Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ampthill Park - Gala Day.

The rain held off today which made for a very successful Gala Day for this marvellous community. Hundreds of people were wandering around the stalls, visiting the concessions, and watching the events in the Grand Ring...

...but I wonder if anyone noticed the marvellous display of plants on the steep south-facing sandy bank at the north end of the cricket pitch. This has the best display of plants in the whole Park.

Unfortunately, many just see it as a bit of a mess that needs tidying up, and I always fear arriving one day to find the wild plants gone and a boring grass monoculture in its place.

I can't believe that I've not noticed this plant before. It's the magnificent Weld, and there were a number of stately specimens on the bank. It's my 289th plant species for the Park!

You can't see it from this photo but, with it being early evening, the flowers are facing west. They would have been facing east first thing this morning before following the sun on its course through the day!

And this is Hare's-foot Clover, which is another special plant in my eyes. This is the only place in the Park where it's found...and it's found here in abundance. It's not the best photo, but I wanted to include the sole Cinnabar Moth that was flying about amongst the crowds!

Years ago, Hare's-foot Clover was a common plant in our fields, but it's become a lot less common with the onslaught of modern herbicides and the like. I just hope that the Council and Cricket Club keep this marvellous slice of habitat and give it a chance to continue to flourish here!

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