Branched Bur-reed (Sparganium erectum)

This strange-looking plant, which can grow up to the height of 1.5 metres, may be found in still or slow-moving water. We find it in a few of our Wyre Forest ponds, track ditches and along sheltered banks of the River Severn. Each flowering spike has male flowers present above the female ones. The fruits, which can float, drop off when ripe and are viable for several months.

Branched Bur-reed, Longdon, 4 August 2017 ©Rosemary Winnall

Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus) in Bewdley!

A Grey Seal was first reported on the River Severn near Worcester on 17th November 2012. It made an appearance at Bewdley on 1st January 2013, and again on 4th January when this photograph was taken at 14.08 from Severn Side North when it spent about 15 minutes near the Rowing Club wall. Previously that day it had been seen at Beales Corner, near the Dowles outflow and was photographed eating a large fish on the west bank upstream of the bridge. This is apparently the first modern record of this species this far north in Worcestershire, but before all the weirs and locks were constructed perhaps seals were more commonplace?