We love wildflowers and are very lucky to care for places where flowers flourish in the limestone grassland and spring woodlands. The diversity of flowers here is something that attracts people from miles around. Over half of the flowering plants and trees in the whole of England can be found just in Arnside and Silverdale.
With careful management – coppicing and scrub management and grazing, flowers are allowed to thrive and flourish and can be real showstoppers across our sites.
In Spring our wildflowers are a joy. After the dark slumber of winter when life all around is lying dormant under its blanket of cooler, darker, damper weather, spring pulls back the covers and shouts ‘wake up’!
Take a stroll through Eaves Wood and see the primroses, violets, bluebells and wood anemones scatter themselves along the woodland floor – especially in well-lit coppiced areas.
Or visit Bottoms Wood in Silverdale where the covering of white wild garlic flowers is a real treat for your senses – especially the pungent smell.
The cowslip field on Arnside Knott near Heathwaite in spring is also a delight to see with the yellow haze of cowslip flowers a stark contrast to the colours of Morecambe Bay.
Later in the year, Arnside Knott along with other sites like Jack Scout and the Lots in Silverdale are home to other wildflowers – orchids. There are 12 different species of orchids across our sites in Arnside and Silverdale many of which are rare due to the special conditions in which they thrive. Orchids which you can see here are;
• Dark-red Helleborine
• Broad-leaved Helleborine
• Bird’s-nest Orchid
• Common Twayblade
• Autumn Lady’s Tresses
• Lesser Butterfly Orchid
• Fragrant Orchid
• Common Spotted Orchid
• Northern Marsh Orchid
• Early Purple Orchid
• Green-winged Orchid
• Fly Orchid
Despite some of their 'blousy' names the leaves and flowers of orchids are small and delicate and very easy to miss to the untrained eye. It’s probably the success in growing them given their sensitivity to the environmental conditions they live in that makes them a wildlife highlight.
So if you get the chance head out for a walk in summer and see how many flowers you can spot in one day and keep an eye open for those orchids they might be hidden right by you.