Friday, 5 July 2013

Getting to know the calcicoles at Wren's Nest NNR

This isn't related to birding or drawing particularly, but is to my continuing efforts to learn more about plants so I thought I would write a brief post with some photos of the lovely flora I witnessed today! I spent a very hot and sunny day at Wren's Nest National Nature Reserve in Dudley, an excellent spot renowned for its world-famous Silurian fossils and limestone flora. I was carrying out fieldwork for a small project I'm doing for my Open University degree, about the influence of the geology on the plants growing at Wren's Nest.

The limestone reef mounds at Wren's Nest NNR, a brilliant spot for both fossils and plants.
One of my quadrats!
The wardens were also doing some plant ID training to brush up on their skills and I joined them for the first part of that which was very helpful, I learnt some new ones (especially grasses) and refreshed my memory of a few others. I still haven't quite managed to get my head around all the various hawkweeds/bits though, that is going to take me some time! The wardens were great and made me feel super welcome, many thanks to them! :o)

Here are a few of my favourite calcicoles (lime-loving plants) from today!

Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera).
Common Milkwort (Polygala vulgaris).
Hoary Plantain (Plantago media).
Quaking Grass (Briza media) - my favourite!

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