By Caroline Steel, former Head of Conservation at Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.
On West Common, the showy meadow flowers are coming out.
The sheep’s sorrel is giving views across the common a lovely russet tinge and you can find tormentil, cat’s-ear and heath bedstraw on the lighter soils.
Where there is deeper soil you can find meadow crane’s-bill, betony, knapweed, ox-eye daisy and hay rattle.
The single southern marsh orchid flowered again near Carholme Road.
There are meadow brown and skipper butterflies everywhere and grasshoppers are starting to appear. Skylarks are singing: I wonder how many have raised broods? House martins and swallows shoot past, catching insects. Swifts and buzzards can be seen high overhead. What’s not to like!
Damselflies and dragonflies are emerging from the pond, where the terrapin can be seen regularly sunning itself (it’s not a good idea to release unwanted pets into the wild). Pond-side plants include the dramatic figwort.
It is very sad to see that the last remaining mature elm on the common, by the gate onto Long Leys Road, is succumbing to Dutch Elm Disease. It is unlikely to die completely as suckers will probably grow up soon, but mature elms are now a rarity.