A description of the Beryl Harvey Field from the
Cranleigh and District Volunteer members
In spring a wide range of flowers start to bloom - amongst the earliest are roses, bluebells, an increasing number of cowslips and many common spotted orchids (These are quite rare in Cranleigh). A small number of native wild daffodils have been established. A good variety of birds can be seen and heard, some undoubtedly attracted by the pond and nest boxes. In June 2015 there were over 150 orchids established on the field and a mature Grass snake was observed.
As we move into summer more flowers appear including lady’s bedstraw, betony and birdsfoot trefoil (food plant for the common blue butterfly). Later, in good years, clouds of Common Blue Butterflies can be seen, together with Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Large and Small Skipper, Large and Small White, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Painted Lady, Holly Blue, Orange-tip, Peacock and Red Admiral, enjoying nectar from the profusion of knotweed flowers. There are also occasional sightings of Small Copper and Green Hairstreak. Several species of dragonfly can been seen around the now, well established pond and it’s not unusual to see a fox with her cubs that were born on-site.
Autumn can produce large numbers of fungi and wild fruit for birds, lots of conkers on the southern boundary and good leaf colour. A flock of gold finches feed on the knotweed seed heads.
In previous winters we have had a small flock of sheep grazing, to keep the grass in check, as they, unlike a mower, do not destroy the developing ant hills.
The Public are welcome to visit the Beryl Harvey Conservation Area, although there could be restrictions in winter if sheep are grazing.
Dogs are not allowed at any time of year.