A Sign of Age

A few photos from an Easter Sunday walk around Jenny Brown’s point and Gait Barrows National Nature Reserve
Great to see Forget-me-nots growing wild along the woodland edge
The far more unusual Moschatel with its bizarre 5 faced flower. Also known as five-faced bishop and townhall clock. Although easily over-looked within our native flora the structure of its flower is unique.
Hart’s-tongue Fern another common resident of damp, shady woodlands especially on lime rich soils. Supposedly the fronds look similar to the tongue of a male Red Deer. I don’t think I’ll be checking that one out too soon.
Ancient Ash stump at Gait Barrows.

Difficult to comprehend the age of some of the trees growing amongst the limestone pavement. Naturally stunted by the harsh growing conditions its not untypical to find 3m high Ash trees that are several hundred years old. The ancient Yews with an ability to regenerate themselves maybe thousands of years old.

Herb Paris just coming into bud.
A true indicator of an ancient woodland in Summer the flower is followed by a single black berry. Reputedly an antidote to highly toxic substances such as arsenic or mercury !
The familiar Primrose carpeting the woodland floor. Encouraging to see the management work being carried out by Natural England. The thinning and coppicing has made a huge difference. Hopefully, in addition to encouraging a more diverse flora the Duke of Burgundy, Pearl-bordered and High Brown Fritillary will benefit.
False Oxlip – the naturally occurring hybrid between the Primrose and Cowslip. Displaying typical hybrid vigour larger and far more sturdy than the Cowslip.
Male Brimstone nectaring on an English Bluebell whilst trying to look inconspicuous (not easy when you’re bright yellow).

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