Cool but bright day, yesterday Roger and I took a toddle over the heath near Brockenhurst to try and locate any Neottia ovata (Lesser Twayblades) that might just be coming in to leaf, no luck on that one. A very useful exercise though as, if we had found some, we would have to look even earlier next year!
Following that, we found a lot of very healthy (and large) Spiranthes spiralis (Autumn Ladies-tresses) so we hope for a fabulous display later in the year, we also went on the hunt for Orchis morio (Green-veined orchid) knowing that a lot of them may have had their leaves nipped off by the ponies…and..we found a few tucked away under the protection of the Gorse. Now, it could be argued that the animals are a nuisance having eaten the plants, but it should be remembered that the reason heathland habitats in the forest support a diversity of wildlife is precisely because they are grazed by animals. This is a very difficult time of year for the poor creatures with very little normal grazing available and most of the plants should recover anyway.