Showing posts from August, 2016

Holly Hill Delights, nr Snodland, Kent. 3rd August 2016

Holly Hill is a large area on the chalk hilltops of the North Downs just West of the Medway Gap. There's a mix of pristine chalk grassland and remnants of ancient woodland. There's always something amazing to see here, if only for the views South and East. Don't be fooled by going into the woods by the Holly Hill car park, there's not much to see there. Instead, walk back along the road to Birling Hill, cross that road and the chalk grassland opens up before you. As you enter you don't know where to look first, flowers, butterflies and bees everywhere. However if you are planning a visit, I am writing this 3 weeks later and by now most flowers will have by now gone to seed. I'd just walked in from the road and found this Eyebright and Common Centaury growing together. Euphrasia sp. & Centarea erythraea Carline Thistles love the chalk, but from standing height they look, well, rather dead! Look closer and you may se

England Coast Path Sandwich, Kent. 30th July 2016

This blog should have been done before the last one on Strood, but I missed it! We had a day out at Sandwich, a small town on the East coast of Kent. There are many botanical rarities in this area, so when I heard that a brand new public footpath had been opened, called the England Coast Path, I thought we had to walk it. On the way we stopped on the Thanet Way for a drink, so naturally, I had a look around. This is Mugwort with its flowers fully open! They are tall leafy plants which when crushed have a lovely smell. They grow just about anywhere as well. Artemisia vulgaris There were plenty of plants around, but the only other photo I took here was the underside of Wild Carrot. This shows its feathery bracts underneath, very distinctive. Most flower heads also have a red flower bang in the centre of the umbel (but some don't ). Daucus carota Lunch at McDs arrived so the camera was put away here. Got it just in time as well, as they had a power cut s

Botanical Recording in Strood West, Kent - 31/07/16

This OS square is under recorded, probably because much of it is taken up by the A2/M2 interchange with the HS1 railway going through it as well. However, there are some paths and areas to explore, which I what I did this day. I was fortunate enough to record 129 new records for this monad. I didn't get the camera out too often, but the following is what I did photograph. This is Common Fleabane, a plant that actually is Common and can be found on wasteground, shingle, dunes, road verges, just about anywhere really. Their leaves are light green and hairy giving it a silvery appearance, making them easy to identify. Pulicaria dysenterica Even alongside roads you can find wildflowers, such as this Fennel, with its fine, thread like leaves and umbels of yellow flowers making it very distinctive. Foeniculum vulgare Another plant that can be found anywhere the soil is poor, such as in pavement cracks, is this Annual Pearlwort, a very tiny plant with