Showing posts from August, 2019

Folkestone Downs and Mersham, Kent - 02/06/19

Most years of late I have made the pilgrimage to the best two known sites for Late spider Orchids, so I thought it would be nice to see them at a different site for a change. For reasons of security (for the plants) I can't name the site, but anyone could find these if they put in the leg work to go and look for them in likely locations. At this site between Ashford and Folkestone there was a steep slope where I thought they would be and I exhausted myself scaling it and then traversing the slope to find them. When I did find them they were near the base of the slope after all! I suppose the moral is to start a search at the bottom then work up rather than head for the best looking areaat the start. Here's a selection of the plants I found in flower from this site starting off with the stunning Late Spider Orchids. Most were less than 8" tall. This species is only found in East Kent in the UK though is apparently quite common in northern France. Orchid

Fawkham Church area, Kent - 30/05/19

This area is local to me and only a few hundred yards south of where I live. There are relicts of Beech woodland over chalk and a few unspoilt areas, so the flora is relatively good. In those woodland areas were numerous spikes of White Helleborines. In previous years I had counted 72 in one area with most being bitten off by deer before flowering. However, this year most were in flower or in bud, so it was a good year for this species. The flowers usually don't open much, but there are always a few that open a bit more than others, and these, unsurprisingly tend to get photographed the most. For those readers that don't know, this is a wild orchid and only thrives in heavy shade, usually under or around beech trees on chalk or limestone. It's relatively rare and a Kent RPR species. Cephalanthera damasonium Another beautiful plant was nearby on a road verge, but this time it wasn't a native plant but a garden