Bradford Botany Group

Lindrick Common

July 6th 2014

 

 

This is an area of Magnesian limestone and has a very diverse plantlife. It is situated just off the A57, west of Worksop. The day was warm and sunny and forecast to remain that way, so we looked forward to a good day of botanising. We were met by Kenneth, our leader for the day. Having crossed the busy A57 we were taken down a quiet lane leading to Lindrick Dale. This is a very picturesque area, with fine houses, and gardens literally growing out of the limestone cliffs, giving rise to some unusual garden escapes. The first was the tiny least yellow-sorrel, then lemon balm, busy lizzie and a hazel, with very large nuts, rather like cobnuts.

 

We meandered along and turned into the wood, which supports ash, sycamore, lime and yew, with smaller trees such as elder, hazel and holly. Guelder rose, wild privet and dogwood were less frequent. We were shown small teasel which was growing tall above the grasses but it has a small round head compared to common teasel and is much less common. By the side of the path we found some nice plants of sanicle.

Pale St. Johns Wort

At the edge of the wood was a disused quarry - an area of limestone grassland. The sun was now getting very hot and the butterflies were appearing - a lot of speckled wood, the dappled sunshine near the trees suited them and soon after ringlet and meadow brown started to appear. This was a wonderful place - the flowers were like jewels. Milkwort, cat’s-ear, yellow-wort, centaury, betony and greater knapweed gave lovely hues of blue, yellow, pink and purple. Our prize species of the morning was pale St. John’s-wort, a rare plant but sometimes locally common and it was doing well here. Climbing to the cliff top, we had good views and thought it an ideal lunch spot amongst the rockrose and bedstraw.

Marbled White on Betony

Continuing along the cliff top we found two nice plants - bee orchid and wild basil. Entering the wood to the east of the quarry, which consists mainly of beech and is a shady area for ferns, were hart’s-tongue and broad buckler. While stopping to look at ferns, John spotted a single plant of broad-leaved helleborine on the bank, a super find. Coming out of the wood we were again in a more open area by the side of a golf course. Some interesting species were seen along the track and included a good stand of field garlic, common fiddleneck and we were lucky to see common cudweed, which is local to this area. It was around here that we started to see marbled white butterflies, predominantly a southern species, and also dark green fritillaries.

Dwarf Thistle

We made our way back across the A57 and headed for the Common and here again was open limestone grassland with an abundance of flowers, many of which we had seen earlier on the quarry floor. One special plant that was abundant here was dwarf thistle with its prickly rosettes hugging the ground. A few plants just beginning to show their lovely purple flowers. The sun was still shining and it was a haven for butterflies flying all around us, some in pairs. Marbled whites were especially abundant along the path back, conveniently feeding on flowers so we could get a closer look at them.

Thanks Kenneth - we had a wonderful day!

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