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I spent last Friday square-bashing with my friend Hilary, and what a brilliant day we had.

170628 ST3990 square-bashing (1)

For the uninitiated, square-bashing consists of taking a square kilometre that has very few existing biological records and walking the roads, tracks and paths through that square to see what you can find. Each month, my local biodiversity records centre SEWBReC publishes the details of just such a square in the counties they cover, Glamorgan and Gwent, in the hope that keen folks like Hilary and I will rectify the lack of records.

170628 ST3990 square-bashing (2)

Although the term square-bashing is not meant to be taken literally, we did have to bash our way through one field in our square kilometre, where the public footpath was completely overgrown (spot Hilary in the photo below), but on the whole the countryside was beautiful, with rolling farmed fields, old narrow lanes and, the best part, an ancient holloway (more on that in a future post).

170628 ST3990 square-bashing (3)

Hilary’s something of a whizz when it comes to plants so she recorded those and I did everything else – insects, fungi, birds, you name it! As I’m not a whizz at anything, I mostly take lots of photos and then have to work out the IDs when I get home, which takes time but helps me learn. I have just a couple of outstanding queries but reckon my total will come to around 80 and Hilary has about 90 plants on her list, so it was a very good result indeed. Here are some of my finds – can you identify them?