Dartford Heath 4th May 2018

The sandy, poor soil on Dartford Heath supports several interesting and some rare botanical species; some I'd lready found and others which were waiting to surprise me. Cytisus scoparius / Ulex europaeus Broom (left) and Gorse (above) are common on the heath and are perhaps the only wildflowers that the ordinary members of the public actually notice, for in the short grasses were thousands of tiny flowers. I was looking for Upright Chickweed,a very tiny inconspicuous flower that nestles in the grasses unseen. Fortunately, I had found it before so knew where to look. It's very uncommon to find one with its flower wide open, so I was very fortunate indeed to find one.   Moenchia erecta   All over parts of the heath were the delightful flowers of Birdsfoot. Amazingly for such a brightly coloured flower, these are so small they are all but invisible from a standing height. In the photo above ther

Therfield, Hertfordshire and Icklingham Triangle, Suffolk - 01/05/18

I'd always wanted to see a wild Pasque Flower since I saw it in my first wildflower identification books, so, I decided on a trip to Therfield Heath in Hertfordshire to see them, being one of the nearest venues to Kent. Another place I wanted to visit was Breckland in Suffolk and as Therfield is over half way there, I thought I'd combine the two venues in a single day trip. It didn't take too long to get there via the M25 and M11, yet some days it could take hours! On arrival, we parked in the reserve car park. It didn't look too promising as the only wildflower I could see were lots of Cowslips and not much else. There was a golf course and a horse galloping area, neither of which looked promising. Fortunately I had asked those in the know where to go and we set off for an area called Church Hill (not marked as such on the OS maps). This area was unimproved and it didn't take long to see the beautiful Pasque flowers dotted around the slope. For a sma

Botanical Catch Up! Kent - April 2018

As usual at this time of the year, I have fallen way behind in writing up my blogs. The warming, lengthening days and the explosion of species coming into flower, means I spend much of my free time out and about recording and photographing. As such, here's a selection from April of some amazing rare and beautiful common plants I found. First up is a special rare plant only found in Kent and Bedfordshire (to my knowledge), the Grey Mouse-ear. I don't think anyone really knows if it's a native or ancient introduction. Cerastium brachypetallum There were about 10 plants seen on a narrow compacted field edge on the Southern edge of Churchdown Woods, Fawkham. When I first found this new colony, there were hundreds along the edge. The following two years, the field was heavily sprayed and I saw none at all, so I am pleased they weren't totally wiped out. Here's a habitat photo for the Grey Mouse-ear, they were on the last bit