Island Life Magazine Ltd October/November 2011 - Page 66

COUNTRY LIFE What to look out for... Black Bryony ee Wild Service Tr A member of the tropical yam family, which are grown for their tubers. Unfortunately, in this case both the tubers and the berries are poisonous. However the youngest spring shoots used to be cooked and eaten like asparagus, and are still sold as such in markets throughout southern Europe. Also known as the Chequer Tree, with links to the pub name ‘Chequers’, from Roman times, when the chequer board was the symbol for a tavern! The fruits are rich in vitamin C and still often collected to be eaten after being bletted, (softened) by frost. That is unless the birds don’t get there first. WWLP Following the success of last year's illustrated lectures and the summer wildflower walks, the West Wight Landscape Partnership is again offering FREE illustrated lectures at the Seely Hall, Brook relating to the wild flowers of the West Wight. The first of these will take place on Wednesday November 9 and the second on November 30 commencing at 6.30pm. These will discuss different seasonal and interesting plants found in the West Wight many found on verges and the edges of footpaths where they are often not noticed. They will feature different plants from previous lectures. To book a place,contact Irene Fletcher on 759779 or email irene.fletcher@ 66 House Mouse Siskins With winter fast approaching, the house mouse is looking for somewhere warm and dry to stay over the coming months – your home!. They can have up to ten litters a year, with each litter producing four to eight ‘pups’. The young are weaned after two weeks and become sexually mature at five to six weeks old. A lively finch, which is smaller than the green finch. Although some are permanent residents, we get many migrants arriving in October from Europe. Often found feeding in conifers, alder, and birch trees, but will quite happily eat some insects. They will form large flocks in winter and can be regular visitors to garden nut baskets. Action Day! Wednesday November 2, 10am to 1pm Please come along… • Help plant a native hedgerow • Sow wildflowers • Sign up for the new ‘Friends of…’ group • Talk to members of Green Gym – the Island’s biggest practical conservation group • See what help the GreenMobile can offer your community Granny’s Meade, Bedbury Lane, Freshwater PO40 9PE Project supported by: Freshwater Parish Council West Wight Landscape Partnership The Footprint Trust