NORFOLK PLANT HERITAGE
WILD FLOWER WALK - NATURAL SURROUNDINGS
26th & 27th May 2016
Our thanks go to Anne and Simon Harrap at ‘Natural Surroundings’ on the Bayfield Estate for their hospitality on successive evenings. They lease eight acres of land from the estate and promote wildlife friendly gardening there. This was a most interesting visit and we spotted lapwing, a barn owl and a heron although, of course, the otters were elusive. Set in the Glaven valley various areas included a butterfly garden, herb garden and vegetable garden and new woodland garden as well as mini-wildflower meadows, wet meadows and riverside woodland - not forgetting the three Soay Sheep. The river provides a habitat for trout, eels, otters, brook lamprey and white clawed crayfish whilst we were most impressed with the biennial Isatis tinctoria more commonly known as Woad and used for dye production, in the herb garden. One of the most interesting areas, however, had plants growing on the exposed chalk substrata with common spotted orchid, betony, bee orchid, maiden pink etc. Returning to the shop there was a spending spree followed by tea and cakes, a lovely way to end the evening.
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Words by Brian Ellis, photos by David King