Thistledown

Thistledown_by_Belinda_Durrant

About the Hare

The subject of thistles is a prickly one, especially in our beautiful Cotswold grassland, where they are often ‘managed’ to restrict their spread.
This is sometimes necessary as they and other wild plants such as dandelions can be invasive and crowd out important but less vigorous species such as grasses and wild flowers.
But wait.
Thistledown the Hare is here to illustrate the incredible diversity of wildlife supported by the humble and often unwelcome thistle and dandelion.
The flowers of both provide an important ...
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The subject of thistles is a prickly one, especially in our beautiful Cotswold grassland, where they are often ‘managed’ to restrict their spread.

This is sometimes necessary as they and other wild plants such as dandelions can be invasive and crowd out important but less vigorous species such as grasses and wild flowers.

But wait.

Thistledown the Hare is here to illustrate the incredible diversity of wildlife supported by the humble and often unwelcome thistle and dandelion.

The flowers of both provide an important source of pollen and nectar for all sorts of bees, hoverflies, moths and butterflies such as meadow brown, orange tip, peacock and painted lady. The caterpillars of the painted lady feed on thistle leaves.

Many finches, goldfinches in particular use thistledown to line their nests and feed on dandelion and thistle seed.

Rabbits, hares and deer graze on leaves and flowers of the dandelion, so Thistledown is actually wearing her lunch!

This is why it is important that these ‘weeds’ should be carefully and sympathetically managed so as not to eradicate them entirely.

Artist

Belinda Durrant

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