Orchids of Danebury Hillfort

June 19, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Following a hot tip I hurried along to a new location in the Wiltshire downs, Danebury Hillfort, not far from Stockbridge. A 2,500 year old Iron Age earthwork ring fort and settlement. With a few iffy satnav turns I finally found my destination and a lovely one it looked to. Sweeping grassland running uphill to the fort's rings and ditches, a mixture of short and long grassland and plenty of tree and shrub growth giving a perfect habitat for my quarry.

I found a nice variety of Common Spotted and Pyramidal Orchids and the remnants of Early Purple and Fragrant but not my main quarry - Burnt and Frog Orchid, so with my hopes dashed and phone calls to be made I contented myself with the other flora of the site.

I found many a subject to keep me amused including Broomrape, Yellow Rattle, Field scabious, Red Clover, Elderflower and a selection of grasses. So  with a bag full of pictures and a heart of mild disappointment I left this lovely site and headed for home to go through my hard earned piccies. 

Then, as I drove past Middle Wallop, home of the Army Air Corps I spied some purple in the hedgerow, happy days some enormous Pyramidal Orchids standing 2.5 foot tall in some cases in a dense patch that covered but a few metres. So risking it all, (a man with a big camera and lens on the permitter of an Army base, may not be the safest position to be in!!), I hopped out and snapped a few shots before retiring to a safer distance.


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