Tuesday, June 30, 2015

In the mire

The ruins of the old lead mine workings at the top of Slitt wood, along Middlehope burn at Westgate in Weardale have a lovely flora at this time of year.

Most of the green area that you can see in the photograph above is a mire, full of moisture-loving plants and .....

..... this area, where water constantly trickles out of the mine levels and across the old lead ore washing floor is home to some interesting species. Here are a few that were at their best this morning:

Marsh lousewort Pedicularis palustris, a partial parasite on the roots of grasses.

Ragged robin Lychnis flos-cuculi

Common butterwort Pinguicula vulgaris - for more on this carnivorous plant click here 

Northern marsh orchid Dactylorhiza purpurella

Marsh horsetail Equisetum palustre spore-bearing cone


  1. such lovely wildflowers! In this season (monsoon) our wildflowers are also seen in some plots.

    1. This is a place I often return to, lotusleaf

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    1. 150 years ago this was a hive of industry, Kate.Long underground tunnels, ore crushers, horse-drawn railways. They were tough miners that worked there, especially in winter. Now it's a wonderful nature reserve and the old water courses are breeding sites for dragonflies.

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