.
These reserve verges are protected under the a scheme operated by the Wildlife Trust & and the Council. These protected verges are rich in limestone flora and the invertebrates that come with them.
These verges was the last known Lincolnshire site for the Chalkhill Butterfly and is the most northerly point for the Man Orchid which they is only two locations in Lincolnshire, these roadsides being one of them. Unfortunately the hot weather we have had means it hasn't been a very good orchids year so didn't see them this year but will have to try again another year.
Above: Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis) and a rare looking White Greater Knapweed