Piper Hole, Kirby Stephen
One of the few, rare examples of meadow habitat in the country left undamaged by agricultural intensification. Herbs, such as great burnet (see 'Species to spot' below) are especially abundant, earning it the local name "herbie meadow".
Species to spot
Best time to see: April - Aug.
The bulbous, blood-red heads of this member of the rose family often indicate a floodplain meadow. The name burnet comes from the Old French for 'dark brown' - the same source as 'brunette'.
Best time to see: May - Sept.
A semi-parasitic flower, that feeds off nutrients in nearby grass roots. In doing so it helps restrict the vigorous grasses, allowing more delicate wildflowers to emerge. Its 'rattle' is from tiny seeds in their pods.
Best time to see: April - June
With delicate, branched stems, and white umbels of small flowers. Shakespeare refers to pignut in The Tempest when Caliban says 'I pr’ythee, let me bring thee where crabs grow; And I with my long nails will dig thee pig-nuts; Show thee a jay’s nest, ....'
Image by Cath Shellswell, Plantlife