Tuesday, 20 June 2017
Either side of the paths we are likely to see many flowering plants thriving on the margins disturbed by walkers over many years. This is where the greatest density and variety of common plants are to be found, many of them familiar as weeds targeted by tidy gardeners but here given the space and freedom to show what they can do alongside others.
The last time I tried to count the number of these species I got to over thirty in June before giving up. And at times they create a mix of contrasting forms as might be compared with any highly managed herbaceous border. Further back from the margins the variety declines with less disturbance allowing the more vigorous species to get a stong hold.
I prefer the informal and unintentional effects of man's presence to the attempted planning of supposed nature reserves with grazing disturbance allegedly creating more diversity by the animals disturbance of the ground. I've watched these management fads for many years and seen no clear evidence that they work on this site, and certainly have left the place in a worse state than benign neglect would do.
I looked at this patch of grass with daisies, buttercups, speedwell etc and wondered how long it would be so pleasant bearing in mind the presence of 16 cows nearby.
As it happened the farm livestock did not get the chance. A few days later a party of SWT's workforce arrived with strimmers to perform a task much like that of the Highways people along the main road.
Some places have so far happily escaped. There we might see, among the many common flowers some Twayblade Orchid.
Unfortunately the white Vetch found in previous years only near the gate post here, has not been given a chance. As I've said before, machines dictate the work and humans are losing free will and handing over power.