Source I Love Arnside & Silverdale

Marsh Lousewort, Common Rockrose, Fly Orchid, Twayblade etc etc

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This was some of my garden today - Park Wood, Hutton Roof Village (Click over to enlarge)
I like these open areas and always think they might be suitable for "Flycatchers" as well as Redstarts

Tuesday 23rd May 2017 - The Rakes and Park Wood - East Side of Hutton Roof 1200hrs to approx 1500hrs.

The weather was lovely and sunny and warm, and it turned out just another cracking afternoon with plenty going on as usual.  I thought I would try and check out the two Redstarts I have not yet been able to confirm having returned.  But again today I have ended up drawing a blank or they are remaining stum!  I will be back again very soon.

Just at the new development in Hutton Roof village there must have been no less than 30 House Martins hawking the local skies and ticking away as they do - such a pleasure to see so many all really enjoying themselves whilst calling to one another as though they were laughing with guilt!

Little in the way of birds today I'm afraid but there again what does one expect starting off as late as midday! the only calling birds seem to be a few Willow Warblers, a single Chiffchaff, one Blackbird and the usual tribe of Robins, Wrens and Blackbirds.  No Redstarts and No Flycatchers to report today.

Butterflies were out in good numbers with 6 Small Heaths which have only hatched in the last day or two, a beautiful Brimstone (a cracking year for them!), Orange Tips, Green Veined Whites.

Flowers started well, I even managed my first Common Twayblade whilst ascending the Crags.  It looked like something had been feasting on its leaves which had become well "perforated"....



Common Twayblade found in Crags near Park Wood (Click over to enlarge)
And Twayblade was not the only Orchid of the day, I decided to go and have a look at one of my regular "Fly Orchid" sites and sure enough I managed to find two, but I think there would have been more if I could have spent the time checking out!  I did manage to get the following photo:

One of the lovely Fly Orchids (Click over to enlarge)

I could not resist but call of and say hello to one of our mega rare plants - the lovely aromatic (not today of course) "Daphne Mezereone" maybe not just as colourful today but still she looks great. Here is a peep for today:


Daphne Mezereone - Click over to enlarge
I think this maybe "Carnation Sedge"

I guess for me the highlight of the afternoon came when I discovered a hillside banking completed matted with Common Rock Rose, I just could not believe it - I'll bet it measures somewhere in the region of 100 yards x 20 yards deep, and although there are plenty of flowers scattered even now, it really is nothing to what there will be in another week or two!  but I guess my mind is racing on a bit because I am thinking about all them little Northern Brown Argus beauties waiting to pop out and take advantage of this great area.  It's in the diary now for a return visit very very sooooooon!

Not only that there are plenty of "Salad Burnet" in between the many clumps of carpeted rockrose. So to try and give you some idea this is the area:

Common Rockrose (Click over to enlarge)
This gives you a idea of the banking, which does go on even further (Click over to enlarge)
You can actually see odd flowers even now! 
This one shows how the flowers are scattered today, but lets see what a couple of weeks on brings!
This photo shows the "Salad Burnet" of which there is plenty in between the Rockrose.
"Marsh Lousewort" (Click over to enlarge)
Rare plant found on the East side of Hutton Roof close to water margins

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It’s time for Angular Solomon’s Seal and more

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This is how our Polygonatum Odoratum (Angular Solomon's Seal) looks today (Click over to enlarge)
Monday 22nd May 2017 - Dalton Crags, Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) Most of the afternoon

Garden Warbler bubbling away shortly after leaving Plain Quarry, Also had a new in Lesser Whitethroat arrive and singing away half way up "Hypericum Way" in lower Dalton Crags, also the Common Redstart was heard.  Heading up into Dalton deforested (upper section) a couple of Tree Pipits were seen and heard, and also our regular Cuckoo was calling from near the Lancelot boundary. But new today for me was the recent arrival of a Whitethroat which was singing away near the top close to the boundary wall with the Common. Spending over 30 minutes observing the bird good views were made.

First I thought I would check out the Cystopteris fragilis (Brittle Bladder Fern) which is on the first escarpment shortly after leaving Plain Quarry.  It's a lovely little fern and does well here in the near company of Scollies (Asplenium scolopendrium)  Here is a photo of todays little beauties.

Cystoperis fragilis (Brittle Bladder Fern)
Found a Peacock Butterfly on the track whilst going up Hypericum Way and it looked like it was on its last legs, so I moved him of the track into the closeby vegetation.

I though I would check out some of our special "Odoratums" - Angular Solomon's Seal and a good job I did because its quickly coming up to their very best.  I checked some local populations at various spots in Lancelot Clark Storth (Cumbria Wildlife Trust) and the plants and flowers were looking really good and here are photos showing how well one particular plant is looking this year.




Both photos are of Polygonatum Odoratum (Angular Solomon's Seal)
seen today within Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT). I think this plant is probably the
best I have ever seen for flower bearing!

Birdsfoot Trefoil and Mouse Ear Hawkweek is getting going everywhere. I also managed to find some new to me "Common Rock Rose" (obviously not in flower yet), but another nice piece to enter into the records. 

The Milkwort was absolutely stunning and it had turned the hillside patchy blue, not quite as good as a lavender field but still a lovely sight.  There are several different colour variations with our Milkwort ranging from a pinkish colour to the very dark blue colours shown below. This hillside seems to be a magnet not only for Milkwort yet also for Tormentil and later in the year the same area opens itself up to multitudes of beautiful orange and yellow coloured fungi's like waxcaps and staghorns.  I think currently that hillside would be better named "Torment Hill on the Milky Way" and that's what I will start to call it on my next drawing.


Both of the above photos are Common Milkwort (Click over to enlarge) - Just within yards of one another you can get variations ranging from a pinkish colour to all shades of blue - the dark blue (like this bottom photo) are thriving this year on Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT)
I noticed also today that our beautiful "Woodruff" or as some say "Sweet Woodruff" was doing well and showing many in flower.  They reckon where this grows is a indicator to ancient woodland. Not today but in the past I would always grab a leaf or two of the "first flowers" to chew the leaf which tasted very much like Vanilla.  I am told not to chew too many or you might end up with major liver problems!

Woodruff - always in the shade - Another member of our beautiful Bedstraws


I checked out one of the sites for our special "Montanums" and yes right on cue they are coming through and look good, they are only at about 4" at the moment.  Last year we lost the main small population which had a bunch of five flowers in it!  guess what I checked the spot out today and it does look like they may re-appear this year or at least I can see three of them coming through, so its fingers crossed.  Here is a photo showing their progress today:

This shows a couple of early Montanums starting to come through
(Click over to enlarge)
Today I also decided to check out the quickly fading "White Early Purple Orchid" which is now obviously showing signs of tiring, but what a stunning plant it turned out to be again this year.  Also whilst there I did some searching around for the special "Fly Orchids" and did manage to find a couple blowing in the wind, but so small at the moment and difficult to get a photo shot with this wind blowing at about 20 mph.

Our White "Early Purple" Orchid (Click over to enlarge)
Photo: Kindly shared by Robert Ashworth of Kendal (photo taken approx 10 days ago)
Mountain Melick in Lancelot (CWT) (Click over to enlarge)
difficult to photograph today because of the strong winds.
This is a place I call "Garlic Wood" because it smells good, it taste good and by sure it does your good!
Ramsons as far as the eye can see, so you get the whiff of garlic from along way away before you actually reach the wood!




And above are two more photos from today showing the beautiful pavement with such deeply shaped grykes - some filled with Angular Solomon's Seal and others filled with Rigid Buckler Fern and between them that is what made "Hutton Roof" a SSSI site (Originally Rothchild's Reserve No.193)

Monday 22nd May 2017 - "Middleton" Nr. Heysham - Lancs - Mid morning

Had a stroll around one of my favourite places "Middleton".  It is a fantastic place to brush up on my "warbler" calls.  And as usual I was inundated with WHITETHROATS, LESSER WHITETHROATS AND SEDGE WARBLERS - I guess I counted over ten Lesser Whitethroats and thats without even trying!  I probably covered about one tenth of the territory

Monday 22nd May 2017 - Other great news!

Alec over at Dalton hamlet has had a male Pied Flycatcher in his garden today.  Its a great record for the area.

Robert has recorded a further Dinghy Skipper and two Small Heath Butterflies on Hutton Roof today

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It’s time for the Lily Of The Valley

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This is a photo I took from previous years (Click to enlarge)
from Dalton Crags

Thursday 18th May 2017 - Swift Watch - Meet at Burton In Kendal Memorial Hall at 1900hrs
Everyone Welcome

Thursday 18th May 2017 - Clawthorpe Hall - approx 1500hrs

Two Swifts seen high above Clawthorpe Hall


Wednesday 17th May 2017 - Dalton Crags - 1000hrs to 1115hrs

Five grouped Redpoll flew from the Beech over towards Storth Woods "eruptive group flight calls".  I thought all birds would have been paired by now!  Also two Swifts hawking over the lower Crags. The Redstart still could not be heard so I presume this spot will be vacant this year. Tree Pipit usual place and display and calling. Blackcaps and Garden Warblers singing away along with Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers.

The Lily of the Valley should be making a good photo (for now this is last years photo), also I checked out two of the regular spots for the Angular Solomon's Seal and there doing fine (just two flowers at the moment.)

Also Wednesday 17th May 2017 - Robert Ashworth has kindly sent in the following records for today on Dalton, Lancelot and Burton Fell and also The Common

Cuckoo Evidence of 3 birds today from both Dalton Crags and Burton Fell/Lancelot (photos to add very soon).  Common Redstart - 3 birds singing today from Upper Dalton Crags, Park Wood side also and another in Lower Dalton (I will have to check with Robert because this could well be the bird I have been waiting for!).  Whitethroats - Males heard singing at three separate places. One upper Dalton deforested (the most showy), one in lower deforested, and one in open woodland near Hypericum Way (The Bonk!).
Also Robert had Dingy Skipper butterfliy on Burton Fell.  Also Fly Orchids out at NE of Trig, also in Lancelot, Burton Fell.  (Thanks Robert for these records) Here are Robert's photos:


Male bird in Dalton deforested 
Photo: Kindly shared by Robert Ashworth (Kendal)



Female bird (note the brown in the neck area) in Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) deforested 
Photo: Kindly shared by Robert Ashworth (Kendal)


Field Vole seen on "The Common" today NE of the Trig
Photo: Kindly shared by Robert Ashworth (Kendal)

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A Bit of This, That and Tuther!

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Lovely balanced tables - everywhere! (Click over to enlarge)

Sunday 14th May 2017 - Hutton Roof (East Side - Pathway 2) 1200hrs to 1500hrs

One of our regular Garden Warblers was recorded as being back and singing merrily away on the East Side above Kelker but on the Pathway No.2 (which runs to the East side of Mossy Stones).  Also checked out the 2nd population of Beech Fern we have on the East Side of Hutton Roof and this is doing well - all OK. Also checked out Pathway No.1 for the Kelker Redstart, but still no calling coming from its known place far down below! nem mind try again very soon I hope.

I wrote the following stuff whilst on the hoof today because that's how my mood seemed to take me so it may be a little scrambled to you, but its all OK (don't worry! thank you)

Looking up towards the squaking calls high in the sky, and the Crow is hoining the Buzzard whilst his/her mate watches on! but why do they do that because the Buzzard could soon sort out the Crow if he/she really wanted too. Well the Crow soon tired and soon broke away from offering that torment, whilst cawing out loud to tell the World he/she had won!
Willow Warblers are everywhere and their calls are bumping into one another - great isn't it - think of those Winters when we don't have a single WW call, well this makes up for all that..... must have had over 20 calling in such a small area - a spot for "good insect grub I'd say".
And now the "hum" of a very close BIG fly sounding to my left ear whilst at the same time my right ear listens to the distant sirens of a passing emergency ambulance down on the motorway far below.
Redpoll the little beauty high over this Golden (Yellow) Gorse calling "Chum chi chum chi chum and more" Nesting not far away I'll bet!
Speckled Woods and lots of other flying "spectacles" but never a proper name to go with them (one day I might study to be a entomologist!)
Wow that wind gust every now and again and today it was 20mph and which had changed to coming from the NW direction - well that's different its been Easterlies and South Westerlies for ages.
A "Yaffler" calls from over the other side - the same path which leads eventually to Uberash or up to Burton Fell.
Dulling down (ny) Blue Moor Grass with occasional Magenta of the EPO (Early Purple Orchid) smiling through its jungle of wild disowned grasses, Til torment was given, and also by the drooping heads of Cowslips, but too early for Dropwort which abound right here (very soon) and no "flitter" of fritillary today - maybe a couple of weeks away and then the Small Pearl Bordered Butterfly will rule!
Wood Sorrel peeping through with its special leaves which I am sure if airborne would spin and spin and spin.
Lovely stuff! Our Garden Warbler has returned for yet another year to it's almost same spot! and today it's generously bubbling away with such a special tune which I want to capture in my mind and keep forever. I came up last Friday looking for him but no sign and so today's perseverance (return visit) has paid off!
Beeched again with a four metre area of that fine fern which just at this point lines our path, its a well liked fern by the many and not just the Pteriologist. It's triangular shape which stands on two dangling legs and loves the company of others. There are 8 families of this special fern on Hutton Roof and this particular family is a probable breakaway from the "Kelkerites" clan.
That wind is making such a noise from the outside!, yes for me It seemed at this point like I was cocooned whilst travelling through a woodland closed on canopy, so well protected yet you could hear all the noisy din on the outside!
Robins are singing all along the route - how many birds can there be! they seem to be every 50 yards or so or is it the same old Robin "bob bob bobbing along the way". Without doubt up here they must be the commonest bird today and nice today to see them for now friendly and not sparring up against their fellow neighbours.
Looking down toward the floor the only leaves I recognize are "Sanicled Strawberries", what the heck are them you may say! so sorry about that and what I should say is that the leaves are that of the shady Woodland flower "The Sanicle" and lots and lots of leaves from the "Wild or is it the Barren Strawberry". Everywhere I have passed have shown Dog Violets.
Another Chiffchaff is singing and I am sure it's a new site, whilst at the same time that sad Bullfinch pipes his woe - lots of Bullfinches about is also great news!
This woodland is full of Juniper and Yews and I'' bet there could be rare Pugs or moths about that frequent the "gin berry trees", in fact I do know a guy who comes up regular to try and find them!
Looking over to my right there are so many of these "stone tables" (look at the photo at top of page)
they seem to spring up all over the place and must have balanced for many a year on their precarious looking small boulder supports. It remind me just of that blinkin heavy rucksack I carry which seems to get heavier every day I go out!

Its a heavy load I have to bear, 
my back feels like it soon will tear,
With a sack full of binos, camera, glass (both 10x and 30x), spare pen, notebooks, waterproofs, water flask, sun hat, brollie, set of numbers in readiness for the "orchids", my gps, spare batteries for camera and gps, plasters, and probably a score or two more things as well!

"Be prepared" that's what they taught me as a little lad"

Lots more to write about but had enough for now, but please come back soon

PS: Nearly forgot on way back had another new Chiffchaff, and do you remember old "(Miss) Miss-A-Note" down in Lancelot, well this one is calling with missed notes and different octaves and so I have lovingly called her  "(Miss) Miss-A-Double-Note"

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Lovely BEECH FERNS etc etc

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Today's special garden (Mossy Stones = the nickname I gave this place) and home to "Sanicle" and also to Wood Melick Grass

Today I checked out the East sides of Hutton Roof above Kelker and before the Rakes to try and ascertain if a regular Redstart had come back,  and also to check out a couple of Garden Warblers, a regular Yellowhammer and several Tree Pipits.  Well I must say I was a little disappointed because I had none of them calling at any of the regular spots. Although very thick with Chiffchaff (the two regulars) and lots of Willow Warblers.  I will try and cover the same ground in a week or so.

Yet it was never too much because I did manage to see some regular Beech Ferns coming through which in themselves were spectacular! its a good population which I have had mapped out for a couple of years now and I would say they measure over a area of at least 3 metres.  The Sanicle is coming through at regular stops along the shaded woodland route.  Checked out Mossy Stones and within the lovely Wood Melick grass is coming through well along with even more sanicle.

I noticed a flattened down area in the bracken were obviously a badger/badgers had been present with lots of tufts of badger hair about and wondered what had been going on (see photos below).  I thought maybe it had been doing some moulting, but there again I think perhaps being a little more realistic had two badgers been fighting! and It also crossed my mind that even something more sinister had gone on! (I really hope not!).

Here are some of the photos from today:

Wood Melick Grass (Click over to enlarge)
"Sanicle" a plant of shady woodland (Click over to enlarge)
Beautiful Beech Fern now coming through (Click over to enlarge)

Young Beech Ferns coming through - what little beauties! (Click over to enlarge)
Badger Fur - Whats been going on?  (Click over to enlarge)

Badger Fur (close up) (Click over to enlarge)
Rigid Buckler Fern at the base of the limestone (Click over to enlarge)

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Getting ready for some Scollie Specials

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Yesterdays "beautiful garden" checking out flora specials (Click over to enlarge)


Wednesday 10th May 2017 - Slape Lane and Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) 1300hrs to 1500hrs 

Recorded two Garden Warblers, also three Blackcaps and plenty of Bullfinch, a pair of Long Tailed Tits and the swiftest of Merlins.  Also a great day for butterflies with yet another Brimstone, Peacocks, Orange Tips, Speckled Woods.  I also traversed a area which could well have produced Small Pearl Fritillary but none for me today (reports of them being seen yesterday - much further South).
New for the year flowers included Yellow Pimpernel.  Managed a great Birds Foot Sedge photo (Carex Ornithopoda)

Birds Foot Sedge (Carex Ornithopoda) (Click over to enlarge)
This photo is great because you can see the "Birds Foot Flowers"  check the next photo as well

Birds Foot Sedge (Carex Ornithopoda) Click over to enlarge
this photo shows the flower and lets you see the talons etc


and I just thought well maybe you would like to see some of the very special varieties of Asplenium
Scholopendriums (Scollies) we had last year in Dalton Crags or on Hutton Roof complex. Click over them to enlarge


"Cristatum" 

"Undulatum" 


"Marginatum"

"Ramosum"

"Crispum Greening"

"Crispum Ploverland"


"Crispum Yorke"

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Swifts have returned (5th May 2017)

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Swifts in Burton - with families at the Manor House, and the Royals from the old Royal Hotel, and another closeby
family in Cockin Yard  (Click over sketch to enlarge)


Friday 5th May 2017 - Regular checks for SWIFTS on Main Street, Burton in Kendal.

1730hrs:  First arrivals with six Swifts hawking the skies above Main Street will have only just come back in within the last hours. Checked out at lunchtime and there were no birds in then.

CUCKOO Had a couple of reports now, of the return of another Cuckoo being heard calling over the Park Wood/Rakes side of Hutton Roof.  (Now two pairs on Hutton Roof).

Tonight Friday 5th May 2017 - Woodland Walk over at Park Wood for the Hutton Roof Village Community (arranged by Richard C)  1845hrs to 2100hrs

Recorded three Garden Wablers (2 of the regular sites) also a couple of singing Blackcap, Willow Warblers (several), Chiffchaff and all the more regular common birds.  Did not have the regular Common Redstarts so need to visit again to check them out, and maybe a little early for the Spotted Flycatchers.

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Common Redstarts have now arrived

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Common Redstart (Click over to enlarge)


Tuesday 2nd May 2017 - Hutton Roof (Dalton, Lancelot, Burton, The Common - Reports via Robert Ashworth.

I have now just heard (1500hrs from Robert Ashworth over in Kendal) who has just returned from Hutton Roof having seen two REDSTARTS singing males - One in upper Dalton and the other one at the top of Lancelot.  It all ties in maybe a day or two earlier than normal. Also more TREE PIPITS recorded in Lancelot and Burton Fell. Additional GARDEN WARBLERS two singing in Lancelot and one singing in Burton Fell.  His bonus today was...... OSPREY which flew down the valley heading to the west towards Yealands

Must give another check over tomorrow of the West side REDSTART haunts for now here is that unmistakable call: (please click over arrow)





I am also told that this little beauty will be showing within the next 10 days, thats if it survives the attentions of the deer, rabbits, hares etc etc.......for now last years photo:

Early Purple Orchid - 12th May 2016 (Click over to enlarge)
Photo: kindly shared to us by Robert Ashworth



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"Entanglement of Bluebells" plus other things

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A very special Bluebell Wood on the Dalton Hall Estate (Click over to enlarge)

This is what I call "A Entanglement of Bluebells" (Click over to enlarge)

I decided to-day to check out another area of the Dalton Hall Estate (with permission) where I will normally get really good numbers of Common Redstart and Tree Pipits together with Garden Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers.  I was lucky to record two GARDEN WARBLERS returned to their normal territories, but still waiting for the Redstarts and Pipits to arrive.  Whilst over there I just could not resist calling in to check out the fabulous BLUEBELL Woods and as usual never disappointed with the results. This is just a sample and the aroma which was fabulous!

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Garden Warblers have arrived!

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Garden Warbler (Sylvia borin)

Thursday April 27th 2017 - Lower Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) and thereabouts 1400hrs to 1600hrs  "Bang On"

Well I bet there was a large "fall" of the little beauties last night because I had one while walking along Slape Lane on my way out, then I was lucky enough not just to hear but to see as well at its usual site in Lower Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT), and if that was not enough I had the pleasure to hear a couple more on my way back on Vicarage Lane.  Also told Swifts are coming into the Country in their hundreds and will be with us soon!

Garden Warbler arrivals past history at Hutton Roof are:

4 on 27th April 2017, 2 on 23rd April 2016, 1 on 26th April 2015, 1 on 27th April 2014, 1 on 27th April 2013, 1 on  25th April 2012 and 6 on 22nd April 2011.  So from these accounts APRIL 27th seems a very popular arrival date

I had this little beauty below as well.  In fact I was taking a photo of a settled Speckled Wood when right at the side came along this lovely large red damsel fly which allowed me to take a photo. Besides the SW I also had a Peacock and another male Orange Tip.

Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) Click over to enlarge
I had lot of Blackcaps at all the regular places just off Slape Lane and again in the Low Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) areas.

I could not resist taking photos of the Bluebell/Wood Anemone Woods and also noticed along the way in flower Wood Avens and Bugle and quite a few of the rare Spring Cinquefoil, also Herb Paris.  Also the rare Birds Foot Sedge is probably showing at its best which is very early by a week or more weeks.


The beautiful rare Spring Cinquefoil

Birds Foot Sedge (Carex Ornithopodia) also see photo below
Click over to enlarge

Birds Foot Sedge (Carex Ornithopodia) Click over to enlarge
Now if you viewed it in about 2 weeks time you will find several of the flowerheads like this.
With bird talons - hence "Birds Foot"
Bluebells and Wood Anemone (Click over to enlarge)
Herb Paris - Click over to enlarge
Indicator of Ancient Woodland