An unreliable memoir

On The Verge

Southern Marsh Orchid
Southern Marsh Orchid, Dactylorhiza praetermissa. Sony DSC-HX20V f3.2 4.5mm 1/800 ISO 100

You may have heard recently about Plantlife’s now annual road verge campaign. Britain’s road verges are home to 703 species of wild plants, more than in any other part of our landscape, and 87 of them are either threatened with extinction or heading that way. 88% of these wild plants provide nectar and pollen for bees and other insects, making road verges essential refuges for insect life. 21 of the 25 Nation’s Favourite Wildflowers grow on road verges. From cowslips and bluebells in spring to swathes of cow parsley and ox-eye daisies in early summer, road verges are home to most of the 25 favourite wild flowers as voted for by the public. Around half of my orchid encounters so far this year have been on road verges. I’d like to drive a lot less miles and admire my orchids in rural settings rather than trying to take photographs with cars whizzing past my ear ‘ole … but needs must.

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