Orchids in the Cotswolds

Orchids in the Cotswolds

May is such a lovely month – and made all the more beautiful by all the orchids popping up around the Estate and at Clattinger Farm – next door to the Lower Mill Estate.

Photo by Naomi at cotswoldfamilyholidays.com

#orchids #wildflowerphotography #CotswoldsWildlife #flowers #flowerphotography #naturephotography #nature

 

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Pyramidal Orchids

Pyramidal Orchids

Orchid season is still in full flow and one of the really distinctive orchids that can be seen around the Lower Mill Estate and Cotswold Water Park is the Pyramidal Orchid. It is a highly distinctive wildflower with a pyramid shaped head of distinctive pink flowers.

Photo by Naomi at cotswoldfamilyholidays.com

#orchids #wildflowerphotography #cotswolds #CotswoldsWildlife #lowermillestate

 

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Bee Orchids on the Lower Mill Estate, Cotswold Water Park

Bee Orchids on the Lower Mill Estate, Cotswold Water Park

One of the orchids that can be found on the Lower Mill Estate is the bee orchid. This small orchid is amazing in the way that it imitates a bee visiting it’s flower. The deception is made complete by the ‘bee’ part being hairy and the flower emitting the scent of a female bee. The mimicry is aimed at attracting passing male bees in the hope that they will visit the flower and so aid pollination. Interestingly, in Britain, this feature is unnecessary as the bee orchid is self pollinating. The Bee Orchid was once called the Humble Bee Orchid (Humble being a variation of Bumble) . I rather like that name!

At the moment bee orchids, spotted orchids and pyramid orchids can all be found by the ArtSpa – just a 3 minute walk from Daisy Chain.

Orchids loved by Naomi at cotswoldfamilyholidays.com

#orchids #wildflowerphotography #cotswolds #CotswoldsWildlife #lowermillestate

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A Feast of Wild Flowers in the Cotswolds

A Feast of Wild Flowers in the Cotswolds

We had a fantastic day yesterday exploring 3 amazing places to see spectacular wild flowers in the Cotswolds. We started off at Barnsley Warren SSI where the Pasqueflowers are looking superb. They are on a beautiful Cotswold hillside – the setting is stunning.

Next, we moved on to North Meadow~ in Cricklade which is an amazing meadow overflowing with Snakeshead fritillaries I hadn't realised just how large the meadow is…or quite how many Snakeshead fritillaries there would be.

In the afternoon we went to Clattinger Farm – an ancient meadow. It is a carpet of cowslips at the moment and the first Green Winged Orchids are making an appearance.

An amazing day – if you want to see the Pasqueflowers or the Snakeshead fritillaries you will have to move fast. They are at their best now!

Photos by Naomi at cotswoldfamilyholidays.com

#wildflowers #snakesheadfritillaries #pasqueflowers #wildflowerphotography #ns

              

In Album Spring Flowers in the Cotswolds

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Pasqueflowers in the Cotswolds

Pasqueflowers in the Cotswolds

Another hidden gem waiting to be discovered in the Cotswolds is the Pasqueflower This rare wildflower has been lost from many of the places where it used to grow, but on the Barnsley Warren Nature Reserve, just north of Cirencester it is thriving, with a population of approximately 20,000 plants.

Geoffrey Grigson, writing of the pasqueflower in 'The Englishman's Flora' wrote that it has, "…a fair claim to being the most dramatically and exotically beautiful of all English plants."

The pasqueflower site is well hidden – for detailed instructions on how to find it visit the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust site
http://www.gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk/reserves/pasqueflower

The Barnsley Warren Nature Reserve is also home to cowslips, early purple orchids and violets and has a good butterfly population. Rabbit and brown hare help to maintain the short grassland and common lizards can often be found on areas of bare scree.

This photo (credit Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust via facebook) was taken at the weekend – it looks like being a good year for the Pasqueflower, so if you would like to see it plan to go soon…and remember to tread carefully!

Posted by Naomi at http://www.cotswoldfamilyholidays.com/

#pasqueflower #cotswolds #wildflowerphotography #CotswoldsWildlife

 

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