Monday, 6 July 2015
Newton in Bloom
Summer is officially here and the meadow at Newton Point is full of life! Home to Skylarks, Pippits and a multitude of butterflies, it is also home to a diverse range of wildflower species. At first glance it is a technicolour sea of buttercups and red clover, but look a little closer and you might be surprised at what you find.
The Northern Marsh Orchids are still in flower, dotted between clumps of Mouse-ear and the bright blue of Germander Speedwell. The grassland is also home to at least five types of Vetch but let us know if you can spot any more.
Yellow-rattle is in its prime. A vital meadow plant, it is semi-parasitic in nature, stealing its energy from the rich meadow grasses that surround it. Although this sounds rather aggressive, it plays a vital role in the meadow ecosystem. By reducing the nutrient levels in the soil, it reduces the competition posed by rich perennials and thick grasses, allowing the wild flowers to flourish. So we have a lot to thank this little plant for.
Pop your head over the bank and down on the rocky shore line you will find a much more coastal community. Small clumps of Sea Campion and Thrift contrast with the deep yellow of Bird’s-foot-trefoil, creating a very different species set to the meadow above.