Saturday, 22 August 2015

Gatekeepers and devil's-bit scabious

TODAY we went for a gentle walk around the paths NW of Litton in Somerset.  I was not expecting to see any unusual sites of interest, so was really surprised to come across two spectacular uncut meadows full of flowers adjacent to ancient woodland.

Devil's-bit scabious, betony and meadow sweet, were the most dominant, but there were scatterings of salad burnet, orchids, cowslips, lady's bedstraw and, usually, dyer's greenweed.

I've never seen D-BS in such profusion on a flat meadow site.  It turned out that we had stumbled upon a SSSI: Long Dole Wood and Long Meadow managed by SWT and an adjacent site.  The main butterflies on the site were gatekeepers, which are quite lovely in themselves:

Small skipper

The meadow looking back to the woodland from where we emerged


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