This morning I set off to walk from Fairlight through Hastings Country Park NR to Hastings, to look for migrant birds and photograph the Violet Helleborines.
as I walked along Shepherds Way in Fairlight I noticed some white spikes protruding from a heavily mown piece of grass next to the pavement. These were Autumn Lady’s Tresses, an orchid we used to see on our unmown front lawn, [as pictured here] , but not lately. There were about 100 spikes here – look for them on the RHS of the road to the clifftop, immediately beyond the roundabout. Further on I found a few more spikes on grass verges just before the Country Park entrance, so this attractive little plant is alive and well in Fairlight.
In contrast to these plants growing in full sunshine on short turf, the Violet Helleborines grow in rather gloomy woodland, requiring the use of flash- at least 5 spikes .