Bernwood Meadows are owned and managed by BBOWT and form part of Bernwood Forest. This is an ancient royal hunting forest that dates back to the 11th Century and has been protected since that time. It means that the meadows have never been farmed using modern farming machinery and are about as ancient and untouched as you can get.
We walked through part of the forest to find two large meadows, bursting with beautiful Green-winged orchids. The majority of them were purple, but even these had variations in colour and pattern. All had the distinctive veins on the wing petals, although in the dark purple flowers these can look purple instead of green..
|You can clearly see the veins that give the orchid its name|
In amongst the purple flowers there were quite a lot of pale pink flowers and even a few white ones. The range of colours amongst the flowers was quite surprising.
|Pale pink variety|
|A brighter pink|
|Pale pink, showing the green veins|
|There were a few white orchids in the meadows, |
but they still show the green veins
There were lots of other wildflowers growing in the meadows and in another month they'll be covered in Common Spotted Orchids. We also saw lots of tiny Adder's-tongue Ferns in amongst the grasses and other plants.
|Common Spotted Orchid showing a flower bud|
Then we spotted a large beetle larva crossing the path. Bug Mad Girl rescued it and put it out of harms way at the edge of the path. Have just been told it was a Glow-worm larva, which is really exciting!
A lovely morning, in a beautiful medieval meadow, with friendly and informative guides. Another great example of the wonderful work performed by BBOWT.