Fallowlees Flush Northumberland

Because of its lime rich seeps running down a slope to the Fallowlees burn a rich variety of species can thrive. The calcium rich water of the burn was covered in a large mass of  Chara vulgaris (Common stonewort). This is a green alga species. It is multicellular and superficially resembles land plants because of stem-like and leaf-like structures.

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A close up reveals a lack of flowering parts and delicate floppy structure, like a seaweed.

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This Marsh lousewort (Pedicularis palustris) was growing in acid conditions though it will tolerate alkaline soils. Not far away, Butterwort (Pinguicula vulgaris) was visible but no longer in flower. Butterwort been considered a magical plant in the Scottish islands. On the Hebridean island of Colonsay, it was thought, to protect you from witches  while cows were safe from elf-arrows if they ate it. Eriophorum of some kind is seen in the background. Commonly known as Cotton-grass it is a sedge.

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Long-stalked yellow sedge (Carex lepiocarpa) grows here, I wonder if it is pictured below

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Fir club moss (Huperzia selago) also liked the conditions. Clubmosses are very primitive plants that are found in rocky habitats, and on moorland, bogs and mountains. They reproduce by spores at the base of their leaves.

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It is always interesting to snap a moth but not always easy to identify it. This could be a Common lutestring. Chimney sweeper moth and various butterfly species were seen: Ringlet, Meadow brown and Painted lady.

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The flushes were rich in orchids like this Twayblade (Neottia ovata) pictured below and there were a collection of Common spotted (Dactylorhiza fuschii) with evidence of hybridization with other species.

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The orchid below smelled of cloves but had spotted leaves. Probably a Marsh fragrant (Gymnadenia conopsea ssp. densiflora hybrid with Common spotted orchid.

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Early marsh orchid Dactylorhiza incarnata subsp. coccinea is a striking red colour.

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A fine example of Heath spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza maculata) another plant that tolerates both acid and alkaline conditions.

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There was a large number of plant species, especially sedges, too many to document, but I took a few samples shown below. The clover is Zigzag (Trifolium medium).

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Reference: SSSI citation:https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/PDFsForWeb/Citation/1005880.pdf

Wildlife trusts

 

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