River Medway - Ashurst, Kent - 28/07/19

This area had two under recorded OS map squares on the Kent side of the River Medway with the opposite bank being in East Sussex. Here's some of the wildflowers I found on this day on a tiring walk along field edges and overgrown river banks.

Betony - Betonica officinalis

Bifid Hemp-nettle - Galeopsis bifida

Common Hemp-nettle - Galeopsis tetrahit

Tansy - Tanacetum vulgare

A white form of Musk Mallow, the usual pink forms were close by too - Malva moschata

The bright and colourful Common Fleabane - Pulicaria dysenterica

Marsh Woundwort, much less common in Kent than Hedge Woundwort.

Stachys palustris

Purple Loosestrife
Lythrum salicaria
My most interesting plant of the day was Water Chickweed found on an overgrown small island submerged when water levels are high.

Myosoton aquaticum (in the distance is Angelica sylvestris)

The bright red berries of Lord and Ladies from the flowers put out in late Winter/early Spring.

Arum maculatum

I find Damselflies quite difficult to photograph during the day as they fly off at the slightest disturbance, so I was pleased to be able to creep up on this Banded Demoiselle.

A view of the upper River Medway, to the left is VC14 East Sussex and to the right VC16 West Kent and for those who may be interested, I caught (and safely returned) a 13lb2oz Barbel here many years ago in what seems like a previous life now!

Rosebay Willowherb - Chamerion angustifolium (though scientific name has been updated now to Chamaenerion angustifolium)

This view of the river is typical of much of this area with dense stands of the invasive Himalayan or Indian Balsam 
Impatiens glandulifera, 
This plant cuts out light thus smothering any other plant beneath it.

They die off completely in the Winter, leaving bare banks which are then very vulnerable to erosion from Winter floods as there is no native vegetation left to protect it.

In one area there must have been 5000 Common Toadflax flowers in an area the size of a living room!
Linaria vulgaris

Some more photo of the Hemp Nettles

That was it for this day, hope you enjoyed it.


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