Ladycross Nature Reserve
Slaley, Northumberland view north from Ladycross
About Ladycross
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can you help us?
Despite some restoration of income from our walks, with winter approaching we still need extra funds to keep the bird feeders well stocked with food.
We are asking if you could continue to support this by donating bird food or making a donation to enable us to buy it. We buy our bird food from Poltross Enterprises in Haltwhistle. They deliver to Joan's home in Juniper, because the reserve is closed. You can visit their website to see what they offer, and email them at or ring 01434 321111. Their prices are competitive but you may have your own regular supplier. If you buy from another source and want to deliver, then please contact Joan at 01434 673245. If you would like to make a donation, cheques should be made out to Ladycross Nature Reserve. We really do appreciate your continuing support.
During the pandemic, members have been sending us a wonderful selection of photographs taken in their gardens and on their exercise walks. The ones for the current year appear on the right hand side of this page as we receive them. You can view last year's photographs by clicking here


LXNR AGM is being held at Slaley Commemoration Hall on Thursday 18th November at 6.30pm.
We had a very well supported fungus foray in October. This year it was led by Doug MacCutcheon, who proved to be an excellent substitute for Gordon - although we did miss Gordon's jokes!. Despite a very wet start, the weather cleared and over 30 species were found. Our thanks go to Doug, and to all who supported the foray. It raised over £130 for LXNR funds.

Early summer at the reserve
We had an exceptionally cold, wet spring, whose main effect seems to have been on the butterfly population. Some orange tip and green-veined white butterflies appeared, but not in their usual numbers, and there were far fewer of the first flush of colourful butterflies such as peacocks, small tortoiseshells and red admirals. However, things are picking up well, now, with lots of the grass-loving species such as meadow browns, ringlets and small skippers. There are a few common blues around, too, not to mention the cabbage whites.

It is worth looking out for these butterflies in any grassy place now. The beautiful little orange-brown skippers are unmistakeable, but you need to look closely to distinguish ringlets and male meadow browns. The ringlets are distinctly smaller when you see them together; otherwise you need to get up close and look at the wing patterns - see the pictures below.

male Meadow Brown

The female meadow brown is very different from the male, with big orange-brown patches on her wings.

Small Skipper

There have also been quite a few reports of the north east's only reasonably commond fritillary - the dark green fritillary. This is a big, bright orange (not green!) butterfly with a complicated pattern of black lines and marks. It flies quite fast, in a very determined sort of way and really stands out. Well worth looking out for.

Early spring photographs

Your wintry pictures continue to arrive. The icy conditions seem to have been producing unusual ice formations all over the country. Here are some beautiful grass-centered icicles that formed in Joan's garden where freezing water was dripping.

The winter has also produced some great sunsets, but few, we think, as spectacular as this one over Colpitts photographed from a drone and kindly provided by Michael Elphick

Last year's wonderful pictures and reports of your encounters with local wildlife enormously helped to lighten the gloomy situation. We hope you will continue to provide your photographs and reports this year. To get us off to a good start, here are a few photographs taken over the last couple of weeks' distinctly wintry weather, which at least produces some great skies!

Rainbow at Colpitts, sent in by Jean Elphick

Winter skies, by Mary Oswell and others

Trees and tree-stumps look pareticularly good at this time of year, showing off their skeletal structures and their textures of moss and lichen.John Fraser and Ian Hancock