Showing posts from November, 2020

Wrotham Water & Detling Hill, Kent - 28/06/20

 Wrotham Water is a rural country lane at the feet of the North Downs with virtually no habitation near. I botanically recorded the area in Autumn last year but returned now to see some of the Summer flowers that I missed on my last visit. Here's some of what I found.  Nettle leaved Bellflowers are found all along the scarp slope of the North Downs and here was no exception. The flowers resemble Harebells but are much larger and the leaves are like nettles. Campanula trachelium  Common Centaury is usually less than two feet tall with multiple flowers. however if you find a tiny one, look for a basal rosette. If present it's this plant, if not it's a relative! There is a BSBI field guide to tell them all apart which is worth getting. Centaurium erythraea     Below is Long stalked Cranesbill which is one of the less common of these small wild Geraniums. It's the only small Cranesbill with a long stalk so is easy to identify when in flower.   Geranium columbinum        An

KWT Lydden Roadside Nature Reserve, Kent - 21/06/20

 From Covert Wood (see last blog), I drove a few miles east towards Dover to visit this RNR managed by Kent Wildlife Trust. It was one I had never visited so I wanted to have a look around. Here are some of the plants I found there.   There were many pink Pyramidal Orchids on this RNR which is a steep hillside by the Lydden Rd off the A2. Amongst them was this white variant which occurs approximately just once in a thousand plants.  Anacamptis pyramidalis var. alba   I found several over the area, quite unusual. There were of course, hundreds of pink ones too. The yellow flower in the foreground is Kidney Vetch ( Anthyllis vulneraria) a food plant for the Small Blue butterfly. There were over a thousand Common Spotted Orchids too, a delight to see and this verge reminded me a bit of the A229 verge near Maidstone before it was "accidentally damaged". Dactylorhiza fuchsii I even managed to find an all white variant too. Dactylorhiza fuchsii var albiflora     In amongst all of t

Covert Wood, Kent - 21/06/20

 This day was all about going to find some Wood Vetch for the first time, a rare plant in Kent and one I'd never seen before. I did plenty of research and headed out in the morning to Covert Wood in east Kent. It didn't take long to find as it was close to where I had parked the car, but I literally had but one minute before the heavens opened and it poured with rain for a few hours. Given the Spring drought, I was pleased it was raining, it just made photography difficult as the camera is not waterproof. It was rather like Goat's rue with which I am very familiar, but the flowers were far more attractive being all white with deep purple stripes up the standard petals. The leaves were unlike Goat's rue though and entwined vegetation to climb up to the light. Goat's rue has no tendrils. Here's a photo of the whole plant with it scrambling up other plants to reach the light on a wide woodland path.   Ervilla sylvatica I've included lots of photos as it is such

Rye and Pett Level Areas of East Sussex - 20/06/20

 On arrival at the car park at Rye Harbour, we were astonished at the huge amount of people thronging the path to the coast. We have never seen it this busy with people shoulder to shoulder packing out the path. Given the supposed 2m social distancing rules, this was not for us, so we walked away from the beach and along by Castle Water which was virtually empty of people. Here are some of the plants I photographed here. Viper's Bugloss is an attactive plant on its own, but here was a shingle bank covered in it. It was quite a spectacle and the plants were full of bumblebees. My attempt at a backlit sunlit photo didn't really work! If you are thinking of planting a wildflower garden, especially in poor soils, consider planting these, they are fantastic. Echium vulgare Behind Rye Harbour church was a damp area full of Field Horsetail interspersed with Common Spotted Orchids, a combination I'd not come across before. Dactylorhiza fuchsii These plants looked fantastic close up