Thief! Parasite!

The north facing steep meadow slope to the north of Fariry Cave Quarry is a SSSI.  It has some interesting meadow species, including Lousewort which is in flower now.

Lousewort (Pedicularis sylvatica)  is a semi-parasite, stealing food and water from nearby plants.  There are many low clumps of Lousewort on these stepped steep slopes.

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Common spotted for how long?

Alongside the river between Harridge Woods East and West is a steep back at the side of a pasture field.   This used to have some of the best local displays of early wildflowers, although it was tending to scrub over as the cattle did not graze it.

Unfortunately it was cleared and sprayed with broad-leaf herbicide about a decade ago and has never really recovered.

I did manage to find some Common Spotted Orchids there today amongst the brambles and thistles that are now taking over.

Blaze of Yellow

Many of the fields towards Benter are Blazes of Yellow, as sheets of Meadow Buttercup  (Ranunculus acris) come into flower.  This can been seen in both the “improved” (fertilised) and unimproved (natural) pastures.

Meadow buttercups (Ranunculus acris) en mass
Meadow buttercups (Ranunculus acris) en mass

Late Cuckoo??

It seems that across the valley there are less Cuckoo Flowers (Cardamine pratensis) than previous years, and they seem a bit latter to.

Perhaps this is due to the exceptionally dry April and early May in 2017, not providing quite the right conditions for them?