On Saturday afternoon, about 30 people attended a Wildflower walk in Hastings Country Park NR, expertly led by Jacqueline Rose as part of the Friends of HCPNR events programme. Jacqueline explained that we were going to be looking at a range of mostly very small plants, and began with two growing right next to the visitor centre, Field Madder-a relative of Goosegrass, and a miniature umbellifer, Knotted Hedge Parsley. A long list of plants built up as we went round, these included the inconspicuous Subterranean Clover [so named because its seeds develop underground] and the almost invisible Common Birdsfoot. A hand lens was needed to appreciate the beauty of its minute flowers, and to see the resemblance of the developing seed pods to bird’s feet. This plant seems to be responding well to management aimed at restoring acid grassland habitat.
As well as plants, as always time spent wandering around the park produced other things of interest, these included two much admired Cream Spot Tiger Moths, and at least 3 Green Hairstreak butterflies on the eastern side of Warren Glen.
Everybody enjoyed the walk and learnt a lot, it was good to appreciate that spring wildflower walks aren’t just about bluebells !