Bison Hill and Pulpit Hill

Spent the early part of today looking for wildflowers. I first went to Bison Hill, Whipsnade – there were still a lot of pyramidal orchids, which I’d seen there about three weeks ago. I saw some red bartsia and some clustered bellflowers which I’d not seen there before. I took some photos of lesser burdock that I’ll eventually add to my web site.

I then drove to Great Kimble, Bucks., and followed the bridleway (where I’d started the North Bucks Way) up to the Ridgeway. I then had a good look round the open access areas on the northern side of Pulpit Hill. I also walked a small bit of the Ridgeway I’d not done before – when I walked here last year, my guide book recommended a slight detour from the official route. The section of official route I did today was very pleasant – the detour’s only advantage was it had good views north over the Vale of Aylesbury.

I didn’t find anything new, but there were a lot of the usual flowers I see on these chalk downlands – self-heal, ragwort, thyme, agrimony, lady’s bedstraw, red clover. There was some dark mullein, and I saw common centaury for the third time this week, not having seen it before Sunday. As well as about seven pyramidal orchids, I saw a couple of badly faded common spotted orchids. I particularly wanted to see these, as it was a common spotted orchid I saw here a year ago yesterday that sparked my interest in wildflowers.

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