British Plant Gall Society Field Meeting – Saturday 10 September 2022

British Plant Gall Society Field Meeting with the Doncaster and Barnsley Naturalists’ Society’s at Worsborough Reservoir Country Park and Bidwell Wood SSSI, Barnsley.
Leader: Tom Higginbottom

At 10.30am a large group of participants (including 5 Doncaster Nats members) met in the car park of Worsborough Mill Country Park. The group progressed at snail’s pace examining every tree, shrub and herb beside the track along the southern side of the reservoir and on to Birdwell Wood SSSI.

These notes are subsidiary to those of the main party and relate to a shorter (though extensive) round walk made by Nora Boyle and Colin Howes, leaving the main group at the path junction at SE346031 and returning to the car park via the trail round the perimeter of the reservoir, flooded woodland and the reservoir dam, arriving back at the Mill around

The following list has been compiled from notes made within Worsborough Country Park (SE3403) by NB and CAH.


Worsborough Reservoir Country Park and Bidwell Wood SSSI, Barnsley
Acer campestre Field Maple
Acer platanoides Norway Maple
Acer pseudoplatanus Sycamore
Achillea millefolium Yarrow
Alliaria petiolata Jack-by-the-hedge
Alnus glutinosa Common Alder
Anthriscus sylvestris Cow Parsley
Arctium minus Lesser Burdock
Arrhenatherum elatius False Oat-grass
Artemisia vulgaris Mugwort
Arum maculatum Arum
Bellis perennis Daisy
Betula pendula Silver Birch
Brachypodium sylvaticum False Brome
Centaurea nigra Common Knapweed
Chamerion angustifolium Rosebay
Cirsium arvense Creeping Thistle
Cirsium vulgar Spear Thistle
Conopodium majus Pignut
Convolvulus arvensis Field Bindweed
Cornus sanguinea Dogwood
Corylus avellana Hazel
Crataegus monogyna Hawthorn
Dactylis glomerata Cock’s-foot
Dryopteris filix-mas Male Fern
Elymus caninus Bearded Couch-grass
Epipactis helleborine Broad-leaved helleborine 8 fine specimens (in seed) near angling jetty
Equisetum arvensis Field Horsetail
Fagus sylaticus Beech
Filipendula ulmaria Meadowsweet
Fraxinus excelsior Ash
Galium aparine Cleavers
Geranium robertianum Herb Robert
Geum urbanum Wood Avens
Glechoma hederacea Ground Ivy
Gymnadenia conopsea Fragrant Orchid
Hedera helix Ivy
Heracleum sphondylium Hogweed
Holcus lanatus Yorkshire Fog
Hypochaeris radicata Common Cat’s-ear
Impatiens glandulifera Indian Balsam
Iris pseudacorus Yellow Iris
Lamium album White Dead Nettle
Lapsana communis Nipplewort
Leucanthemum vulgare Ox-eye Daisy
Ligustrum ovalifolium Garden Privet
Lolium perenne Perennial Rye-grass
Lonicera periclymenum Honeysuckle
Matricaria matricarioides Pineappleweed
Mercurialis perennis Dog’s Mercury
Persicaria amphibia Amphibious Bistort
Petasites hybridu Butterbur
Phragmites australis Common Reed
Phyllitis scolopendrium Hart’s –tongue Fern
Plantago lanceolata Ribwort Plantain
Plantago major Rat-tail Plantain
Poa annua Annual Meadow-grass
Poa pratensis Smooth Meadow-grass
Poa trivialis Rough Meadow-grass
Polygonum aviculare Knotgrass
Potamogeton natans Floating Pondweed
Potentilla reptans Creeping cinquefoil
Prunus spinosa Blackthorn
Pteridium aquilinum Bracken
Quercus robur Pedunculate Oak
Ranunculus acris Meadow Buttercup
Ranunculus repens Creeping Buttercup
Rosa canina Dog Rose
Rubus fruticosus Bramble
Rubus idaeus Raspberry
Rumex obtusifolius Broad Dock
Salix fragilis Crack Willow
Salix viminalis Osier
Sambucus nigra Elder
Senecio jacobea Common Ragwort
Silene dioica Red Campion
Sisymbrium officinale Hedge Mustard
Sonchus oleraceous Smooth Sow-thistle
Sorbus aucuparia Rowan
Stachys sylvatica Hedge Woundwort
Stellaria holostea Greater Stitchwort
Stellaria media Common Chickweed
Symphoricarpos albus Snowberry
Tamus communis Black Bryony
Tanacetum vulgare Tansey
Taraxacum officinale agg. Dandelion
Torilis japonica Upright Hedge-parsley
Trifolium repens White Clover
Ulmus glabra Wych Elm
Ulmus minor Small-leaved Elm (with corky-bark)
Urtica dioica Stinging Nettle
Viburnum opulus Guelder Rose
Acalitus stenaspis Mite gall causing a roll on the edge of Beech leaves.
Aceria nervisequa Mite gall causing a transparent patch on the undersides  of  Beech leaves
Euua proxima formerly Eupontania proxima. A Gall Wasp producing the red bean gall on Crack willow leaves.
DIPTERA (Flies)  
Myathropa florea An impressively large Hoverfly popularly known as the ‘Batman Hoverfly’ due to the face pattern on its thorax. It was in abundance nectaring on Ivy flowers.
Eristalis tenax Dronefly in abundance nectaring on Ivy flowers.
Acronicta psi The caterpillar of the Grey Dagger Moth on Hazel leaves.
COLEOPTERA (Beetles)  
Agelastica alni Alder-leaf Beetle (see note below)
HYMENOPTERA (Bees, wasps etc.)  
Apis melifera Honey Bee
Pentatoma rufipes Forest Shieldbug
  Blackheaded Gull 20+
  Canada Geese 13+
  Canada x  White farm goose hybrid
  Coot 8+
  Great Crested Grebe (Young)
  Great Tit
  Kingfisher (had been seen)
  Long-tailed Tit
  Mallard 25+
  Moorhen 1
  Muskovy Ducks 2
  Mute Swan 3
  White (farm) Geese 2
  Wood Pigeon

Note on the Alder-leaf Beetles

This now ubiquitous and vastly abundant beetle which renders Alder (Alnus glutinosa) leaves to lace, was thought to have become extinct in the UK as no records existed from 1946 to 2003. Then in 2004 larvae and adults were found in the Manchester area from whence they have spread, certainly into South Yorkshire.

A mystery aggregation of 28+ Alder beetles had gathered on the metal locking device on the footpath barrier near the footpath junction at SE346031. Interestingly the identical (reciprocal) device at the opposite side of the path was entirely ignored. One of the Barnsley Nats suggested a sugary soft drink may have been spilled onto the metalwork, thus attracting the beetles.

1. Alder-leaf Beetles on metal barrier. Photo by Nora Boyle
2. ‘Batman Hoverfly’ Myathropa florea. Photo by Nora Boyle
3. The Red bean gall on Crack willow leaves is Euua proxima formerly Eupontania proxima. Photo by Nora Boyle
4.  Mite gall Aceria nervisequa under Beech leaves.  Photo by Nora Boyle
5. This gall causing a roll on the edge of a Beech leaf is a mite gall Acalitus stenaspis. Photo by Nora Boyle

RSPB Sherwood Forest – Tuesday 6th September 2022

Five members met at the visitor centre, Sherwood Forest on Tuesday 6th September 2022.
Leader Les Coe

After a brief look around the old photos on display at the visitor centre, the party made their way into the woodland on well defined footpaths. Soon, the main footpaths were left behind as the lesser travelled paths were explored on the way to the Centre Tree, where a brief stop for refreshments was taken. At this juncture, two members decided to leave the party and make their own way.

The remaining party further explored the interesting byways of the forest before venturing into a totally different habitat of Budby Common. Here we were fortunate to come across a pair of Redstart resting on path side fence posts.

Back into the forest again, we made our way to the visitor centre along well signposted footpaths, passing on the way a bird feeding station that had attracted coal tits, great tits and a nuthatch. Coffee was partaken at the visitor centre before the party left for home.