Northern marsh Orchid
New shoots of broad-leaved Helleborine
The tip area near Stobswood is transfomed form a bleak dreary landscape in Winter to a lush and more colourful aspect in Spring. I counted more than 300 spikes of Northern marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza purpurella) on the Southerly sheltered area alone. Guelder Rose (Viburnun opulus) in older times was known as the Swamp Elder because of the damp habitats it is found in . It thrives along the permanently wet ditches along the sides of the old Stobswood pit heap. The name comes from Guelderland in Holland where a wild and unusual form of the tree is known as the Snowball tree due to the white tight clusters of sterile flowers. There are two types of flowers produced on the same head. The outer flowers which are sterile, attract insects into the inner fertile flowers in the centre of the flowering head. Along the footpath through the conifer plantations there were many new shoots of Broad-leaved Helleborine (Epipactus helleborine).
A good day for butterflies with Small Copper, Orange tip and usual Whites, Red Admirals and Speckled wood (at least 8) and a fine Red Squirrel in the tall Alders at the Western end of the tip.