They're such beautiful little orchids, coming in a range of purples, from deep amethyst, to pale mauve, lavender and even the occasional pale pink one. In the past we've seen white flowers, but couldn't see any today. Each plant seems to be unique, with different colours and patterns on the petals, almost like a fingerprint. All have the green veins on their 'wings' that give them their name though.
A meadow full of orchids is such an unusual site these days that it feels like you're stepping into the past as you walk around. At one time meadows like this were commonplace, but these days it's such a privilege to be able to visit somewhere like this.
Some of the orchids had made their home amongst the cowslips, putting on an even more dramatic show.
We had a good look around for marsh orchids and found a single plant that was just starting to flower. We also found lots of adder's-tongue fern growing in amongst the grass, which is another indicator of ancient grassland. This is a strange looking fern that I always think looks like a little green rabbit ear, with a single grooved spike growing out of it.