Just to let you know that this year the whole of Bepton Down SSSI was alive with carpets of cowslips which are now setting seed.
The orchids are putting in an appearance and there are already a multitude of Common Spotted orchids covering the whole of the site with many more on the way.
For those with keen eyesight the Common Twayblade orchid is present in a few areas in far greater numbers than in previous years. These are all in the general area of the solitary Beech tree.
The Greater Butterfly orchid has a stronghold fairly near the lower kissing gate and there are a number of them to be seen in flower at present. They have recently been discovered in an area of Bepton Down which is non-access land (so closed to the general public) which is a welcome sight.
The White Helleborine is also present in just one small area and in fairly small numbers. They favour beech woods so….. that is a clue.
Amongst the butterflies on the wing at the moment: the Red Admiral and the Speckled Wood…
Enjoy it all. However please remember that dogs must be kept of a short leash at the this time of year (hares and their leverets are to be found in forms and there are also ground nesting birds). Also tread carefully making sure you do not squash the rare Helleborines and the slightly inconspicuous Twayblades and Great Butterfly orchids.
White Helleborine with a Red Admiral (top right) and a Speckled Wood (bottom right).