Monday, April 25, 2011

Spring Wild Flowers in Weardale

Last autumn I posted some pictures of a walk up through Slitt Woods in Weardale, following the course of Middlehope Burn upstream. These pictures were taken this weekend, following the same route, starting with masses of sloe blossom in the woodland, attracting the attention of this green-veined white butterfly.

All through the woodland there's a fine display of primroses and around the hazels ...

.....these flowers of toothwort, which is a parasite on hazel roots, are in bloom.

The mountain pansies are just coming into flower in the grassland on the moorland edge. There are numerous colour variations.

Sedges thrive in the short, sheep-grazed turf. The yellow 'paintbrush' is the male flower, composed of numerous stamens, and the white feathery stigmas of the female flowers can be see further down the stem

The ruins of the old lead mine buildings form a natural rock garden for dog violets

Field woodrush, growing in the short turf.

The early purple orchids at the top of the woodland are earlier than ever this year, thanks to the warm, dry weather.

Marsh marigold thrives around the old lead washing floors, where lead was separated from crushed rock using the force of flowing water. The parabolic flowers of marsh marigold focus the sun's rays and the temperature inside the flower is always a few degrees higher than outside, making them a popular resting place for sun-basking flies.

Up in the edge of the high pastures cowslips are in bloom.


  1. I have never seen coloured Toothwort flowers ... only the 'tooth' like bits which are not very attractive and rather gruesome!

  2. Glad to see Spring working its way northwards! Strangely, we've not found an Early Purple yet, we mustn't be trying hard enough :o(

  3. Phil, It’s a very rainy Spring day so I thought it would be a good time to check in on you and the other Blogs I follow. Can not be out in the dirt so I am here at the computer. Your Spring country flowers are beautiful. In a couple of weeks here at the lake I will take the nature trail along the river and I know from last Spring there will be plenty of native plants blooming. Don't you agree, when you see these wonderful blooms, you feel so alive. Jack

  4. Hi Caroline, when you find a clean, fresh specimen the petals are quite an attractive shade of lilac but they do fade quite rapidly...

  5. Hi Graeme, spring's flashing past far too quickly! One of the good things about living in a hilly county with a coastline is that spring arrives early at the coast and much later up in the hills - which spreads it out a bit...

  6. Couldn't agree more Jack, it does you good just to find them ..... all the best, Phil