Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Flies and Fragrants and White Helleborine

Fly orchids are out now. Please keep an eye out for them, there are several old records that need to be refound.

Old 20th century records come from Castle Hill Wood, Totternhoe, where they may still occur. They were also recorded in the wooded area to the west of the Barton cutting above the A6, and also below the wood on the now rather scrubbed over steep hillside.

Other places where they were recorded include in the woods near Clapham, Kempston, Stagsden and Wilstead.

Fly orchid. Richard Revels
Any wood on calcareous soil could hold them, and they sometimes also occur in open and semi wooded areas.  Chris`s table gives  the locations.
1976 1986 Totternhoe Church End tetrad Above Cross Keys SP980219
1886 1886 Kempston Wood SP94Y
22-May-1955 22-May-1955 Hanger Wood SP997495
1935 1953 Runley Wood TL066214
10-Jun-1994 10-Jun-1994 Barton Hills SSSI TL089298
1-Jul-1832 31-Jul-1832 Wrest Park TL03X
1886 1886 Wilstead Wood TL04R
1882 1882 Milton Ernest TL05D
1935 1953 Clapham TL05G
1959 1959 Brown's Wood TL0355
1882 1885 Hyde Hoo Lodge, near TL1118
1-May-1843 31-May-1843 Gravenhurst Possibly Cainhoe TL13D
1909 1909 Pegsdon TL13F
1798 1798 Shefford Chalky pastures near  TL13P
1795 1795 Hollwell Bury Field TL13S
1867 1867 Basmead Manor TL16K
The first record is the Castle woods, and the Cross Keys does a good coffee and excellent food so there`s no excuse not to visit!
The Barton hills record was from open grassland with scattered scrub and could easily still be present.
Fragrant orchids are just coming out also, and have a  more restricted distribution than many other June flowering Orchids in the county. Colonies seem to be fairly static in my experience flowering in the same spot year after year. Here is the table.
1976 1986 Plough Inn, Eaton Bray tetrad SP91Z
29-Jul-1999 29-Jul-1999 Well Head RNR SP999203
1950 1950 Milton Bryan SP93Q
1798 1807 Stevington SP95W
16-Jun-1998 16-Jun-1998 Stockwood Park CWS TL085190
1974 1974 Dunstable Five Knolls tetrad TL02A
1880 1880 Zouche’s Farm near TL02K
1970 1975 Dyers Hall tetrad TL02P
5-Jun-1988 5-Jun-1988 Dallow Downs CWS TL074214
1973 1973 Galley and Warden Hills SSSI TL092265
1-Jul-1949 25-Aug-1950 Galley Hill TL09202725
1864 1864 Judge's Spinney nr Milton Hill TL0154
1798 1798 Clapham TL05G
1-Jul-1843 31-Jul-1843 Gravenhurst Moor TL13C
The Eaton Bray record looks like another opportunity for refreshment!
Stockwood park is a fairly recent record and well worth a look also. They could easily be lurking on Galley and Warden hills and Dallow.

Fragrant orchid
The Well Head Road- side Nature Reserve (RNR) is worth a look and the late date would point to the marsh fragrant  form which richard is very keen to photograph.
 A free copy of the "Wild Orchids of Bedfordshire" for the first finder of a confirmed Marsh fragrant  this year.
The lovely White Helleborine is also well out now.

1976 1986 Sewell tetrad SP92W
1885 1885 Dunstable Long plantation bordering Roman road to west of TL02B
11-Jul-1999 11-Jul-1999 Kensworth TL02F
05/06/1988 05/06/1988 Dallow Downs CWS TL070213
13-Jun-1957 13-Jun-1957 Warden Hills Triangle Wood TL02X
1-Jul-1949 25-Aug-1950 Maulden Firs woodland TL093274
2-Jul-1949 29-Aug-1950 Leete Wood TL088294
1976 1986 Cockayne Hatley Church tetrad TL24P
Most of these locations are still likely to hold White Helleborines. There is a much more recent record for Leete wood at Barton than the table suggests and i am sure they are there.
Maulden firs close to Galley hill looks agood orchid area.
White Helleborine can grow in open grassland with some scrub, but seem happiest when in woodland, especially with beech trees. Even isolated beech trees in grassland can have them beneath the canopy. White Helleborine thrive on their association with the fungi that live with the beech tree roots.
Good luck!