Monday, July 4, 2011

Road Verge Wild flowers

Most of the major road verges around here have been mown but on some of the unmolested minor roads and farm tracks there are fine displays of wild flowers - like this handsome patch of giant bellflower Campanula latifolia in a farm gateway near Wolsingham.

This was the finest specimen of spotted orchid that I've seen this year, growing all on its own beside a minor road near Crook. This was the only spotted orchid that I spotted along a mile of verge - all on its own. But that's the magic of orchids - their minute wind-blown seeds can land almost anywhere.


The same verge hosted masses of tufted vetch Vicia cracca, climbing up through the hedgerow and a great attraction for bumblebees.

8 comments:

  1. WOW,thats so gorgeous,an amazing specimen XX

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  2. For the last three years I have complained to our local council about cutting down Southern marsh orchids on road verges. OK they may have crossed with common spotted orchids but this makes them no less valuable. This is in an area called Big Moor in derbyshire which has recently been taken over by the RSPB in association with the National Trust so hopefully in the future we will have more protection for these fine plants.

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  3. Hi Phil
    Last year I came across Crow garlic on a roadside on the edge of Morpeth, these plants turned out to be the only record for VC67 but this year the plants were doing well until the tiny narrow verge was cut. They must be quite resiliant as they have grown up again and are coming into flower. I will post some pics if the roadside doesn't get mown again.

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  4. Probably the tallest, densest spotted orchid I've ever seen Claire - amazingly varied, aren't they...?

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  5. Couldn't agree more lotusleaf...

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  6. Hi rmt365, it's infuriating when this happens isn't it? Very destructive to animals too - I saw a slow-worm a while ago that had been mangled during pointless verge trimming.

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  7. Let's hope the underground bulb re-sprouts Nigel. I gather that local authorities are often under pressure from tidy-minded members of the public to mow verges, even when they don't particularly want to do it. There was a fine specimen of columbine (most likely a garden escape but nice nonetheless) near Tow Law last year that was minced by mowers before it could set seed and liven up an otherwise dull verge.

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