Sunday, 5 July 2009

Cottonshope Burn

The sykes and springs which feed the Cottonshope Burn are on the high ground near to the Roman road known as Dere Street and not far from the Roman fort at Chew Green, itself just on the English side of the border with Scotland and very near to the source of the River Coquet. A narrow road, starting at Cottonshopeburnfoot and climbing steadily, leads the traveller north, through part of the Forestry Commission's Byrness plantation and into a wide-valley wilderness grazed by Cheviot and Black-faced sheep.

I recently bought a revised edition of Francis Rose's The Wild Flower Key, and have been trying to master the mysteries of wild flower identification. I took some pictures in the valley of flowers I've not previously photographed: Self-heal I already knew and I used the keys in the book to identify two others. If I am wrong, please do let me know. All of the flower pictures were taken using my Nikkor 18-55mm lens and a 6 dioptre close-up lens.

Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris)

Lousewort (Pedicularis sylvatica)

Common Mouse-ear (Cerastium fontanum)

I found a male Ringlet amongst the long grass on the plantation edge ...

Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus)

... And this Foxlove.

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)

Addendum, 6 July, 2009: Thanks to Phil Gates, a botanist at Durham University, who redirected my initial identification of a supposed Lesser Stitchwort to that of a Common Mose-ear (see above).


holdingmoments said...

Beautiful pictures Emma.
They look superb enlarged, really sharp and great detail.
Looks a great place to visit and spend a few hours.

Greenfingers said...

Lovely pictures, particularly the lousewort, whose name belies its beauty. I've found Francis Rose's book a really useful field guide too. I'm wondering whether your lesser stitchwort might be a large specimen of the very variable mouse-ear Cerastium fontanum? I haven't tried to key out a Stellaria for years but I've got a vague recollection that S.graminea has grass-like, hairless leaves - but I could well be wrong.