For illustrated talks on natural history and history see

For illustrated talks on natural history and history click here for

Wednesday 10 April 2024

Haywards Heath u3a Eco-friendly Living Group meeting 8 April 2024

The meeting was open to ten persons including six guests, primarily to visit the garden to view the plants and insects. The garden is on a contour line from which natural springs emerge elsewhere around the village. Although no springs occur in the garden, marsh thistles and Southern Marsh orchids are thriving, confirming damp conditions. Other orchid species rosettes were seen; Common Twayblades, Common-spotted orchids and a solitary Fragrant orchid.
During the tour a Green-veined White butterfly was seen which can be found in gardens favouring damp areas. A range of wild crucifers are eaten by the caterpillars including, Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) and Cuckooflower (Cardamine pratensis), both well established in this garden. A leading article was presented to the meeting from a veterinary journal highlighting the ecological damage from flea “treatments”, i.e. poisons.
This is also addressed by a Buglife report on flea poisons. And it was a concern in the Parliamentary Westminster Hall committee meeting at when for the fourth year an emergency derogation allows the use of neonicotinoid treated sugar beet seeds contrary to all expert advice. If you are pressed for time start viewing from 15 minutes into the discussion.

Sunday 17 March 2024

Haywards Heath u3a Eco-friendly group meeting


Hairy-footed flower bee male

Haywards Heath eco-friendly living meeting

Notes for Monday 8th April 2024; Wildlife gardening

At our u3a eco-friendly living meeting prior study ensures a more productive meeting of minds on the day. 

At is a wonderful analysis, which does not need repeating at our meeting.  The meeting agenda will be an introduction of eleven minutes (please ensure I set a timer!); twelve minutes of open discussion and then the garden tour after which you can decide how the garden matches an ideal wildlife garden.  If you would like to take away some plants, e.g. ox-eye daisies please bring some bags and we can dig some up.  Some “weeds” will be left for you in my vegetable beds.

The tour will start with early flowering plants, Daphne bholua which is fabulous for hibernating bumblebee queens, butterflies and other insects e.g. Hairy-footed flower bee. For your information (and for my check list) we will hopefully see many of the species below and some that benefit from them.  The links give detailed info’, and many photos from my garden like this one.


Creatures supported

Winter jasmine



Tawney mining bee


Mint moth



Forget me not

Bee fly  Check this link!



Amelanchia Canadensis

Food for numerous birds

Osmanthus burkwoodii

Planted for the scent.



Styrax japonicus

Bumblebees and jumping spider


A Rhododendron. 


Goldfinches and bees

Red campion




Devil’s bit scabious

All bees

Snakes head Fritillary


Lady’ smock, Cuckoo flower

Orange tip butterfly Pls see link

Garlic mustard

Ground ivy

Please see this link


Holly Blue butterfly and lots more

Wild strawberry

Pigeon, mammals, slugs etc.

Barren strawberry





Insects and Bullfinches


All bees


Butterflies, bees

Cuckoo and other bees

Please see



Fox cubs and mum

Cute cubs in the link  Check this link



 Native orchids

Common-spotted; Common twayblade; Southern marsh; Fragrant.


Bees and Goldfinches

Yellow rattle








Enchanters nightshade & Willowherb

Elephant Hawk moth


Numerous species

Finally, a few more pictures at

Guests are usually welcomed at our meetings. This one is fully subscribed though.

Many more u3a special interest group details can be seen at

Blog Archive