Sunday, 5 July 2009

Orchids in the Dunes

Yesterday I joined Chorley NATS on a field trip lead by Peter Gateley to explore Ainsdale Dunes. We saw how sea couch-grass (which can withstand salt water) traps the sand to create small dunes so that the fresh water Marran grass can establish itself and create much higher dunes behind it. We also saw sea lyme-grass.

The range of habitats within the dunes is amazing ranging from sand to marsh. Plants included common spotted, pyramidal (left) and early marsh orchids and marsh helleborines (below).

In addition to the orchids, we saw grass of parnassus (left), sea and Portland spurges, common and sea centaury (rare), marsh cinqfoil (below) and many other fascinating plants.

I also got a taste for dewberries (similar to blackberries).

Photo of dunes copied from
All orchid photos are by Peter Burford and copied from

Other flower photos from
Photo of dewberries copied from Wikipedia.


The Weaver of Grass said...

Sounds interesting Carol - never heard of dewberries. I have a friend who is "orchid mad" and she has found a lot of interesting sites this year. There are certainly more of them about than we realise. Glad you enjoyed your day.

Coastcard said...

Just back from Scotland. I wish I had been able to have the Scottish orchids identified. Will hope to post a pic. on my blog at some point ... Is it a particularly good year for them, do you think?

Mistlethrush said...

I'm no orchid expert but have noticed quite a few common ones around.
That said, I believe it's a poor year for Bee Orchids, certainly around here anyway.

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