Chalk grassland indicator species in South Downs National Park
Three days after visiting Crowlink, a smaller group of us found ourselves nearby at Gayles Farm. This time it was just myself, Chris (experienced amateur botanist) and Colin who was recording. It was a lovely sunny morning and the views were fab. The main image is towards the sea, with blue Vipers Bugloss, Echium vulgare in the foreground.
The view East was towards Eastbourne and the famous lighthouse on the cliff at Belle Tout.
The view West was towards Seaford and Cuckmere Haven.
Counting wildflowers at Gayles Farm
We found many flowers from the species list mentioned in Part 1. Photos marked with an L are plants that are on the list. We found many not shown, including Bird’s-foot Trefoil Lotus corniculatus, and Lady’s Bedstraw Galium verum.
Fairy flax – Linum catharticum
This delicate tiny white wildflower is found in short grass. L
Perennial Flax – Linum perenne
This Flax was new to me, having only seen the cultivated variety previously.
Long-stalked Cranesbill – Geranium columbinum
I asked Chris about this Cranesbill because it’s not one I’ve seen before.
Spear thistle – Cirsium vulgare
Hairy violet – Viola hirta
Once I had been shown this viola, I was confident with the ID as the leaves were substantial, a little leathery, and hairy. I’m looking forward to spotting the flowers in early spring. L
A rare wildflower spotted
Hairy Mallow – Malva setigera
This annual mallow is also known as Rough Mallow, Althea hirsuta. We came across it flowering on some disturbed ground at the edge of our field. It has been recorded here historically but not for some years. The ID has been verified by the county recorder. Although my pics were far from perfect in all the excitement, the long hairs and Mallow form are clear to see.
Looking forward to another visit to these flowery fields
That was such a beautiful morning, with the excitement of new finds as well as fab weather.