Orchids are showing well now and many of the grasses are letting it all hang out including Arrhenatherum elatius False oat-grass which is the abundant species on our roadside verges. These are already being hacked down before they reach their prime. The delicate beauty of this common grass cannot be appreciated from a car but nature’s perfection is all around us if we care to take the time .
A freely growing verge not only allows common grasses to do their stuff but there are many wildflowers tucked away there too and an abundance of invertebrates that are wiped out when the mowers come along. And of course, there are shrews, voles and Harvest Mice in there as well supporting owls, bats and Kestrels.
Some verges, where visibility is an issue, of course need to be maintained but I see our local authority wasting money right, left and centre – destroying nature just as it approaches its best.
Bee Orchids are one of the wild flowers that could benefit from better road verge management as it is fighting back and becoming quite an opportunist given the right conditions.
Common Spotted Orchid remains generally scarce in the wider countryside but Holme Pierrepont has them scattered around and a less glamorous relative, Common Twayblade, is around too though more difficult to spot.
Highlight among the invertebrates was this Painted Lady. I’d heard there were massive numbers of them in North Africa earlier this year, their population boosted by rains, but the anticipated big immigration has not transpired.