Thursday, 12 June 2014
Climbing up the hill beyond Moorhead, I crossed a patch of undeveloped land, a sort of wide grass verge along the side of the road above a steeply wooded slope. I've driven by hundreds of times and walked across it many times too but perhaps never before at this time of year. So I had never noticed that it is full of wild flowers - among them purple clover, buttercups, and lots of beautiful purple and red grasses. The star of the show, however, has to be these orchids, which I think are Common Spotted Orchids (Dactylorhiza fuchsii). Not rare but still a thrill to see when I was least expecting them.
Someone clearly manages the land, as it was mown with wide paths at intervals, the better to explore and see what was there. I don't know who, whether it is managed by a local community group or by the local council. But it made me realise how even a small area can be important for wildlife. There were lots of insects, some butterflies and some bumble bees busily pollinating a large area of brambles. Must remember that... there will be blackberries to gather in the autumn!