When visiting the reserve, look at the shapes of the rocks and see if you can spot any of the different lower plants though they’re difficult to identify. In the winter, water escaping the porous rocks freezes to form impressive icicles. At the bottom of the rocks and in some of the woodland keep an eye out for some of our big veteran trees and see if there are any invertebrates nearby – maybe a wasp beetle or the black-headed cardinal beetle. The wider rides and areas that have been coppiced recently have lots of butterflies patrolling, in particular look out for silver-washed fritillary and white admiral in the summer. You might also spot one of the day flying longhorn moths, Nemophora degeerella. The males are often seen in groups, dancing in the sunshine. Keep an eye out for adders too, as they like to bask amongst the bracken.
Cretaceous sandstone outcrop / Graeme Lyons